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Hollywood Reporter: 'Breaking Away' Cast Reuniting in Las Vegas to Celebrate Cycling

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Hollywood Reporter: 'Breaking Away' Cast Reuniting in Las Vegas to Celebrate Cycling

Old 09-17-15, 01:25 PM
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Hollywood Reporter: 'Breaking Away' Cast Reuniting in Las Vegas to Celebrate Cycling

I didn't see this already reported here, so passing this along..

'Breaking Away' Cast Reuniting in Las Vegas to Celebrate Cycling Film: It "Still Resonates"

5:47 PM PDT 9/15/2015 by Peter Flax

Stars Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley and Dennis Christopher will gather for the gala at a bicycle conference.

Three key castmembers of the iconic 1979 film classic Breaking Away are coming together for a rare reunion this Thursday, Sept 17. The event will take place as part of an awards ceremony at Interbike, the bike industry’s largest trade show in North America, held every September in Las Vegas. The star participants are Dennis Christopher, who played Dave, the working class, opera-loving cyclist at the center of the film; as well as Dennis Quaid and Jackie Earle Haley, who play his townie friends Mike and Moocher.

The idea for the reunion can be traced back to Jay Wolff, the longtime owner of the high-end bicycle-shop chain Helen’s Bikes, which has six locations around Los Angeles including a flagship store in Santa Monica and the I. Martin shop in Beverly Grove. Wolff, who has been involved with Helen’s since 1987, is a man who has helped lots of Hollywood heavyweights — including Quaid and Harrison Ford — get deep into cycling.

So when the organizers of Interbike asked Wolff if he had any ideas about how to bring “more juice” to their trade show, he brought the idea of the get-together to Quaid during a round of golf. “Dennis just said ‘Let’s make it happen,’ and then he just started making calls,” recalls Wolff.

Before long, Christopher and Haley were on board. Two other key castmembers — Daniel Stern and Paul Dooley — originally were hoping to join the reunion. But Stern, who played Dave’s friend Cyril, couldn’t pull it off because his daughter is home from medical school, while Dooley, who played Dave’s father, is busy this week with a gig in an indie film called River Bend.

Breaking Away debuted in 1979 and was a hit with audiences, critics and especially cyclists. The movie wound up winning one Academy Award (for best original screenplay), netting four other Oscar nominations (including best picture) and winning the Golden Globe for best picture. But even with box office success and critical plaudits, no one could have predicted how the film would become an icon to a generation of cycling enthusiasts.

“It just seemed to hit the world at just the right time,” recalls Christopher. “It was a terrific script, and bicycles were just about to happen in this country — there was just no stopping it. This movie was in the vanguard.”

“It was sort of the first ‘youth movie’ when it came out at the end of the '70s,” Quaid tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s written by an Yugoslavian immigrant [Steve Tesich, who went to Indiana University, where the film is set] and directed by an Englishman, and it’s about America. The movie has this charm to it that still resonates.”

Pat Hus, vice president of Interbike, agrees. “There are so many people in our industry that have matured along with that movie,” he says. “It was the first dedicated cycling movie that most of us ever saw.”

Hus shared with THR some details of how the event would transpire on Thursday evening. The cast members will be brought to the stage after the audience watches a short compilation of highlights from the film, and given cycling jerseys (made by the apparel company Champion Systems) that are replicas of the Cutters t-shirts that the stars wore during the film’s climactic race scene. Then, Christopher, Quaid and Haley will give out two awards — for the top international cyclist of the year, male and female — and pose for some pictures with a replica of the bike used in the film that is being loaned by Masi Bicycles, a southern California brand with Italian roots. “It’s really, really close,” notes Hus.

Curiously, one of the Masi bikes used in Breaking Away, is hanging in Christopher’s Los Angeles home. "There were three of them in the movie — one of them was a stunt bike that we pretty much wrecked up," he says. "I don’t know what happened to the second one. But I’ve got the one that I actually rode in the movie. I used it as a street bike for a while, but that felt like sacrilege, so I had it restored to race condition. I have it hanging up on the wall in my hallway."

While neither Christopher nor Quaid were big cyclists at the time Breaking Away was in theaters, both came to love riding bikes. Christopher especially likes to ride in New York City, where he spends much of his time these days. And Quaid, who now owns multiple race bikes made by Italy’s storied Pinarello brand, often rides 100 miles a week, mentioning that he has toured in Tuscany and brought a bike to a recent shoot in Canada. “I started riding with my wife because running just got to be too hard on my joints,” says Quaid. “I feel like I’m 12 years old every time I get on my bike.”

Both men say they’re excited to check out the newest bike gear at Interbike (where Hus says Barry Bonds, Pink and Lindsay Wagner have been spotted wandering the aisles in recent years). Hus also says he’s confidant the awards gala — which begins with a cocktail party at 6:30 pm at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center — will sell out. Christopher, who says that he expects the reunion to play out “like a less-than-rowdy rock and roll concert,” says he’s coming a day early to “walk the floor” and “bask in the cycle sunshine in Vegas.”

Now that he’s become a serious cyclist himself, Quaid also is excited to visit the show. “It was only after becoming a cyclist that I’ve come to realize just how much it’s affected people’s lives,” he says. “I mean, people actually started cycling because of that movie.”

But the impact of the film for Quaid himself was life-changing. “After that movie, I didn’t have to go on auditions anymore,” he laughs.

"I've never been involved in a another project that has brought so much good will into my life," says Christopher. "People are not over Breaking Away; they’re passing it from generation to generation."

'Breaking Away' Cast Reuniting in Las Vegas to Celebrate Cycling Film: It "Still Resonates" - Hollywood Reporter
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Old 09-17-15, 03:50 PM
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My 78 World, which I bought here in Mexico, has a Helen's sticker on it.
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Old 09-17-15, 04:55 PM
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I don't know why they didn't ask Lance.......

"when the organizers of Interbike asked Wolff if he had any ideas about how to bring “more juice” to their trade show,"


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Old 09-17-15, 06:32 PM
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^

"More juicers, please."
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Old 09-17-15, 08:03 PM
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I saw it at one of those late night sneak peaks in Danbury CT with my gf at the time, now my wife of 34 years. Saw My Bodyguard the same way a year later.
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Old 09-17-15, 08:36 PM
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My mom used to say that Breaking Away could have been about me. Being one of only 3-4 people in the small town I grew up in that rode bikes because we wanted to was interesting.
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Old 09-17-15, 09:18 PM
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Maybe Dennis Quaid can get them to release it on Blu-ray. The DVD version is pretty horrible quality.
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Old 09-17-15, 09:38 PM
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They got together before. That's were I got my avatar from.

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Old 09-17-15, 11:41 PM
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^ that's daniel stern??

loved his oddball cameos in those woody allen films.

i'd put 'breaking away' in my top 100. excellent movie.
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Old 09-18-15, 05:53 AM
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Should be a neat gathering to listen to, and be a part of for the audience. There is a member here that has a super Breaking Away Tribute site, I cannot for the life of me remember the screen name. That movie had such an impact on many of us, I own two different formats, VHS and a DVD, both get watched frequently, and happily.

@eschlwc, not only Daniel Stern, but Jackie Earle Haley as well, they both look quite different from how we knew them. Even Daniel Stern as he looked in, "Home for Christmas" and how he looks in the first reunion pic, and Dave's avatar.

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Old 09-18-15, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Should be a neat gathering to listen to, and be a part of for the audience. There is a member here that has a super Breaking Away Tribute site, I cannot for the life of me remember the screen name. That movie had such an impact on many of us, I own two different formats, VHS and a DVD, both get watched frequently, and happily.

@eschlwc, not only Daniel Stern, but Jackie Earle Haley as well, they both look quite different from how we knew them. Even Daniel Stern as he looked in, "Home for Christmas" and how he looks in the first reunion pic, and Dave's avatar.

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I think you're thinking of @DiabloScott.
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Old 09-18-15, 10:54 AM
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I didn't know that Helen's is a high end shop!
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Old 09-18-15, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I think you're thinking of @DiabloScott.
PING! My Breaking Away Tribute Page:

Diablo Scott's Bike Blog: Breaking Away

"It's just a matter of time before I'll be head cashier!"
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Old 09-21-15, 09:20 AM
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I was at the Interbike party where the "Cutters" actors made an appearance, minus Daniel Stern. The forgettable awards ceremony was remarkably similar to another I attended a few years ago, when Gary Fisher and I had dinner with Dennis Christopher. He was thrilled to meet US, because as he pointed out, he was an actor portraying a cyclist, and we were real cyclists with actual cycling accomplishments. (The dude smokes cigarettes!) I think Mr. Christopher must make a lot of appearances at bicycle events.

I had to ask him how many takes to scoop up the notebook, he said he pulled it off on the first try, the rehearsal in fact, but the cameras were rolling and the director told the cast to keep with the scene. One take.

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