Robert DeNiro, Usher, Edgar Ramirez, and Ana de Armas celebrated the “Hands of Stone” premiere in partnership with DeLeon Tequila at The Redbury in New York City. The Jonathan Jakubowicz directed biopic tells the story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran and his famed "No Mas" fight against Sugar Ray Leonard.
“I just tried to immerse myself into the process as much as I could,” Edgar Ramirez, who plays Roberto Duran in “Hands of Stone,” said at the film’s premiere in New York on Monday. “I moved to Panama. Roberto opened his home and his heart and his life, his gym to me. He showed me all his skills and abilities. He was a master at screwing with people’s minds and that was very fascinating to me – a guy who has such formidable physical abilities, but his biggest one was his head.”
"I felt this part wasn't just the typical wife who is just waiting at home for her husband to come back. I think she was actually the core and spine of the movie. In the moments when [Duran] lost everything, she's the one who made him come back to life and to the ring."
“I spent time to familiarize myself with Sugar Ray Leonard so that I could begin to shape the story and tell a different aspect of Sugar Ray Leonard’s character. We know the Sugar Ray Leonard that was endorsed, had the incredible smile, and was very boy-like… I wanted to show not necessarily the dark side, but a more masculine side.”
"When I found out that [the actor cast to play me] was Usher I thought it was a joke. He gave me a phone call and asked 'Can you train me?' and I said 'Sure.' For me [training] wasn't physical, it was more like losing Usher. You have to release yourself and become someone else. He did that and he pulled it off."
Ramirez and Usher face off on the carpet.
“I was looking for a lot of possibilities to play Sugar Ray Leonard and there was no actor that could play Leonard so I was actually meeting with Freddie Roach, the creator of Manny Pacquiao, and he said, ‘you should look for a dancer.’ And I said, ‘Who is the best dancer in the world?’ I thought of Usher.”
“The rival between Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the biggest rivalries in the history of sports and then to have Usher and Edgar Ramirez personify these two brilliant fighters by these brilliant actors really took it to a whole other level,” Silverman said.
Roberto Duran attended the film’s premiere.
Robert De Niro celebrating at the film’s after party.
Ana De Armas stunned at the film’s after party.
"Usher first of all is a great actor and he really captured the spirit of Sugar Ray Leonard. I ran into Leonard for the first time in my life by surprise and when I was talking to Sugar I felt like I was taking to Usher. I could not think of anyone else playing Sugar Ray Leonard the way Usher did. We became brothers. We struggled together. We went through starvation together. We deprived ourselves of everything together – from food, from sleep – and it was beautiful."
Usher, Beyonce and Jay-Z caught up at the after party.
Robert De Niro and Stan Rosenfeld at the after party.
"I had to train for a year as a boxer. I had to grow my hair out for a year and half as Sugar Ray Leonard."
Harvey Weinstein and Edgar Ramirez stopped for a photo at the after party.