Usain Bolt talks about his new documentary
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP):
Usain Bolt is now a movie star. He refuses to say he's an actor. Such a distinction is important for the Jamaican sprinting great and nine-time Olympic champion. Until his competitive career ends next year, Bolt will continue playing only one role that of the world's fastest man, someone who beat the odds to acquire immense fame and fortune on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in global sport.
As such, it's not a made-for-Hollywood version of himself that takes centre stage in the documentary I Am Bolt, which is being released Monday. As the title wants viewers to believe, the Bolt who is in the film is the very same one that his friends, family and other members of his close-knit inner sanctum have seen for as long as they've known him.
"I wasn't an actor," Bolt said. "I wasn't trying to push a different person forward."
This is Bolt, a behind-the-scenes view of the superstar which took about two years to make and has him holding the camera at times. The idea in large part surrounds Bolt's quest for the so-called triple-triple - three gold medals in three events at three consecutive Olympics, something no sprinter in the history of the sport had ever accomplished.
He pulled it off, to little surprise, at the Rio Games.
And then he could finally exhale, knowing this film would have the perfect ending.
"Oh my God, you have no idea the pressure that I was under," Bolt said in a recent interview with The Associated Press, as the production was winding down. "But I live for these moments. I love the pressure. And I have all the confidence in myself and my coach and the team I have that it would come true for me. The pressure was there, but the confidence was always there - which made it much easier."
Bolt agreed to make this film after realising that he would be able to convince both his fans and his detractors that what they see on the track - a free-spirited showman who tries to be stoic and serious only when absolutely necessary - is what they would get if they tagged along with him on a typical day.
He shows off some of the spoils of his life, whether it's the party scene or traveling or enjoying luxury. He also shows how all that is possible, with 5:30 a.m. workouts that he groaned through and the rigours of what's needed to keep an elite athlete in top physical condition.