Holt McCallany always wanted to play the role of a boxer.
The veteran actor got his chance in a big way. He was tapped to play the role of heavyweight champion Patrick “Lights” Leary in the new FX drama series “Lights Out”.
The show premiers on Tuesday, January 11 on the FX channel.
Boxing isn’t a new phenomenon for McCallany, who played legendary trainer Teddy Atlas in HBO’s “Tyson” in 1995. His late brother Michael was a Golden Gloves champion
"I was a fan of boxing from when I was a little boy," McCallany said during a red carpet event and special screening of "Lights Out" at the Hudson Theater in New York on Wednesday. "I grew up watching all of those great movies like Raging Bull, Rocky and Body and Soul."
.McCallany credits Atlas, a technical advisor for “Lights Out”, for introducing him to the “upper echelon” of the sport.
“I was with Teddy when he was training Michael Moorer and when Moorer beat Evander Holyfield for the heavyweight title,” the actor said. “This, for me, is really like a dream come true. It’s the best part I ever had.”
Getting to this point wasn’t easy for McCallany, who has played support roles in a number of ground-breaking shows and movies, including Aliens 3, Fight Club, CSI: Miami, Burn Notice, Heroes, Law & Order and the Losers.
In fact, for 10 years McCallany said he had been trying to get a project about an ex-boxer turned trainer off the ground. It was to be inspired by the life of Atlas. After negotiating with NBC, the project eventually fell through.
That wasn’t the end of McCallany’s pursuit of his dream to be apart of a project about boxing. Upon hearing the news about FX green-lighting “Lights Out”, he went to his agent to get the pertinent information.
“I was sitting in my agent’s office and asked what they knew about Lights Out,” he said. “They handed me the script to me, I read it and said…That’s me.”