Ryan Took Boxing Lessons To Help With Role About Female Manager

CLEVELAND (AP) - Meg Ryan (pictured, right) learned how to throw a few punches for her role as a boxing manager.

"I was so pathetic throwing punches," she said during a break from filming "Against the Ropes."

"When you watch it, it looks like a brawl. But there is a science and art to it," she said. "In the ring, it is so pure and stripped away. But around the ring it is political, dirty, funny.

"It's a metaphor for Hollywood. It is the red-light district of sports."

To help with her role, Ryan said she read books on boxing, authors Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates coming to mind.

The movie is actor Charles S. Dutton's first feature-length film. He thinks Ryan hits the mark with her portrayal of a neophyte boxing manager.

"I think Meg is going to surprise a lot of people. This is a departure role for her. This is about an in-your-face, ballsy woman and I think she captured that," he told The Plain Dealer.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)