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Gangster film 'Bullhead' depicts unique crime

February 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In "Bullhead," Matthias Schoenarts plays a cattle farmer whose tragic childhood event continues to haunt his world as an adult.

This gangster movie centers around a unique crime: illegal trafficking of hormones in the beef industry.

For Schoenarts and first time director Michael Roskam, the fact that their little movie received Oscar attention leaves them a bit stunned.

"I still have a hard time believing that it's true, actually. It's more like a kind of a wave you're in and it's like between dreaming and being awake. You can't really get a hold on it," said Roskam.

"It's just the greatest celebration of cinema on the planet. To be part of it, I'm really touched," said Schoenarts.

Schoenarts beefed up for his role, packing on more than 60 pounds of muscle.

"If I look at it in retrospect, I'm like, 'Yea, that was crazy.' But at the time I was doing it, it didn't feel like an effort or sacrifice. It's just what had to be done," said Schoenarts.

Schoenarts said he's been eating a lot of chicken breast, oatmeal and tuna.

"It was a crazy program of weightlifting and very specific diet. So eating, sleeping and training - that was it," said Schoenarts.

"Bullhead's" star and director have been committed to making this story for six years, and their hard work will be recognized on the biggest stage in the world on Oscar night. Roskam says he is not one to prepare an acceptance speech.

"The thing is, if I have to write it, I have to believe it and I cannot really believe in it because I'm not yet there," said Roskam.

"Bullhead" is an Academy Award nominee for best foreign film, and it's currently in theatres.