Real-Life Female Boxer Knocked Down Clint Eastwood’s Archaic Belief That Landed Her A Role in $231M Movie


Known for his classic appearances in movies like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Dirty Harry, and Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood is a renowned actor and filmmaker. In the critically praised drama Million Dollar Baby, which was released in 2004 and made $231 million worldwide, he both directed and starred as a seasoned boxing coach.

Frankie Dunn, an elderly boxing coach with a dark past, was superbly portrayed by Eastwood. Eastwood received many honors for his efforts, including the Best Director Academy Award. Eastwood mentioned one real-life female boxer that he chose to cast in the movie during an interview.

Who is that Real-life Female Boxer in Million Dollar Baby?

Eastwood discussed his choice to cast Lucia Rijker as Billie “The Blue Bear” Osterman, the unbeaten world champion who squares off against Maggie Fitzgerald, played by Hilary Swank, in a Film Comment interview. Real-life champion in both boxing and kickboxing, Rijker wowed Eastwood with her tenacity and talent. Clint Eastwood generally believed that there wouldn’t be many female boxers. But the next thing that happened was so amazing.

Eastwood said:

“I thought for a while that maybe women shouldn’t be doing the pugilistic type of thing. But I knew a girl who became a woman boxer. She was in Las Vegas and I was working there and I told Silvani, to go over and give her a hand, and he did. She did it for a while and then gave it up, wisely so, I suppose. I don’t know. Lucia Rijker, who’s in the film—she plays the “Blue Bear”·“

Clint Eastwood did not hold back in praising Lucia Rijker’s portrayal of “Blue Bear.” Eastwood has spoken highly of Rijker’s dedication to the role and her ability to bring authenticity to her character. He said:


“She is scary. She’s like iron. There’s a scene in the picture, I said we have to have Lucia for this…she’s a terrific lady. And she’s reached a pinnacle of success and adulation in a certain crowd that admires what she’s done. She’s a terribly fit person and she works very hard and more power to her.”

Rijker advised Hilary Swank behind the scenes on the finer details, including the numerous challenges, of being a woman in the sport. Rijker, according to Eastwood’s statement, “helped Hilary a great deal.”

“She’s just a terrific gal, and she’s studying acting. So it worked out perfectly. She could play the part and she helped Hilary a great deal by giving her perspective on what it is to be a woman boxer and on some of the fine points of the art.”

Eastwood was impressed with Rijker from the moment he met her.

Clint Eastwood Himself Gave a Tremendous Performance in Million Dollar Baby

Eastwood gives a superb performance in Million Dollar Baby. He effectively embodies Frankie Dunn’s pessimism and cynicism while simultaneously displaying the character’s more vulnerable side. One of the things that makes Million Dollar Baby such a remarkable movie is Clint Eastwood’s dramatic and poignant performance. The fact that Eastwood portrayed a supporting part for one of the few occasions in his career makes his role in Million Dollar Baby even more meaningful. Leading parts are what Eastwood is best known for. He can also be quite good in supporting roles, as he proved in Million Dollar Baby.