Usain Bolt signs a movie poster while in his room at the Corinthia Hotel in London, England.
THERE AREN’T too many in the world who know Usain Bolt and his story better than his best friend and manager, Nugent Walker.
Bolt’s highly anticipated biopic I am Bolt is set to hit theaters today with a premiere at Odeon Leicester Square cinema, and his life-long ally is hoping that the one hour 47 minutes tell-all will not only show the inner gears behind the Bolt machine, but that it will also inspire movie-goers to push themselves to achieve their objectives.
Walker, who figures prominently in the film and who is also credited as an executive producer, in an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, also shared the experience of having a camera crew within the sprinter’s vice-like inner circle.
“We hope to inspire the world,” Walker said yesterday. “We want people to push forward in their lives and develop an appreciation of Usain’s journey and to see that they can push forward as well despite challenges.
“We wanted the world to see the real story, and my role was to ensure that the real Usain was presented,” Walker added.
“What Usain represents is important. The world needs to see this – from a boy from the deep rural Jamaican community of Sherwood Content to what he is today: a world figure. We realised from very early that this movie could convey Usain at a deeper level to Jamaica and the world,” Walker added.
“We are very happy we were given this medium to share to the world, the different levels and tiers to Usain – the people around him, his agent, coach, parents – to him speaking openly about any concerns and fears, what this all means to him, to share the whole process,” said Walker.
“I know the journey, I know the struggles that he has been through. I know this young man and we thought this was necessary,” he added. “As he moves to another chapter in his life, this season being his last World Championships, this was a good way to celebrate his legacy, the story, the man, the legend, to showcase to the world what makes this man.”
POSITIONING HIS LEGACY
Walker said, “When you see the 9.5 seconds, you don’t know how he got there, the fears, the struggles. I think we laid a good foundation for an understanding and appreciation of this. This movie will go a long way in positioning his legacy and energise the world in a positive way.” Walker, who has been friends with Bolt since they were six years old, admitted that having the film crew around them for the past couple of years took some getting used to, but he is certain that the objectives were met. “It was a new experience constantly having a camera around, but we knew it was important. Usain wanted to convey that what you see on the track takes hard work. He also wanted to give the world an exclusive view of his life – the fun element, play time, relaxation, concerns, everything. So, yes, it was a new experience. But thankfully, the crew was good. They were not pushy. We didn’t even notice that they were there sometimes.”
Jamaica’s ace sprinter Usain Bolt walks ahead of his executive manager, Nugent Walker.