Real Life Pain & Gain Victim Sues Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg
In last summer's Michael Bay movie Pain & Gain, bodybuilders portrayed by Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson conspire to kidnap and extort a random rich prick named Victor Kershaw (played by Tony Shalhoub). In real life and the Miami New Times series that inspired the movie, bodybuilders Daniel Lugo and Paul Delgado kidnapped Marc Schiller, a family man and businessman who had given Delgado numerous business and employment opportunities over the years.
Well, Schiller doesn't like that the film made light of his torturous kidnapping and attempted murder and portrayed the character based on him as a jerk. So now he's suing Paramount Pictures, Viacom, Bay, and Wahlberg.
"They chose to portray me as a bad person and my assailants as nice guys who were just bumbling fools,'' Schiller, 56, who now lives in Brooklyn, told the New York Post.
"The movie made a mockery of me and of the pain and suffering that I had endured... The horrible person on the screen had no resemblance to who I was -- or who I am now."
Schiller's suit claims he was shown as "a deplorable, unlikable, sleazy, rude, abrasive, womanizing braggart."
Shortly after giving an extraordinary testimony at Lugo and Delgado's trial, Schiller himself was arrested and charged with falsely billing Medicare. He was sentenced to the minimum three years in prison, though the 1999 charges came long after his 1994 kidnapping.
His attorney points out that the brief notice that some names and events had been changed in the film didn't run until the closing credits, and claims that hardly anyone would actually read it. The suit further claims the movie was heavily marketed as based on true events.
The suit seeks unspecified damages, but Schiller's attorney is hoping to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. The film made more than $94 million at the box office. Wahlberg is named in the suit because he used the film as an opportunity to market his own brand of nutrition supplements.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.