Cannes 2008: RT Meets Mike Tyson

Iron Mike on the new doc about his life, his fave films and his regrets.

by | May 22, 2008 | Comments

Standing toe-to-toe with Mike Tyson is not as scary as it sounds. Iron Mike has padded out around the waist since he retired from the ring and is now soft-spoken and gentle. He walks slowly but surely and although the lisp is still there everything he says is measured.

Cannes are used to stars but no one could have expected the reaction which greeted the retired boxer when he entered the cinema before the screening of James Toback’s documentary about him, Tyson. In a departure from normal etiquette the Cannes crowd gave him a five-minute standing ovation just for being there.

The boxer disappeared as soon as the curtain opened and the candid documentary did not disappoint the expectant crowd. The next day Tyson reappeared in a hotel room and spoke about why he decided to reveal all to Toback.

RT: Did the fact that you’d known director James Toback and had appeared in his film Black and White help you decide to make this documentary?

Mike Tyson: That made it pretty easy, yes.

RT: What did you think of the final film?

MT: I haven’t watched the movie; it’s too personal for me. I might watch it one day in my room, but I don’t know when.

RT: Are you a fan of cinema?

MT: I like horror movies. Nightmare on Elm Street is my favourite. I even get scared a little bit watching horror.

Tyson

RT: Do you watch boxing films?

MT: I watch boxing movies as well. Gentleman Jim starring Errol Flynn is my favourite. Raging Bull is a good film as well although Toback thinks it’s s**t.

RT: This film forced you to think back on your life. Do you have any regrets?

MT: There are not many regrets that I have. There are a few things that I wish I’d changed in my life, but they are not so dramatic that I’d go out of my way to change them. But I go back and think about my life so far periodically in my head.

RT: What was the high point of your career?

MT: I never look at a high point in my career. Everyone thinks about the Spinks fight, but that fight only lasted 91 seconds, so it’s hard to say it defined my career.

RT: What was the hardest part of making this film?

MT: Hardest part was going back and doing retakes. I was in rehab and sometimes the guys wouldn’t let me go, it was against my curfew so I had to explain and talk to them and say I had to do retakes.

RT: Why do this documentary now?

MT: I didn’t have a reason. James said lets do this movie and I never really thought that it would make me seem like a better person to the world. I don’t know, in the United States I don’t think that if I won a Nobel peace prize that it would change how I’m viewed.

RT: Will you get involved in boxing again?

MT: I’m not getting involved in boxing at all, at least at this point in my life.

RT: What’s it like watching yourself box?

MT: I hate it because even though people see the knockouts, I see all the mistakes that I’ve made. Sometimes I have my hand down low, or I don’t move my head and if the opponent wasn’t intimidated then maybe they could have beaten me. If I was fighting myself, I always say that I would kill Mike Tyson but then again I don’t know how hard a punch Mike Tyson can take and I don’t know how hard Mike Tyson’s punch is. I don’t know. For me looking at me, I think I can beat me.

Tag Cloud

New York Comic Con FX golden globes anime IFC Films cats Universal Mindy Kaling crime drama Starz OWN justice league Freeform Esquire Cannes DGA Warner Bros. war nature Paramount TBS streaming Mary poppins Super Bowl ESPN Sony Pictures Action Musical FXX Opinion Tarantino space Tumblr Lifetime 24 frames festivals Disney Channel 45 Holidays Comedy Central miniseries CNN elevated horror disaster comic Musicals A&E Captain marvel 2015 mutant Rocky 2018 Netflix Video Games based on movie romance Polls and Games discovery social media SDCC See It Skip It DC streaming service award winner zero dark thirty Quiz Tomatazos YouTube Premium Trivia mockumentary AMC Winter TV robots Showtime TCA 2017 Dark Horse Comics TCM Drama Brie Larson Writers Guild of America TNT Nickelodeon Chernobyl Shondaland anthology Disney ITV MTV Pixar Rom-Com TV San Diego Comic-Con El Rey Election sitcom Fall TV Interview adventure Box Office PBS spinoff National Geographic Spike Martial Arts MSNBC The Witch historical drama Nominations Superheroe Paramount Network Logo police drama Teen FOX Acorn TV Watching Series Marathons Cosplay cops singing competition travel Comics on TV Star Trek BBC Toys E3 Certified Fresh ABC Red Carpet biography Extras Syfy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC Universe TIFF talk show Premiere Dates CMT Britbox Lucasfilm 2016 Sneak Peek Animation Sundance First Look Mudbound dramedy Biopics political drama Adult Swim comiccon Reality animated Mystery VH1 vampires GLAAD Reality Competition Sundance Now HBO Vudu Pop politics science fiction GoT toy story Star Wars Trophy Talk YouTube Red Black Mirror Trailer MCU binge spider-man The Arrangement Columbia Pictures E! Amazon Epix APB BET Stephen King Kids & Family Awards Tour USA Network Comic Book diversity ABC Family green book sequel Comedy Year in Review ratings adaptation Marvel Cartoon Network 007 zombie doctor who Pride Month History blaxploitation The CW cinemax crime thriller Emmys casting Country Sci-Fi YA Superheroes VICE President Infographic Food Network richard e. Grant Hulu Ellie Kemper RT History zombies RT21 Set visit Countdown theme song Masterpiece finale teaser docudrama DC Comics IFC Spring TV psycho Horror Fox News Mary Tyler Moore strong female leads witnail GIFs Walt Disney Pictures harry potter Podcast Best and Worst Spectrum Originals cooking Shudder 20th Century Fox Thanksgiving transformers Summer game show NBC Heroines Apple Western dc aliens Ovation Lionsgate period drama Winners Schedule Chilling Adventures of Sabrina natural history boxoffice Pet Sematary Awards Mary Poppins Returns Calendar supernatural dceu true crime Film Festival Crackle psychological thriller Ghostbusters BBC America Valentine's Day dragons 21st Century Fox TCA composers SundanceTV NYCC unscripted Fantasy Pirates LGBTQ Christmas PaleyFest Elton John jamie lee curtis Grammys technology WGN Photos USA Rock Nat Geo Character Guide hist Oscars facebook Song of Ice and Fire 2017 crime what to watch spy thriller CBS All Access TruTV Amazon Prime Bravo TLC X-Men Music sports TV Land Anna Paquin cults SXSW CBS CW Seed 2019 crossover television Women's History Month thriller serial killer American Society of Cinematographers DirecTV medical drama Creative Arts Emmys Rocketman