Steven Guttenberg plays in the recent film Bigger where impoverished brothers use their wisdom and persistence to become wealthy fitness businessmen.
ATM: How do you think this film is different?
SG: This movie is more about building yourself against the odds. A star is born is not about performance, but it is about addiction. This movie is not about bodybuilding as much as it is about believing in yourself. These two brothers not only created an atmosphere of community. They also created a sense of dream, exploration, persistence, and determination. An atmosphere of “can do,” which was very much envogued in the 40s and 50s.
ATM: Do you think dignity and grace are a part of what creates an impeccable man?
SG: I would say that it starts with integrity, character, value, authenticity, mobility, and the Ten Commandments.
ATM: How can someone become inspired by these two brothers who overcame extreme poverty to become fitness entrepreneurs?
SG: Basically, just a dream. Everything starts with a dream whether it is Einstein trying to figure out the theory of relativity or you are trying to figure out what to wear to go to work. It starts with a thought. You have an action and this action becomes a habit. This habit becomes a character and the character becomes your destiny.
ATM: Was acting the start of your dreaming in life?
SG: I am sure I was like every other person when they are young. You dream of all types of things like being a baseball player, doctor, or an astronaut. At 12 years old, this is when I came upon acting, and hung my hat to make it a chosen profession.
ATM: How does a person gain wisdom coming from the background like the brothers in this movie?
SG: Reading. What they did was read and studied. These were two very hardworking people. This is really the secret to life. Especially when you are young. Read and add breath to your reading. The more you know the better you are. The better you are the smarter you are. The smarter you are the healthier and more successful you will be.
ATM: Express more on your quote “If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”
How does a person get pass these imperfections?
SG: The great secret and tool that you have is your mind. Your mind is more powerful than any machine or computer on earth. If you believe you can go to the moon, then you can go to the moon. I really do believe no matter what obstacles you are given in life you can have the choice to give up. Or you are determined to keep going. There is an old slave song called “Lord Let Me Hang on Until My Change Comes.” This means just hang on no matter how bad it is. Just hang on. Stay at the table. Stay in the game. Stay in the house. Do not give up.
ATM: Do you think being a bodybuilder is literal and can also be a metaphor?
SG: Absolutely. Everything in life is a metaphor. Showing up is just 80 percent of it. By showing up to the gym, getting on a machine, lifting the iron weights you will become something. A seed becomes an oak tree. This is why Arnold Schwarzenegger company is called Oak Productions. He was called the oak because he came from a tiny seed and grew to become an oak tree.