'Andre the Giant' Director Jason Hehir recently sat down with BroBible.com's Chris Illuminati, to talk on the documentary and on Andre specifically, here are some highlights.
Hehir was asked on some of the things that surprised him about Andre, during the production of the HBO Documentary.
"Andre himself perpetuated much of the mythology. He never broke character. Until the day he died, he would never acknowledge that wrestling was fake or scripted. He was fiercely loyal to the business and that’s why so many performers had such admiration for him.
I was fascinated by the littlest facts about Andre’s life and career like how his name “Andre the Giant” came to pass. His first in-ring name was Jean Furrey. When a promoter in the states asked what the name meant, he was told it translated to “giant fairy.” The promoter refused to bill him as the giant fairy and asked his real name and decided to bill him as Andre the Giant."
Hehir commented on some of the legendary myths of Andre, including the classic story of a large amount of beer consumption during one sitting.
"One of the rules we set early on is we’d only include firsthand accounts of events. For example, if a person says “I heard he drank 166 beers once” our next question was “were you there?” and if they weren’t present the footage didn’t make the film. So at least with that, we have a fighting chance that as much fact makes it into the documentary as possible.
An interesting thing we did find was that many of the tall tales involving Andre are true. The man almost transcended fiction. Terry Todd did a fascinating piece on Andrefor Sports Illustrated in the early 1980s, and he told us Andre consumed 7,000 calories a day just in alcohol and he spent a month with the man. Those are the stories that made the documentary."
Hehir speaks on what he thought Andre's biggest career highlight and the tale of Hulk Hogan not sure if he would actually win his match against Andre at WrestleMania III.
"Out of everything, even The Princess Bride film, his match in WrestleMania III is probably the most significant moment of his career.
Tim White, one of Andre’s closest friends and handler, feels that deep down even Vince didn’t know the true answer. No one but Andre knew if Andre was going to go along with the plan. That match is a pivotal moment in the history of pro wrestling. If Andre decided not to go along with it, he could sit on Hogan and take the title. Andre’s was willing to pass the torch to Hogan."
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