by Sami Koskinen
September 15, 2000
Just talked with Jouko over phone. He has returned from movie making and--this shouldn't really come as a big surprise to you--has now started to renovate houses. He plans to renovate one for himself also. The one he was renovating at the moment seemed decayed I hear.
The film shoots took 3 months, 8 hours daily. Tim Roth was a great guy I hear and helped him all along.
There was this one shot where Jouko's character Zisha (a blacksmith, strongman) gets angry at Tim's character and throws him overboard from a sailboat at sea. First Tim thought this might be a place for a stunt--but when Jouko showed what it was about (to some guy in the stage), Tim started to really want to do it himself! (This will be fun to see... no offence Tim ;-)
The producer was happy with Jouko's voice and accent (they wanted a German accent, remember) and they decided to use Jouko's own voice in the movie. Jouko was glad about this because he worked a lot on the lines.
The film will presumably have its opening night at Cannes film festival, spring 2001.
This movie part was a great opportunity for Jouko, also being the first Finn since the 60's who played a big part in a Hollywood movie. Also good PR for modern strongman competitions.
There are some old time strongman stunts in the movie (hitting nails, breaking chains, bending a fish spear etc) and also a 350 kg deadlift as it seemed more impressive than olympic weightlifting. The spear was modified, but I believe everything else is as real as it gets. Jouko said the movie was mostly about acting, not really about strongman performances.
Well... training smart and hard enough is not just about having a good training program!
Ok Jouko, let's see how big your desire to win gets again.