Maryum Ali says ‘I Am Ali‘ is the first time viewers will hear from her dad’s inner circle. The documentary is told through Muhammad Ali’s private audio journals and exclusive interviews from his daughters, son, ex-wife and brother, the film opens nationwide today.
EUR correspondent Robin Ayers talked to the stars on the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of ‘I Am Ali.’
Maryum Ali: This is the first film about my father where people can make a connect to him that has nothing to do with sports, his militancy, or his religion. They’ll also connect with him as a dad. I’ve had people who’ve seen the film come up to me and say, ‘Wow, I was thinking about my father’ or ‘I was thinking about my children,’ and it brings tears to their eyes.
EUR: What sets this documentary apart from other documentaries and films about Muhammad Ali?
Maryum Ali: What’s different about it is the family dynamic, you don’t hear much about that. He has nine children and he engaged with us, even though we lived in different cities and had different moms, he always wanted us together. He always said his dream was to live with his kids on a plot of land with their husbands and his grandkids.
EUR: Will there ever be another Muhammad Ali?
Sugar Ray Leonard: No! When they made Muhammad Ali they threw away the mold. He is more than a boxer, he is more than a talker. What you see in the ring and what you see outside of the ring…there is more substance to this man.
Stephen Bishop: Everything you’ve seen of him as a young man…like how he dealt with kids, people and how he let them touch him, that’s the way he was in an intimate setting. There are some people you are nervous about when you meet them because you never know what they’re going to say to you, but Muhammad Ali is super kind and really gracious.