Yesterday, I attended a private screening of the new Kevin James movie Here Comes the Boom, as part of a Mamarazzi event led by Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein. In the film, former college wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler), Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy—most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek). But in his quest, as Scott becomes more and more committed to fighting for the students, he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.
It was such a fun film, definitely one of my favorite Kevin James movies along with Paul Blart: Mall Cop. After the screening, Kevin James and Henry Winkler sat down for some Q&A time, and James talked a bit about the writing of the film (in addition to being the star, James served as co-writer and co-producer). Here’s a snippet of what James he had to say about writing Here Comes the Boom:
“I’ve been a fan of mixed martial arts from beginning…I’ve gotten to meet fighters over the years, and they’re just regular guys. You think they’re gladiators, but they’re not, they’re family men and fighting to put food on table like everyone else. They have a crazy unique job, and the amount of sacrifice they put in, they lay down their life physically, and that inspired me. On the flip side, I’ve had great teachers in my life who have inspired me to this day—I named a couple in the movie after them—and they taught me good principles and helped me be positive. And it’s 30 years later. It’s not like when school ends the relationship ends. They mold you when you’re young and the cement is drying…Great teachers need to be saluted, and that’s what I tried to do.”