Twenty-seven-year-old old Russian weightlifter Aleksey Lovchev is adding acting to his resume.
Lovchev is currently serving a multi-year ban from international competition for testing positive for banned substances. In the meantime, he is starring in a new Russian sports drama—it’s not a documentary, nor is it necessarily based on truth, but the trailer hints that the film will give Lovchev plenty of opportunities to showcase his lifting style. (We have a feeling this might be where that video of Lovchev pretending to clean & jerk 270kg came from.) Lovchev recently shared the trailer to the movie, which also features Russian weightlifter Dmitry Lapikov, on his Instagram.
The film is part of a series of ten 96-minute long features being released by the company Art Pictures, a project they started working on in the summer of 2016. One of Art Pictures’ main objectives was to feature famous athletes alongside actors, which is why Lovchev has the leading role.
Lovchev uses his weightlifting skills to save a busload of children. Image via _kinolenka_ on Instagram.
The trailer for the movie, shot in Yaroslavl, Russia (160 miles northeast of Moscow), suggests a storyline that’s not totally unlike a Rocky movie. “Heavyweight” is the tale of Feedor Sergeyiv (played by Lovchev), his dreams to become the world champion in weightlifting, and the challenges he faces.
His relatives want him to live “a normal life” and have “a normal job.” He proposes to a woman, who asks him if he’s crazy. Sergeyiv has a fierce rivalry with a competitor who is also played by a real life athlete, Dmitry Lapikov (who is also serving a doping suspension). Lapikov’s coach tells him that Lovchev could destroy his career. Someone replies, “By the time of the championships, I’ll break him.” After this, we see him recovering from an injury that he is told is not compatible with a weightlifting career.
Or is it?! Image via _kinolenka_ on Instagram.
Lovchev and Lapikov are two of Russia’ most well-known weightlifters, but many of their lifts and competition lifts have been annulled from the record books because of their doping suspensions, including a 264 kilogram clean & jerk from Lovchev (which would have been a world record) and a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics from Lapikov, where he originally recorded a 420kg total.
“Heavyweight” premiered earlier today on Match TV. No word yet on if there will be an English subtitled version.
Featured image via @_kinolenka_ on Instagram.