The Renovator
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 Invincible

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.

Training was slow while they filmed the movie and even now he's not training as much as he used to. It's like 1.5 hours 4-5 times a week, mostly powerlifting type of training. He does strongman shows (just broke the car walk and crucifix world records), but is not ready for full competitions. Next year he'll maybe compete again if things go that way, but China GP comes too soon. During China GP he'll possibly do a show in Brazil, at a big national strongman competition.

WSM 2000
"Janne had the best tools to win: long arms and fast legs. Svend had a dark moment at some point of the competition, but has again improved from last year."

I asked what he thinks of Juha Räsänen because I think he might be the next WSM competitor from Finland--if he just trains smart enough. Jouko confirmed that he is very very good and also told me: "They all train smart nowadays. No need for me anymore?" 

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.