The Sunday Post (Dundee)
10 Questions for Eddie the Eagle
MICHAEL “EDDIE” EDWARDS was a builder when he gained fame at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, coming last in the ski jumping event by such a margin that he became known as an inspiring and heroic failure.
His life story has been made in to a film starring Taron Egerton as Eddie and Hugh Jackman as his coach, and it’s out on DVD this month.
YOUR DAD ISN’T PORTRAYED WELL IN THE MOVIE. HOW DID THAT GO DOWN?
He’s shown as not being supportive but he was completely the opposite, yet he still loved the film. I guess he took one for the team.
AND THE HUGH JACKMAN CHARACTER DIDN’T EXIST, DID HE?
No, but I know why they created him. I had 20 coaches getting to Calgary and they couldn’t put them all in, so they rolled them up in to one role.
WERE INTERVIEWERS INTRUSIVE WHEN YOU DID THE OLYMPICS?
Put it this way, I’ve been asked every question you can possibly think of so nothing will throw me now. I’m very open and honest about my life.
WHERE DID YOUR DETERMINATION COME FROM?
Since I was little, if someone dared me to do something, I’d do it. Mum and dad thought I’d grow out of that, but it just got worse.
DID THE OTHER BRITISH ATHLETES ACCEPT YOU AT THE OLYMPICS?
No. They thought: “He’s rubbish, so why is he getting all the attention when we’re the best?” I was exemplifying the amateur spirit and they hated that.
YOU MADE £750,000 THAT YEAR. WHAT DID YOU SPEND IT ON?
I wish I could have spent it but I was an amateur so it was put in trust for me. When I eventually went for the money it had disappeared. I had to sue to get a little of it back to invest in property.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SPENT IT ON?
Probably the usual – sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
IN REAL LIFE YOU’RE STILL A PLASTERER. DO YOU GET RECOGNISED?
Often, but I can still go in to people’s houses, plaster their walls, and they’re none the wiser.
YOU DON’T BRING UP YOUR PAST THEN?
No, I’m just as happy as Michael the plasterer as I am as Eddie The Eagle. Maybe I should sign those plastered walls and make some money. (laughs)
YOU HAVE 24 HOURS LEFT TO LIVE. HOW DO YOU SPEND THE TIME?
I’d take as much money out of the bank as I could and spend it on one last great meal with the hottest chick I could find. That would do me.