Ryan was on top of the world. Now he’s down for the count. Charming, intelligent, great looking, a physical presence, Ryan is a former three-time, All-American wrestler and a world-class athlete. Four years ago, Ryan was on top of the world. He had money, fame and Lisa Prince until he landed in prison. When he shows up at Alvey’s gym after his release, he is a changed man; humbled. Even though Lisa is suspect of Ryan’s intentions in returning to the gym, Alvey, despite the risks, sees the return of a superstar fighter as an opportunity that can change the fortune of his struggling gym.
We’re working our a**es off. … You’ve gotta make it look authentic. […] As an actor, to have a character that’s so complex — and really all the characters are psychologically very complex — and when it’s set against this backdrop that has an implicit energy and built-in fight to it, I think makes for compelling and challenging storytelling. That was the underlying thing for me. … I’ve never been stretched so much as an artist ever. It’s a small cast, as you can see. The responsibility is heavy on each character. It’s just requiring more of me than anything I’ve ever done, physically and emotionally.