Hollywood A-list packed the red carpet in New York City for the premier of Hands of Stone, along with legendary boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
The film stars Usher Raymond, Edgar Ramirez, Ana de Armas and Hollywood heavyweight Robert de Niro. The film tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of Roberto Duran (Ramirez), who is known as the greatest lightweight in the history of boxing. Duran made his professional boxing debut in 1968 as a 16 year-old. In 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher) to capture the WBC welterweight title, and shocked the world by returning for a rematch known as “No Mas.”
While this is a biographical film, writer-director of Hands of Stone tells The Hollywood Reporter that “this is an opportunity to change the Latino stereotype – we live in a world where you can call Latinos drug dealers and rapists and criminals and still have a chance at being president of the United States,” he explained. “Those are the stereotypes you see in American movies and TV shows, but now you’re going to see a true legend: a Latino boxer who overcame all his demons and became an inspiration for an entire people.
Although the film is based on the Latino experience, Usher thought of his experience as an educational one. “… my one takeaway is being able to understand the history between America and Panama,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “At times, I was a bit shamed by the reality of that unfortunate story.”
Power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z, dressed in matching ensembles, supported their dear friend by skipping the red carpet and sneaking in the theater. Usher even shared a Snapchat from in the SVA Theatre after bumped into the couple.
The film is scheduled to be released this Friday, Aug. 26, by The Weinstein Company.