5:30am PT by Ashley Lee
Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton Call 'Eddie the Eagle' "A Little Light Bulb" Among Cynical, Dark Movies
On a wet and wintry night in New York City, Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman celebrated their heartwarming sports movie Eddie the Eagle with an intimate fan-filled screening.
"It's quite nice to have a little light bulb, isn't it?" Egerton told The Hollywood Reporter of the uplifting film, in which he portrays Eddie Edwards, the ski-jumping underdog who represented Great Britain in the 1988 Olympics. "We have all these dark movies now, and cynicism is very ingrained in our sense of humor. Although it doesn't have a cynical quality to it, I think it's still really funny. I'm so proud of this movie."
Hugh Jackman, who plays Eddie's coach, agreed. "Maybe it's my age, but I do remember The Full Monty and those ones, and I love those movies," he said before the Tuesday-night screening at Chelsea's Bow Tie Cinemas. "It does make you smile and cheer, but it's English — it's not too earnest."
The co-stars introduced the Fox film alongside director Dexter Fletcher and the real-life athlete Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. "I was worried — I didn't want to be turned into some sort of superhero or an object of ridicule, but they got it just right," the Olympian told THR of the sentimental, loose adaptation. "The way they put things together, it brought tears to my eyes."
Audiences at large may leave with a more general takeaway. "Getting there was my gold medal; hopefully it'll inspire people to get out there and try to live their dreams," said Edwards, but Jackman hopes Hollywood sees something specific in Eddie's onscreen feats.
"My favorite thing is that he really achieved something great without coming in any position other than last. It's just a great reminder that you don't have to win to be a winner," he explained. "Often in life, you get very results-orientated — as an actor, 'Did I get the job? Have I got a callback?' You start worrying about how the box office is going and really, what you should be worrying about is making movies that people love."
Eddie the Eagle hits theaters Friday.