Cody Christian, who has starred in various TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars and All American, is now featured in a new film called Notorious Nick. The movie tells the story of MMA fighter Nick Newell, who battled numerous challenges as he was born with congenital amputation of his left arm. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Christian who plays Newell in the movie, who explained why this role was special to him.
"It's an incredible story," Newell said to PopCulture. "We're talking about a real man, Nick Newell, born with a congenital amputation who pretty much overcomes every impossible obstacle to achieve and go after his dreams. I really connected with that aspect of the film and his journey, in particular, kind of going against the grain and working harder than anybody and everybody and staying passionate and being driven by will and determination to achieve whatever it is that you're after."
Notorious Nick shows how Newell started in MMA, which began with him wrestling in high school, Christian talked about the training process, which involved getting thrown around a lot. "Listen, on the days that we were filming the high school auditorium wrestling thing, I was working with a real wrestling team, these guys were real wrestlers and I got thrown around a couple times because for most of the stunts, I'd say 90% to 95% of anything physically done in the film, I did it," Christian revealed. "There were two massive slams that my best friend Corey, who's my stunt double, took on for me, but everything else I was in there and I got tossed around on a wrestling mat in the high school setting. And let me tell you, man, it was not fun."
Newell has had success in MMA, winning the XFC Lightweight Championship in 2012. He retired in 2015 but came back nearly two years later. His last match was in June, losing to Bobby King at Bellator 260. Overall, Newell has a 16-4 MMA record and won the first 11 matches of his career.
Christian said he never got the chance to meet Newell but did everything he could to make sure he told his story as accurately as possible. "So I dedicated every ounce of effort and energy I had to just bringing something to the table that he would be proud of," Christian said. "So hopefully that when this film comes out, I don't know if he's already seen it or ... But when it does come out, I hope it's something that he could watch and feel a sense of pride. I just wanted to be a part of telling his story, man. So hopefully we get a chance to connect and I'd love to hear his thoughts on the film." Notorious Nick is set to be released on Friday.