The world knew Michael “Eddie” Edwards in 1988 as the buzz of the Winter Olympics in Calgary for becoming Britain’s first-ever Olympic ski jumper.
Today, a whole new generation is being introduced to Edwards, now 52, because he is the real-life star behind the new movie, “Eddie the Eagle.”
In the film, Edwards is played by Taron Egerton as a resilient ski jumper who's determined to get to the Olympics no matter what it takes. Hugh Jackman stars as Edwards’s coach, Bronson Peary.
“I was amazed at how good a ski jumper he was in the film,” Edwards said of Jackman in an interview with “Good Morning America” meteorologist Rob Marciano at a recent New York City screening of the film.
“None of my coaches were ever as good looking,” Edwards said of the movie star. “He’s hard to beat.”
Edwards had equally high praise for Egerton.
“It was like looking at a mirror,” Edwards said of the actor. “You look just the way I looked 28 years ago, the hairstyle, the glasses.”
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is so surreal,’” he said.
A surreal reaction over the movie’s buzz is appropriate for Edwards, who followed his family’s profession and became a plasterer after the Olympics.
The movie portrays Edwards’s father as being confused why his son would not go immediately into the family business, pursuing skiing first instead.
“He was very black and white but he was also supportive just in a different way,” said Edwards, who also has a law degree. “He would work extra hours, do extra jobs to bring in a bit of extra money and he would help as much as he could.”
Edwards said he hopes his story of overcoming Olympic-sized odds inspires others.
“You know, if you have got a dream and you’ve got ambition then go for it,” Edwards said. “You know, unless you try you’ll never know. “