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In Denver, actor Kevin James talks teachers, martial arts and his new film

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Kevin James, best known for his leading role in the decade-long TV series The King of Queens, stopped through Denver on Thursday to promote his new film Here Comes the Boom. He was accompanied by former UFC champion, longtime friend and costar of the film, Bas Rutten.

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Here Comes the Boom follows a lethargic, middle-aged biology teacher who takes up mixed martial arts in an attempt to raise money for his struggling school after cutbacks threaten the job security of the music teacher -- played by Henry Winkler -- who's wife is now having a baby. As the fights continue, James develops a renewed sense of enthusiasm for his job, culminating with his final fight in Las Vegas -- worth all the marbles -- where his entire class shows up to root him on.

In addition to garnering laughs, James wants to use the film to send a message about contemporary education. "I remember great teachers that I had back then that seem to be lacking now," he says. "I wanted to salute the good ones and have the not-so-good ones wake up and hopefully change their game."

To counterbalance the film's feel-good theme James incorporated one of his true passions into the script: mixed martial arts. He brought in longtime friend Bas Rutten who trained James throughout the film, both during its production and as part of Here Comes the Boom's storyline. Rutten is fairly unknown outside the mixed martial arts world but has had small feature-film roles throughout his career, usually playing the funny, but at the same time scary guy that he actually is in real life.

Here Comes the Boom opens nationwide on Friday, October 12.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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