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Actor playing Bjorn Borg says he knows little about tennis

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By (AFP)

Paris – Icelandic actor Sverrir Gudnason who plays opposite Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf in the newly released Borg-McEnroe movie admits he had never played tennis before landing the role as the 1980s Swedish icon.

The youthful looking 39-year-old Gudnason was born in Sweden but grew up in Iceland, and bears a striking resemblance to Borg, whose cool personality contrasted to the fieriness of his on-court rival John McEnroe.

Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf, left, plays John McEnroe, while Icelandic Sverrir Gudnason reminds everyone of Bjorn Borg.

Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf, left, plays John McEnroe, while Icelandic Sverrir Gudnason reminds everyone of Bjorn Borg.

”I had never seen a whole tennis game before all this,” Gudnason told AFP in an interview.

”I had never even been on a tennis court in my life and (for the film) I didn’t just learn to play tennis, I learned to play tennis like Bjorn Borg.”

The actor said he had almost turned the role down because he had never played the game.

”I didn’t feel close to him, I didn’t feel like an athlete and I was kind of thinking of turning it down,” said Gudnason, who told producers he demanded physical back-up preparing for the role.

”I played two hours per day for half a year getting the strokes right,” he said, insisting the person himself was fascinating too.

”I built the character by looking back on old footage from the 80s, not by calling him and asking him how he would do this or that.”

He also enjoyed the on-screen experience with LaBeouf, who played McEnroe.

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