Local celebs join ‘Stronger’ cast on red carpet at Spaulding Hospital

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, left, and Jeff Bauman give interviews on the red carpet for the premiere of 'Stronger' at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. –Ben Stas for Boston.com

On the rare occasion that there’s a red-carpet movie premiere in Boston, you can usually find the stars in the Theatre District or perhaps at one of the local movie theaters. But for the movie Stronger, the real-life story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman based on his autobiography of the same name, producers decided to do something a bit different.

On Tuesday, producers held a “friends and family” premiere at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, where Bauman completed much of his rehab and where several scenes in the movie were shot.

Bauman was joined on the carpet for photos and interviews by actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who portrays Bauman in the film. Also walking the red carpet was Erin Hurley, who Bauman was waiting for at the finish line when the bombs went off, and Tatiana Maslany, who plays Hurley in the film. Celtics players Gordon Hayward and Al Horford made appearances, too, as did director David Gordon Green, screenwriter John Pollono (a native of Londonderry, New Hampshire), and other members of Bauman’s inner circle and their movie counterparts.

Erin Hurley, left, and Tatiana Maslany, who portrays her in the film, pose on the red carpet. —Ben Stas for Boston.com

As they walked the carpet side by side, Gyllenhaal frequently paused to crack jokes with Bauman, at one point commenting that he’d never seen Bauman in a suit before.

“He’s so lovable and appealing as a human being,” Gyllenhaal said of Bauman on the carpet. “The amount of crap he gives me is starting to get annoying, but besides that, his sense of humor is incredible, and that’s what got him through it.”

Bauman admitted that despite trying to keep a sunny outlook on things, there were scenes in the film that he found tough to watch.

“The hardest scene was probably with Jake and Tatiana in the hospital,” Bauman said, referring to a scene where Hurley visits Bauman shortly after he wakes up following the bombings. “Tatiana is crying, and seeing that put me right back in the bed, with all that pain.”

From left, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, director David Gordon Green, Jeff Bauman, and actress Tatiana Maslany. —Ben Stas for Boston.com

Dr. David Crandell, who served as Bauman’s attending physician at Spaulding, also walked the red carpet, and said that he was proud of both Spaulding’s role in the film and in Bauman’s recovery.

“I look at this as sort of a next chapter for Jeff, because it’s sort of an odyssey,” Crandell said of the film. “He’s still moving forward, and I think he’s got a lot of things he’s going to be doing. So having the movie out there is a way to characterize where he’s gotten to at this point. And we’re ready to find out what the next step is going to be.”


Stronger opens in Boston theaters on Sept. 22.

More photos from the premiere:

Jeff Bauman, right, and actor Jake Gyllenhaal give interviews on the red carpet. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
Boston Celtics player Gordon Hayward also walked the carpet at Spaulding. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
From left, Boston Celtics player Gordon Hayward, Jeff Bauman, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and Boston Celtics player Al Horford. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
Erin Hurley speaks to a reporter. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
John Pollono, left, writer of ‘Stronger,’ and his wife, Jennifer, pose on the carpet. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
Actress Tatiana Maslany gives an interview. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
From left, actor Jake Gyllenhaal; Jeff Bauman’s mother, Patty; Bauman; and Bauman’s father, Jeff, pose on the red carpet. —Ben Stas for Boston.com
From left, executive producer Riva Marker, writer John Pollono, actress Tatiana Maslany, director David Gordon Green, Jeff Bauman, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and producer Todd Lieberman. —Ben Stas for Boston.com