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Will there ever not be a need for movies to remind us that it doesn’t matter where we come from or what we are, but only who we are? William Fichtner, who plays Coach Plyer in American Wrestler: The Wizard, says, ‘no.’
“I think you can tell that story over and over again. I think it needs to be heard because sometimes it’s forgotten,” Fichtner told uInterview exclusively.
“It’s not the color of your skin, it’s not where you are from, it’s who you are, it’s what you do. I mean, isn’t that our country? I think so. I hope so.”
American Wrestler is based on the life and experiences of the film’s producer, Ali Afshar, and his Iranian family as they immigrate to the United States around the time of the Iran hostage crisis and the Iranian Revolution.
“It was a really though time to be in America. Being an Iranian is one of the worst things to be in America because it just has such a bad wrap,” Afshar told uInterview.
But despite the prejudice Afshar and his family faced, the young teenager joined the wrestling team at his high school and soon became a town hero.
“Through wrestling I got the school, the town, and the people to actually accept me and love me. I call Petaluma [California] my hometown, it is where we actually shot this movie.”
Afshar put it on himself to prove to the town, his peers, his teachers, and coach that he was a dedicated student and athlete, and an overall good person who kept to their word.
“That’s who he is,” says Fichtner of Ali’s character.
Whether you need a reminder or not, American Wrestler tells a story we could all stand to listen to at least one more time.
American Wrestler: The Wizard also stars George Kosturos and Jon Voight.