Sean Patrick Flanery is an actor of many talents; from his ensemble roles in The Boondock Saints and its sequel, to his portrayals of a young Indiana Jones in several TV series and films, to the man behind “Powder,” Flanery has a range like few others.
Now, he’s trying his hand in the world of martial arts…on film, anyway, as he is the star of the new Lionsgate film “Born A Champion,” which arrived in select theaters and digital and on-demand services on Friday.
The film, which Flanery also co-wrote and co-stars in with Katrina Bowden and Dennis Quaid, is “an inspirational film about the love for family, the drive for greatness and the willingness to never give up without a fight.” An official synopsis from Lionsgate:
After a blood- soaked jujitsu match in Dubai, fighting legend Mickey Kelley (Flanery) falls to superstar Blaine. But years later, an online video proves that Blaine cheated, and the world demands a rematch. Can the aging underdog get back into shape in time to vanquish his foe, get revenge, and claim his prize?
The movie was released on the eve of UFC 257, which sees the return of Conor McGregor to the Octagon, and Flanery joined Pete Hoffman on the latest episode of WFAN’s The Fight Fan podcast to talk new film, training with UFC’s Edson Barboza and Max Holloway, and much, much more!
Flanery has been big into martial arts and Jiu-Jitsu since he was nine…thanks to Elvis and a girl?
“Everything I’ve ever done in my life is because of a girl,” Flanery laughed. “I saw Elvis doing “Suspicious Minds” on stage, and he was doing kicks; I asked my dad, who was a Golden Gloves boxer, if Elvis knew karate, and ever since then, I wanted to do karate. I saw a girl, who was wearing these baggy white pants, and I followed her one day; she went to an academy, and that was my first intro to martial arts.”
Flanery also believes learning martial arts and/or self-defense “is a priceless life skill,” and that’s something he has passed down to both of his sons…who are both in the film as well.
“I wrote this story in my bed in 2007, and I originally wrote the lead character’s son a certain age. When we realized production was going to happen, I re-wrote the script so that he was seen at two different ages, because I have two boys,” Flanery said. “I got them both in it, and they’re both Jiu-Jitsu addicts. It was a pleasure among pleasures to have them make their acting debut – and their retirement – in the film!”
You can check out a snippet of Flanery discussing Saturday’s McGregor-Poirier fight in the Tweet below (and check out @TheFightFanWFAN on Twitter for more snippets of the latest episode), and listen to the entire episode of The Fight Fan on demand as well!