I own a copy of "Pumping Iron" and I would definitely say that it is a documentary. However, I own a copy of "Lou Ferrigno's Guide to Personal Power, Bodybuilding, and Fitness" his book. On page 177 of Lou Ferrigno's book, he is being questioned about his life etc. And I am going to quote Lou from his book...
"Q: Lou, why did you write this book?
Lou: I had two goals for this book. One was to set the record straight on Pumping Iron. I wanted to establish once and for all that the perception of me and my father sharing the dramatically supportive relationship as portrayed in the movie was and is a fraud. He was never supportive of me, and yet, despite this, I was able to persevere and succeed. It struck me that if I was able to be successful with all Ive had to overcome, so can anyone else. Maybe there's another kid out there who is going through some tough problems. If I can reach him, and let him know that I didnt come from a charmed or priveleged background either, it might make him think for himself and believe that he has worth as a person and not let go of his dreams...
Q: Lets back up a moment; what do you mean by saying Pumping Iron was a fraud?
Lou: Simply that so much of it was scripted; it wasnt the real documentary that everybody thought. And particularly the way it portrayed my "happy" family life; I was depressed and miserable through that entire period. As I mention in the book, my father actually wanted to kick me out of the house because I lost the Mr. Olympia contest.
Q: What do you think your father's reaction is going to be when he reads your book?
Lou: Hard to say. The last time we spoke, it ended up with me hanging up on him, so I dont waste time these days worrying about how he will react to this or that. Again, the thrust of this book is that you cannot exaust your time and energy trying to change unchangeable situations or worrying about how other people perceive you. It's about believing in yourself and going out and doing what makes you happy-despite other's attempts to hold you down. Ill grant you that its sad when you cant share your success and hapiness with a parent, but, in my case at least, that just wasnt possible."
When I first bought this book and read that section of the book I couldnt believe it! Lou really had a dislike for "Puming Iron" a lot more then everyone else realized I think. I am sure that many of you already own Lou's book and this is nothing new to you all but still I mean after reading what one of the MAIN characters in the documentary had to say about it is crazy isnt it?
I just read this sitting here, on page 25 of Lou's book. I am not going to quote too much because it takes FOREVER to type but...
"Despite the suggestion made by the film, the '75 Mr. Olympia contest was a bodybuilding competition I never wanted to enter. Many people within the sport seem to be of the impression that Arnold won the contest because he 'psyched' me out moments before we stepped onstage to compete in the finals... I wouldnt have competed at all but for the fact that, I still had to live at home, and Dad viewed both the contest and particularly the film as a tremendous publicity vehicles for himself. He saw 'Pumping Iron' as his opportunity to be a 'movie star' and saw me as his vehicle to accomplishing this. We were shown together in the film, whereas in real life we never trained together at all. He was depicted in the film as being compassionate and caring about my career, whereas in real he never gave it a second's thought... After we had completed our work before the cameras in 'Pumping Iron,' I asked my dad if he wanted to go to the gym with me for a workout. His eyes widened in disbelief, 'What, are you nuts?' he replied, 'I never want to go to the gym with you again!' ... That man was fantasy dad, he didnt exist. In his place was real dad, who was now filled with rage at the fact that his son was going to lose the contest when it came time the finals later that night-and make him look stupid once more for having brought such a loser into the world. He stood up and said calmly and coldly, 'Listen, when we go home, I want you to go out and get a real job-I want you out of my house!' Once again, hed seized the opportunity to kick me when I was down and most vulnerable. At 23 years of age, I began to sob uncontrollably. My mother came in and tried to console me but it was no use. I felt as though my life were doomed, and I cried like a baby."
I cant believe big Lou would badmouth the documentary like that even though he has good reason to. Were all of you aware of Lou's perspective etc.?