Meryl Streep’s callous comment about MMA motivated Conor McGregor to prove her wrong with ‘Road House’

Meryl Streep's callous comment about MMA motivated Conor McGregor to prove her wrong with 'Road House'

While attending the New York City premiere of his feature film debut, Conor McGregor revealed that Meryl Streep’s 2017 dig on mixed martial arts motivated him to prove that he could shine both in the cage and on the silver screen.

McGregor chews the scenery in Doug Liman’s remake of the 1989 action classic Road House, originally starring the late Patrick Swayze. This time around, Jake Gyllenhaal steps into the lead role of Dalton, a former UFC fighter who takes a job at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys and finds himself unintentionally waging war with a corrupt businessman who’s been terrorizing the small fictitious town of Glass Key for years.

Conor McGregor and Jake Gyllenhaal star on Road House

Throughout the filming, which had its fair share of troubles, McGregor admits to carrying a chip on his shoulder following the three-time Academy Award winner’s mean-spirited comment about MMA during her Cecil B. DeMille award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes seven years ago.

“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said in 2017. “And if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.” 

Meryl Streep’s comment motivated conor mcGregor to prove himself in his acting debut

Streep’s comment received a roaring round of applause from those in attendance, but her statement understandably infuriated professional fighters.

“Fighting is the most beautiful form of art, and you know, it’s a great thing to come into this game, which is also art,” McGregor told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about Streep’s comment. “I was really taken aback because fighting is an art. It’s brutal also, so I can understand. It’s not for somebody to make a mistake; it’s real artistry for those who do what we do, so I came in with maybe a little chip on my shoulder and wanting to represent my sport and my art, give my best in this arena.”

In Road House, Conor McGregor plays Knox, an over-the-top villain called in by the film’s big bad to take out Gyllenhaal’s Dalton. From the moment he makes his onscreen debut — walking bare-assed down a public street in search of a snazzy jacket to wear — you can’t help, but appreciate the ridiculousness of it all. Especially as an MMA fan knowing that the former two-division champion is essentially playing himself with the volume turned slightly up.

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Conor McGregor in Road House

Sharing some behind-the-scenes details, McGregor credited Gyllenhaal with giving him some acting tips throughout the shoot and revealed that he tried out multiple variations of his sandwich-loving skull-cracker before Liman and Co. landed on the one you see in the film.

“Jake taught me many things about acting,” McGregor said. “He was just so helpful, so patient. Liman, who I was taking my direction from, guided me on how he wanted the character. I made sure I gave a few different variations. I feel like I gave a few different versions of Knox. I, of course, was going to be unsure with which one they went with in the end, but when I saw the [final] movie and saw the choices, I understood what they wanted with the character. They are very happy with how Knox came out.”

You can check out LowKick MMA’s review of Road House right here.

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Conor McGregor and Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House