The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/24/13 at 10:42 AM ET
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story will air on the CBC this Sunday, May 28th at 8 PM EDT, and it will air on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, May 4th at 9 PM (actor Michael Shanks plays Howe in the movie chronicling Howe's comeback with the Houston Aeros, and his website offers oodes of information regarding and articles about the film, which will go straight to WalMart DVD on April 6th), and the CBC posted a fantastic interview with Howe from 1978 as part of the lead-up to the film's premiere:
Shanks posted an interview he conducted with the Kamloops Daily News's Jason Hewlett this morning, too:
Mr. Hockey filmed last August and September. Shanks had five weeks to get into shape, hitting the ice as often as possible and playing games of pickup three times a week.
"Every spare moment I could, I was finding some ice or strapping on my rollerblades and going to this tennis court with a (hockey) stick and a ball to get the legs back into that motion," he said.
He focused on stick handling and taught himself to shoot with both hands. Shanks also spent a lot of time studying Howe's mannerisms and speech patterns.
"Any time I saw something on YouTube or the Internet where he was speaking, I kept hitting it and working on the persona," said Shanks.
Howe had his four front teeth knocked out at a young age and wore dentures, which caused him to talk with a lisp out of the side of his mouth. So Shanks had a set of teeth made that helped him mimic Howe's speech pattern.
Shanks became so focused on playing Howe that he never felt any pressure taking on a real, larger-than-life character. His only goal was to do Howe justice.
"I was so happy to be playing this character and doing a hockey movie," he said.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.