.- The director of the critically-acclaimed film “Warrior,” which achieved a top box office ranking during its $5.6 million opening weekend, has provided CNA with an exclusive look at the spiritual friendship that motivated the movie.
“My friend Charles 'Mask' Lewis died last year just as I was preparing to go into production on my film 'Warrior,' for which he was an indispensable help and supporter,” Director Gavin O'Connor recalls in the Sept. 12 column. “I dedicated 'Warrior' to Charles and wanted to mark the occasion of its release by sharing the story of our brief but magnificent friendship.”
Lewis founded the popular “Tapout” clothing line, which gave popular exposure to the world of mixed martial arts in which “Warrior” takes place. He also offered O'Connor, who comes from a Catholic background, with a faithful perspective that shaped the film's story of conflict and redemption.
“We drove to Vegas together one weekend and I was surprised to see Bibles strewn all over the back of his car,” the director remembers. “He was on a path and it inspired me. He spoke about his Christian faith in a way that touched my heart and rekindled the embers of my own Christian upbringing.”
“This big dude, this larger-than-life personality who often wore face paint, was brimming with the love of Christ and it was infectious.”
After Lewis' death in a car accident, O'Connor said he still felt an “almost palpable sense of his spiritual presence” on the film set.
“Having Charles come along in my life was a great blessing for which I’ll always be grateful,” he wrote.
“Warrior” Director Gavin O'Connor's full column can be read at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1812.