Interview with Nancy Schultz for Netflix Original Doc – Team Foxcatcher
Team Foxcatcher, arriving on Netflix on April 29th, will tell the true story of Dave Schultz and John Du Pont, their relationship and the tragic events that inevitably followed. It comes into the spotlight a few years after Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo took the roles of the two brothers and John Du Pont and bought it to the box office in the 2014 movie, Foxcatcher.
The new documentary looks to tell a more personal and a more accurate recounting of events that took place and explore areas of the story that have been left untold or rather, misunderstood or looked over up until now.
Dave had an extraordinary career in the wrestling arena with countless medals won during his time on the professional circuit. Nancy Schultz is the widow of Dave Schultz and features heavily throughout the documentary. She took some time out of her busy schedule travelling the country promoting the new Netflix Original documentary to talk to us about Team Foxcatcher.
WoN : Hi Nancy, thanks for taking time to answer a few questions about the upcoming Netflix Original Documentary Team Foxcatcher. Can you start off by explaining the difference between the 2014 movie and the upcoming Netflix documentary?
Hi Kasey, its nice to meet you.
Let’s chat about some common misconceptions…
The major motion picture Foxcatcher is a fictional version, “based on a true story”, as they say. Bennett Miller made a wonderful film. The characters were striking, the acting was wonderful and the visual recreation was extraordinary. I can not thank Mark Ruffalo enough for the time and energy he took to bring Dave Schultz to the big screen.
However, much of the dynamics between the characters and much of the time line was fictionalized.
Dave and Mark Schultz never lived on the Foxcatcher estate at the same time. Mark Schultz resided at Foxcatcher very early, for training the year before the 1988 Olympics. Dave Schultz and our family lived on the farm from July of 1989 through Jan 26, 1996, almost 7 years. The documentary Team Foxcatcher tells the story of this time period and is a tribute to Dave.
WoN : Can you tell us a bit about you and your role on the documentary.
I have known the director, Jon Greenhalgh, since he was 9 years old. He was with his father, Sonny Greenhalgh, at the 1984 Olympic training camp in Big Bear California. Jon came to me in 2007 to ask about making a film about Dave. I knew he was absolutely the right person to tell this story. He knew Dave, he understands the sport of wrestling and he is a great director. (other films include Rank and the Smashing Machine).
In 2007, duPont was still alive, I was deeply involved in running the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club and my children were still on the younger side. In 2010, duPont died in prison. We all agreed, it was time to tell the story.
It was my wish to facilitate introductions for Jon Greenhalgh into the elite wrestling world. Everyone wanted someone they could trust and would honour Dave’s memory, Jon was the man. I provided the team mates, friends, family, attorneys, home movies, news footage… Jon’s job was immense.
WoN : Can you walk us through how the documentary kicked off
Our project began before any of the other films were conceived. I wanted to share what an amazing man Dave Schultz was. He was one of the greatest technicians the sport of wrestling has ever seen, an ambassador to foreign countries and an amazing friend, husband and father, taken much too soon.
We wanted to tell the whole story, the development of the Foxcatcher program and its many Olympic sports. I wanted people to meet the wonderful family of wrestling and unveil how this utopic training center and Dave helped give rise to the success of wrestling in the United States. When you see the film and the depth of the tale it tells, you will understand why it took 6 years to complete.
WoN : Did your opinions of duPont change at the end of the documentary at all?
My opinion of duPont has always been the same. He was a very sad and pathetic man who followed a forlorn, wealthy upbringing with a life of alcohol and drug abuse. He had the mind of a lonely child and power of a king. Mostly I felt sorry for him and always will. My children discuss their feelings surrounding this in the film.
WoN : What were the challenges creating a documentary like this?
For me, since his (Dave’s) murder, it has always been my goal to see that Dave’s amazing life does not get forgotten in the story of how he died. To keep the focus on Dave and to bring to light all he was and all he accomplished.
The challenge of funding the film was answered when many of Dave’s former team mates and training partners stepped up as investors. Many, including our executive producers, Jeremy Bailer and Ben Hatta, were former athletes from the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team.
WoN : Why was Netflix chosen as the platform to release the documentary on?
We are so fortunate that Ben Cotner at Netflix loved our film. It will be through the Netflix Originals that we will be able to share Dave’s story with millions of viewers. I am so happy.
WoN : Finally, what have you been streaming on Netflix recently?
Of course, I am enchanted by the of selection of documentary films.
WoN: Thank you Nancy
You can catch the brand new documentary, Team Foxcatcher on Netflix from the 29th April 2016 in all Netflix regions.