Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Dark Horse

A present from my sister Marie Pauw on her birthday celebration

The character Curtis plays, Genesis, is inspired by real-life Gisborne speed chess player and coach Genesis Potini, who died in 2011. By teaching local youth to play chess, he hoped to give them a positive focus in life and dissuade them from getting involved in gangs and crime. Potini struggled with bipolar disorder, requiring frequent hospital stays. Potini had been the subject of a well received 2003 documentary film, Dark Horse. At the request of director James Napier Robertson, Curtis gained close to 60 pounds in weight and stayed in character for the entirety of the shoot to play Genesis. Napier Robertson also had Curtis study chess with some of Potini's erstwhile friends, including FIDE Master Ewen Green. LINK VPRO television (in Dutch)

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