If you’re a fan of triumphant acting performances, in recent memory I can’t think of finer illustration than Christian Bale and Melissa Leo’s in The Fighter. Both were deservedly rewarded with Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. Likewise I fully expect them to leave Oscar night with that faceless golden man! Check out what they had to say about the film below. The Fighter is set for release in the UK Febuary 2nd.

What was it like training with the real Micky and Dicky?

Christian Bale: Just essential, you know, I mean Mark was always leagues ahead because he’d been training for this for so long anyway; he has his own boxing ring in his house. For me it just was a wonderful opportunity to hang out with Micky and Dicky, get to know them, get to understand their fighting styles to use it as a means of dropping the weight that I needed to lose in order to look like a welter weight and then a crack head. I just enjoyed it immensely, I enjoyed their company.

What is The Fighter about for you?

Melissa Leo: The story of the Fighter is about Micky Ward and his struggle for his champion belt and the struggle involves a loving and severe family and David O. Russell has told this story so eloquently and truthfully, humour filled and poignant that you barely think you are watching a boxing movie.

How did you transform to get into your role?

Christian Bale: Same with anyone you know, you kind of start off and you go, “yeah I like this story” and then you go “holy crap, how am going to do it, I’ve forgotten how to do this”. I never took any classes, I just go like “I better wing this one again and make it up!” Slowly, you find ways brick by brick of building it up, and it feels like hard work and you feel like you’re going to fail everybody. Then eventually it’s just kind of happening and it’s slipping in, then you forget that you went through the hard work and you think it was all easy.

Your character is great, can you tell a little about who you play in the movie?

Melissa Leo: I play Alice Ward, who is the mother of Micky Ward and his older brother, Dick Eckland and she also is the mother of seven girls! She visually manages the younger brother Micky Ward and because of the family’s own entanglements with itself, it falls apart, and eventually Mickey triumphs with the help of his family.

What attracted you to the role?

Melissa Leo: What attracted me to the role was David’s belief that I could play it. Before I even knew her, I had a script to read that I could really ascertain what was being put in front of me, he had an excitement, not only about the project and Alice Ward, but me being Alice Ward, so I just decided to meet that head long and see what it brought!

What is the movie about and what are the main themes that emerge in The Fighter?

Christian Bale: The Fighter is about brotherly love, it’s about loyalty, about family, family dysfunctions, the need to change, the pain of change, but ultimately, the triumph of people who love each other, managing to find a healthy way to unite and that they’re unstoppable at that point.