20 years after John du Pont killed his brother Dave on the Foxcatcher Farm, listen back to Newstalk's interview with Mark Schultz
Today is the 20th anniversary of the murder of American Olympic-gold medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz by the multi-millionaire John Eleuthère du Pont on the now infamous Foxcatcher Farm where du Pont ran a training centre for the country’s Olympic team.
The story was dramatised in the Bennett Miller movie Foxcatcher in 2014, for which the director and actors Steve Carell (du Point) and Mark Ruffalo (Schultz) all received Academy Award nominations. The critically-acclaimed film was based on the book by another one of the main protagonists in the story, Dave Schultz’s younger brother Mark.
Last year, Mark Schultz spoke to Newstalk’s Off the Ball, talking about his experiences on the ranch where his brother lost his life, working with the man who shot his brother dead, and seeing that turned into a piece of entertainment for the big screen.
John du Pont and Dave Schultz in the training centre on Foxcatcher Farm. Du Pont would shot Schultz dead on January 26th, 1996 [AP Photo/Bill Fitz-Patrick]
"I suppose it is a cathartic type experience to get it all out there on paper and see it all on film, and know that somebody found my life interesting. It was a very tough life, very painful, very hard and there's a lot of things I would've done differently," he said, before highlighting the differences between his book and the movie.
"The book is very different from the movie. I would go as far as to say that the movie is not based on the book. It's very, very different. The book is my entire autobiography and the movie is a very small slice of my life - the darkest, worst part of my life. I'm not sure why the director chose to focus on that part of my life."
"It's really sad that the only guy, group, organisation or club that was willing to pay its wrestlers to just compete was Team Foxcatcher. We were desperate,” Schultz added.
"When I went to Foxcatcher - a lot people don't know this - I actually didn't take a job to work at Foxcatcher. I took a job to work at Villanova University. Joining Team Foxcatcher was simply a side deal as part of the deal for coaching at Villanova. Du Pont, he didn't say he wasn't going to have anything to do with the Villanova program and I believed him," he said, going on to explain how Du Pont, who died in prison just over four years ago, would begin to come round every day under the influence of drugs and drink.
"I couldn't do my job and I started to wonder ... why did you bring me here? John was very manipulative," Schultz recalled, adding that he could "visualise" his brother Dave getting under Du Pont's skin.
From right, Mark Ruffalo, Mark Schultz, Channing Tatum, producer Megan Ellison, director Bennet Miller and Steve Carell at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in 2014 [AP Photo/Alastair Grant]
"I think with Du Pont... it made Du Pont angry and want to kill him," he said, going on to speak about the sibling rivalry between himself and Dave and contrasting the negative way American wrestlers were treated with their Russian counterparts.
But he also opened up about his emotions about the moment he learnt that his brother had been murdered by Du Pont.
"I didn't think he was capable of murder because I didn't think he was crazy or insane. I thought he was pretty smart and I still think he knew exactly what he was doing."
You can listen back to the full interview with Olympic champion Mark Schultz below: