Legends, by definition, seem larger than life. This is particularly true for one as remarkable as Jackie Robinson, whose place has been carved into history not only because of what he did, but how he did it. But when we start to look closer at these legends—to see them as people, not just as as icon—we discover levels that are so much deeper and more interesting. These humanizing elements are at the heart of what actor Chadwick Boseman and writer/director Brian Helgeland have achieved with the forthcoming biopic 42, based on Robinson's incredible career in baseball.
Although Boseman is still relatively young, he approached the role with the maturity of a seasoned actor. “I was able to explore him as a man and not an idea,” he said in a recent interview with Reuters. “Some people say he’s almost a perfect person, but he’s not.” The mutual dedication by director and star to explore Jackie Robinson the man, not just the myth, has made for a tale much more compelling than one that simply glorifies this albeit incredibly well-deserving hero. It explores not only Robinson's grace and patience, but his deep uncertainty and, at times, immense frustration. Its dramatic resonance is only helped by the presence of Harrison Ford, who portrays Branch Rickey, famed owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who tried to guide him through the pervasive racism that existed in baseball at the time. The result is a film with honesty that elevates Robinson's greatness. We can experience him as a human being who was as fallible as he was exceptional.
See 42 in theaters today. Check out some great behind-the-scenes pics of the film's stars.