“The Fighter” Sisters have Beauty, Brains and Brawn

By Brittany Berkowitz — 02/24/11
YouTube - WEBN Interviews Ericamott from  The Fighter 000138;24.jpg
(Scroll down to watch interview with McDermott.)
Erica McDermott had to put up a fight to become a sister. She wanted to score a spot as Mickey Ward’s sister Cindy “Tar” in the film “The Fighter.” When the actress auditioned for the role, it was thought she might be more beauty than brawn.
“When the casting director got to me she said that she thought I might be too pretty or not tough enough,” says McDermott. “I got in her face and started swearing and told her to give me a part in the movie.”
Not only did McDermott have to talk tough but she needed a tough skin when it came to hair and wardrobe. From acting rough in her first film. The 27-year-old actress made the transformation from beauty to brute in what she called “hair day.”
“They put a very thick foam cap on top of my head, pulled it through and died it a ton of different blondes,” says McDermott. In addition to managing the hair on her head, the actress had to let her eyebrows grow out. McDermott’s look was then topped off with a set of fake teeth.
“The Fighter” is a film about family and McDermott had to build a mother-daughter relationship with Melissa Leo.
“The day we did the read through, Melissa Leo walked in and I had never met her before in my life,” recalls McDermott. When the two met for the first time, Leo yelled at McDermott to get her elbows off of the table.
“The Fighter” is now nominated for seven academy awards including “Best Actor,” “Best Adapted Screenplay” and “Best Picture.”