14 months of intensive training and diet, learning to box, losing 16 kg of weight – these were Piotr Głowacki’s preparations for the demanding role of a boxer from the Auschwitz concentration camp in the film “The Master”. The effects will be shown in cinemas from August 27.
It was known that fights were an integral part of the drama of the film and the characters, so we didn’t want to use doubles. This decision, which we took with the main stunt coordinator and my preparation Maciej A. Maciejewski, set the course of work. I had to focus on the body that would be exposed in most of the scenes. The film is an image and you cannot fool the viewer. Both the silhouette and the fights had to be convincing – says Piotr Głowacki.
Maciej A. Maciejewski, the stunt coordinator responsible for the comprehensive preparation of the actor for the role, invited three specialists to cooperate: Michał Pluskota, Konrad Ostrowski and Jarosław Golec, responsible for physical preparation and boxing training. Michał Pluskota became the project coordinator and the main trainer. The actor not only needed to reduce his total weight to the role of a prisoner from KL Auschwitz, but he also had to build muscles in order to reliably present himself as a bantamweight boxer. As part of the preparations, Piotr Głowacki faced the challenge of a complete metamorphosis of his figure, which resulted in a weight reduction of 16 kg. During the preparation, he performed six training units a week. High intensity and functional training were to imitate real boxing training.
I was on a box diet for 14 months. I ate 5 meals, 1500 calories a day. In terms of fitness, I had to prepare to cope with the hardships of shooting scenes – 5 shooting days, 12 hours in the ring. There was also a boxing training with Konrad Ostrowski. I have undergone training from zero. We started with the basic step, posture and ladder. Every training session there were more blows, and finally sparring, which made me feel that there is indeed a possibility to be faster than a fist. In boxing, you look at a person and predict his actions. It’s intelligent gameplay, like very fast chess. Champions know where their opponent will be in four moves. This is how Tadeusz Pietrzykowski worked, he was a virtuoso of dodging – emphasizes the actor.
Konrad Ostrowski, responsible for boxing training, focused on teaching the actor the basics of boxing and learning techniques.
The biggest challenge in the preparations was teaching Piotr Głowacki the craft of boxing, because he had never had any contact with boxing before.His tasks included the finishing touches to the actor’s boxing techniques, giving the character of the fight. The many months of preparations were completed with a meeting with coach Marian Basiak.
At the end of the preparations, I got in touch with Marian Basiak (Łukasz Różański’s trainer), who remembers pre-war boxers and who is still successful in Stal Rzeszów. He practiced, like “Teddy”, with the legendary Feliks Stamm – an outstanding trainer, creator of the so-called Polish boxing school. He showed me old tricks. Thanks to him, I had a chance to touch boxing, which has already passed away – says Piotr Głowacki.
The action of the film “The Master”, inspired by the story of the boxer Tadeusz “Teddy” Pietrzykowski, takes place in the initial period of the functioning of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The pre-war champion of Warsaw in bantamweight scales went to him in the first transport in 1940. Prisoner 77, because he was assigned this number, fought dozens of victorious duels in the ring during his three-year stay, in which his life was at stake. For his fellow prisoners, he became a symbol of hope for survival and overcoming Nazi terror.
Starring: Piotr Głowacki (“Gods”), Grzegorz Małecki (“Courier”), Marcin Bosak (“In the Darkness”), Marian Dziędziel (“Angry House”), Piotr Witkowski (“Proceder”), Rafał Zawierucha (” Once upon a time … in Hollywood “), Marcin Czarnik (” Son of Saul “) and Jan Szydłowski (” Planeta Singli “). In theaters on August 27.
Simultaneously with the cinema premiere of “The Master”, the music from the film will be released, composed by Bartosz Chajdecki. On September 1, the book “MISTRZ. Tadeusz “Teddy” Pietrzykowski “prepared by the daughter of the boxer Eleonora Szafran.
Source: press release / Introduction illustration: Robert Pałka.