Bleed For This, the movie about the incredible comeback story of boxer Vinnie Pazienza, came to our big all-day awards-season event The Contenders Presented By Deadline. In front of a packed DGA theater audience of Oscar voters and key guild members, writer-director Ben Younger and stars Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart explained what drew them to the story of the three-time champion boxer whose career was derailed by a near-fatal car crash.

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Deadline

Although there is lots of boxing in it, this is really a story of perseverance and survival, as Younger tells it. Teller recounts his intense preparation, weight loss and weight gain, and wearing the impossibly uncomfortable halo — the same device Vinnie Paz had to wear for months after his accident. He also shares stories of how Vinnie himself visited the set. Eckhart talks about playing trainer Kevin Rooney in the film, which none other than Martin Scorsese executive produced.

Check out our Contenders conversation above.