Reports first broke that Jake Gyllenhaal was working on a film about the Boston Marathon Bombing when he was seen visiting survivors of the attack last year. His role in the film would be a big one as he took on the role of Jeff Bauman, the man responsible for helping lead to the capture of the suspects from his hospital room. He tried to take tubes out of his nose and mouth to speak and couldn’t, so he wrote down on paper that the man responsible looked right at him.
‘Saw the guy. Looked right at me.’
Those seven words and the strength of Bauman made headlines around the world and while his story has highs and lows since the accident that took his legs and changed his life, he’s been an inspiration for so many. His story is one that deserves to be told, so when Gyllenhaal went to meet him and spend time preparing for the role, learning what he could about Bauman and Boston, we knew no one could take on that role better.
The trailer for Stronger was released today and it is almost indescribable with words. It’s something you have to watch to feel the full weight of.
‘There was an explosion, and your legs, they’re gone, bro.’
The trailer shows Bauman going through extreme distress, through times of struggle and also through times of triumph and joy. He is seen overcoming obstacles on his own, with the help of loved ones, and with the man who is credited with saving his life. Carlos Arredondo is the man who saw Bauman struggling and saved his life, and Carlos has an incredible story of his own.
His son Alexander Arredondo was killed in Iraq in 2004, and he says that he lost it. He beat the window of the government vehicle that brought the Marines to his door to deliver the news, took a torch with him and poured gasoline inside the van and the torch he had with him caught fire and he was badly burned. 26% of his body suffered second and third-degree burns. He attended his son’s funeral on a stretcher.
In 2001, Carlos’ other son Brian took his own life after battling addiction and depression after losing his big brother. Carlos and his wife became activists after the death of Alexander and after Brian took his life they further advocated for suicide awareness. They’ve dedicated their lives to trying with all that they have to make sure no one suffers the same way that they did and to help anyone who has to.
The bond that Carlos and Jeff share, the way Carlos saved his life, and the way they drew strength from one another immediately after the bombing, and even now is a testament to the spirits of both men.
Jake Gyllenhaal, as we said before, is perfect in this role and while the film will be hard to watch, we’re looking forward to seeing the work put in by everyone involved and hearing the story of bravery and of becoming stronger.