“Golden Arm” is a campy, female-led, arm wrestling delight that Ron Funches believes is hands down (pun intended) what Hollywood needs right now.
“Friendship and buddy comedies shouldn’t be gender-specific,” Funches told ET Canada. “The female friendship is something that is so underutilized, and from what I’ve learned from my wife and my sister, how much it takes to maintain these type of friendships and how beautiful they can be, and I think just seeing that in an arm wrestling and sports setting shows how powerful and strong women can be, and not a joke of this.”
“I mean, it’s a comedy, but the women are not the joke of it. I think that’s what drew me to it, and the fact that my character got to be this lover and purveyor and pusher of strong, powerful women,” he added.
Starring Mary Holland and Betsy Sodaro, “Golden Arm” tells the story of when Danny (Sodaro) ropes her best friend and nice girl baker Melanie (Holland) into taking her spot at the Women’s Arm Wrestling Championship.
Though Melanie must trade her whisks for barbells as she trains to face off with the reigning champ for a chance at newfound confidence and the grand prize of $15,000, the film ultimately teaches viewers a lesson about the importance of female friendships and self-empowerment.
“I loved being surrounded by these powerful women. That’s what I prefer to be around. I mean as a strong, heterosexual man, why would I want to hang around dudes all day? I never understood that,” Funches joked.
“It was just a fun experience. Our director was amazing. She’s a tastemaker who knows how to put talent in positions to succeed. Betsy and Mary are just two leading heavy makers. You see Mary take not just her comedy skills, but her acting skills, and push those up to the next level, and to see her be a true leading woman was inspiring to me because I feel like she nailed it,” he added.
Funches continued to explain that this female-run set truly felt like a really fun improv show, rather than just work.
“That’s what makes the movie great is that we all know each other and have worked with each other for years. We’ve all been watching each other come up and get better and work on bigger and bigger projects and then to get a chance to work with each other and have this friendship and trust on set made it so much fun. There were so many days that it didn’t feel like we were working at all and that’s what really shows in this movie: the amount of love and joy we put into it,” Funches said.
As for what Funches believes arm wrestling in a pandemic looks like now, he imagines two key props are necessities.
“Bubble outfits and definitely a lot of gloves,” he said.
Watch “Golden Arm” in theatres and on digital April 30.