The upcoming film, “Here Comes The Boom,” will feature Kevin James like you’ve never seen him before, according to the actor, who said his training and new exercise regimen to prepare for the role as a UFC fighter resulted in some major weight loss.
James told CNN in an exclusive interview that he trained for 14 months for the role, which forced the actor to work out three times a day, drinking juices, running and, of course, practicing fighting.
"I threw my back out ... getting into a town car. That'll show you the kind of shape I'm in now. How far I've let myself go," James told CNN.
According to the actor, who typically portrays a type-casted funny and slightly overweight guy in most of his movies, many believed this role was "just going to be Paul Blart falling around a ring, being the fat guy, tripping over his own feet,” James said, referencing his 2009 role in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Turns out, the movie, which he co-wrote and co-produced, is quite the contrary.
“The UFC gave us their blessing to make this movie,” he told CNN. “I had to promise them I'm going to make this thing as realistic as possible and it's going to be something that they haven't seen in me before."
The film, which hits theaters on Friday, is the first movie ever to use the UFC brand name and has garnered positive reviews from both UFC critics as well as fans of the actor. According to CNN, Sarah Davis of Fight Network wrote, "I can appreciate all the cameos made by UFC personalities and fighters, whether they play themselves or not and there are a lot of fight scenes with superman punches, Kimura locks and body shots."
A fan, CNN reported, agreed, saying: "God forgive me, I think I honestly liked this Kevin James movie."
But James said he does not regret any of his past funnyman roles, like television sitcom “The King of Queens,” for which he is perhaps best known, or "Paul Blart."
"I love doing it," he said. "It cracks me up sometimes what people will say about 'Paul Blart,' This is for families and for kids."
“Here Comes The Boom,” however, is a much different film, James explained, than many of his past roles.
"You can watch 'James Bond' and enjoy it because it's something that you would never do," he said. "I could never be James Bond. And then there are movies where you watch because you're seeing yourself through the eyes of the character. And I think I'm the latter."
“Here Comes The Boom” opens in theaters Friday, Oct. 12.