Mike Tyson's movie saved him from his "pariah" public image.
The controversial former boxer has been impressing audiences with his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. Mike also opened up for a documentary movie, Tyson, which was directed by James Toback.
The filmmaker says the movie was just what people needed to see.
"The public had a totally negative view of him. He was a pariah. They saw him as an ear-biting psychopath and rapist," he told the New York Post.
James contacted Mike in rehab in 2007 following a drug arrest. The director visited him to capture footage for Tyson and was hell-bent on extracting the truth from the sports star.
"I thought, 'Right now he's going to be in dire straits. This is the time he's going to be feeling worse and worse about himself, and go deeper and deeper down,'" he recalled.
"It was exactly what he needed therapeutically. There was the feeling you couldn't believe what you were hearing. He opened up completely It was raw, honest and pure."
Tyson premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and garnered critical acclaim. Mike soon landed a role in hit comedy The Hangover.
James has recalled showing Mike his movie for the first time.
"Tyson sat on the floor of the screening room instead of a seat and after staring into space for five minutes, he said, 'It's like a Greek tragedy, the only problem is I'm the subject,'" he remembered.
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