By Sandra Kraisirideja
Oscar-nominated screenwriter James Toback may be the only person who could have executed a documentary about boxing legend Mike Tyson. Toback, who was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for “Bugsy,” has been friends with Tyson for years. What joins the two together is that they are both survivors of industries that take the best out of you when you’re young.
The two had talked about doing a movie together, but it wasn’t until Toback’s mother passed away that he took on the challenge. The documentary paints a complex portrait of Tyson that is a remarkably honest depiction of his life. It will be released on DVD Aug. 18.
In this one-on-one interview, Toback shares the consequences of deciding to finance the movie on his own and the unexpected rewards that have resulted from his first documentary. A few times during the interview Toback’s cell phone cuts out, but the interview is pretty much in tact.