• The Virginian-Pilot talks to Virginia Beach’s Mike Federali about his appearance, selling Hellboy‘s gun, on Comic Book Men.
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• Esquire talks up Game of Arms, commenting that “it’s easy to get sucked into watching a bunch of guys out-dude one another.”
• Arm wrestling finds its way to the Oscars as Paul Rudd and Adam Scott strike a pose at Vanity Fair‘s after-party, courtesy of a photo in TheWrap.
• The Erie (Pa.) Times-News interviews a member of an arm wrestling team that’s competing on Game of Arms. He reveals, “You win your battles in the gym, not the day of the contest.”
Continue reading “Esquire Checks Out Game of Arms; TheWrap Catches Paul Rudd, Adam Scott Arm Wrestling” »
Super-heavyweight Louisiana native Chop Bertrand talks shrimping and being a left-handed competitor going against right-handed legends prior to his Roughnecks meeting the Kansas City Rolling Thunder.
Q: You’re left-handed. How do you cope with having to go up against right-handers in the sport?
A: Well, I wrestle using both. I’ve finished as high as sixth in national competition with my right, but tournaments usually have left-handed divisions. My left is definitely stronger. I went three years undefeated on that side. In high school, even against guys five to six years older, I never came close to losing with my left.
Q: A lot of Louisiana wrestlers work highly physical jobs. It seems like that could be a problem if you’re trying to recover or prepare for a tournament and want to stay fresh.
A: It’s hard. Down south, we have so much raw power. Everyone has manual jobs. You get farm boys, offshore workers — I think I got my strength from oil work, but when you get back from a tournament and have to go in to your job, you wake up regretting life. Everything hurts. The muscle pains can stick with you for a long time. It takes me about a week to recover from wrestling.
Q: Do you do anything to speed it up?
No one in arm wrestling is more well-traveled than gourmet chef Andrew “Cobra” Rhodes, a 35-year veteran of the sport who’s been to six continents, appeared in Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone, and is notorious for winning David vs. Goliath matches at a compact 176 lb.
Q: Let’s get the obvious question out of the way. Why “Cobra”?
A: It came from guys I trained with when I was 14 years old. Before [Michael] Jordan was wagging his tongue, I did that in competition. It would just come out during a match. And then my buddy said to me, “You’re quick like a cobra.”
A: But now you wear a mouth guard, which is unusual for arm wrestlers.
A: I once read when your jaw is relaxed, you get better performance. When your bite is set properly, you get more speed, more power, more flexibility. I’m not a spring chicken, so I’m always looking for natural ways to do better. In this sport, there’s no wind that’s going to blow a field goal to the left of a goal post.
Q: You worked as a chef for years. How did you acquire those skills?
A: I’ve trained with the most talented chefs you’ve ever met, but there’s no degree on paper. I’ve been all over the world and to the good restaurants so I could spend time with the chefs there and take recipes back home. You go to Eastern Europe or Russia and get down with the Babushkas — the old ladies who do the real deal. I’ve got a cookbook waiting to be published. But I got out of it because the cooking business will kill you. It’s high stress, man. Banging out those hours was not healthy.
Q: You’ve wrestled on six continents. Any good stories?
This week, AMC’s head honchos speak with TheWrap about Comic Book Men‘s fans, while a Kevin Smith biopic is getting the crowdsourcing treatment. Plus, Smith will be at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Read on for more:
• AMC’s Charlie Collier and Joel Stillerman chat with TheWrap about Comic Book Men as “a show that’s engendered a lot of passion” and has “touched a nerve with a lot of people out there, especially in the creative community.”
• According to /film, two Kevin Smith fans have turned to crowdsourcing to fund a biopic of the director, a project that Smith endorses.
Continue reading “AMC Bosses Appreciate Comic Book Men Fan Base; Kevin Smith Biopic Getting Crowdsourced” »
This week, Game of Arms distinguished itself as the highest-rated unscripted series premiere in AMC history, while The Daily Beast calls the reality show “fascinating.” Plus, The New York Times previewed Game of Arms ahead of its Feb. 25 airing. Read on for more:
• The Daily Beast reviews Game of Arms, calling it “completely ridiculous—and so very fascinating.”
• TheWrap reports that Game of Arms, which debuted Feb. 25, became the highest-rated unscripted series premiere ever on AMC — with one million total viewers, of which 626,000 were in the 18-49 year-old demographic.
• The New York Times highlights Game of Arms‘s Feb. 25 debut in its Television Week Ahead column.
Continue reading “Game of Arms AMC’s Highest-Rated Unscripted Series Premiere; Show Fascinates Daily Beast” »
If you missed the epic match-up between the Sacramento Arm Benders and the New York City Arms Control during the Game of Arms premiere, you’re in luck: The full episode “The Battle Begins…” is now streaming on amc.com. This is the only episode being made available without a log-in requirement. Future episodes of Game of Arms will be available on amc.com the day after broadcast and accessible via log-in for select cable providers.
Think you’ve got what it takes to challenge the professional arm wrestlers on AMC’s Game of Arms? One quick way to find out is with the new Arm Yourself App for iPhone and Android. Download the app, then shake your phone as hard as you can for 15 seconds. The strength of your shake will determine a virtual bicep which you can graft on to a selfie and share with your friends. Some will be contenders. Others will be legends. The time has come to flex.
Kenny Hughes has arm wrestling in his blood: the California native learned the sport from his father and grandfather and entered his first tournament against adults at the age of 14. Now 32, the former prodigy is finding fresh motivation on Game of Arms, a new original series premiering tomorrow at 10/9c on AMC.
Q: You took fourth place in an amateur tournament at the age of 14. How do grown men react when they’ve been bested by a kid?
A: I would think it would bother them. [Laughs] I wouldn’t want to lose to a 14-year-old! My dad originally took me to a tournament in Patterson, California, but I was too shy to wrestle there. I got over that barrier, got up my nerve in Lake Tahoe a couple months later and competed in the 132 lb class. I was able to beat grown men who had been doing it for years.
Q: Did you always want to wrestle?
A: It’s all I wanted to do. I was completely invested in it. I was just naturally strong. It takes some people three or four years to get good — I started out good. I’d practice with my dad and work on techniques.
Q: Do you remember the first time you beat him?
A: I started beating him when I was about 15. It wasn’t easy. I was 154 lb at the time and he was around 200. I think he was happy for me. I had wrestled him since I was a kid.
Q: Being a kid, was it easy to fool someone into thinking they could beat you?
Brian O’Halloran, star of the Clerks movies, talks about his appearances on Comic Book Men, the craziest interaction he’s had with a fan and what people can expect from Clerks III.
Q: How did you and Kevin Smith first meet?
A: Unlike most of the cast of Clerks, who had been friends with Kevin before, I met him during my audition for the part. I had been acting with a group in a neighboring town and heard about the audition. I just thought, “Oh, cool. I’ll go check that out.” I could tell immediately he was someone I wanted to work with and get to know better.
Q: Did you ever think that Clerks would become the huge phenom that it did?
A: Not at all. We got deferred pay and were promised a VHS copy of the film, which I still have… I thought it would just be something that I would show the VHS copy to all my acting friends, from time to time, and we would watch and think it was hysterical. I remember at the first screening, there were like 12 of us in the audience — 10 of which were those who made the movie. But, luckily, Bob Hawk from Sundance was there. It wasn’t until Sundance when we saw it go gangbusters. The four screenings were sold out. And we thought, “OK, great! People are getting this. Wow, that’s cool.”
Q: What do you think was the secret to the movie’s success?
Continue reading “Comic Book Men Q&A – Brian O’Halloran” »