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Dave Bautista: Filming Final Score at Upton Park was bittersweet

PUBLISHED: 15:36 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 04 September 2018

Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.

Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.

Fighting the bad guys in West Ham’s former Upton Park home hasn’t put actor Dave Bautista off the beautiful game - quite the opposite, in fact.

Pierce Brosnan as Dimitri and Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.Pierce Brosnan as Dimitri and Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.

The star of action movie Final Score, filmed at the Boleyn Ground prior to its demolition in 2016, was actually meant to go to a game two years ago but an injury - to his hamstring, no less - forced a change of plan.

Instead, the ex-professional wrestler was in the crowd to watch West Ham’s 1-0 defeat to Wolves.

“I’m pretty excited about it, because we are going to actually sit in the stands, we won’t be in the box,” he said ahead of the match.

“And I have a few family and friends who have travelled over with me, so we will all go to our first football game.”

Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.

It was a far less eventful game than the one Bautista’s character, Michael Knox, finds himself attending.

The former soldier takes Danni, the daughter of his best friend who died in action, to West Ham’s match against Russian side Dynamo FCC.

During the game, a group of heavily-armed criminals take control of the stadium, leaving Knox to try and save the 35,000-strong crowd.

Filming at Upton Park came about after producer Marc Goldberg, a West Ham fan, learnt about the London Stadium move.

Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.Dave Bautista as Michael Knox. Picture: PA Photo/©Sky UK Ltd.

At that point, there wasn’t even an idea for a story, but knowing they had access to an arena - and that they would be able to blow parts of it up - the concept of Final Score was born.

“We had the run of the stadium, and it was a bittersweet thing, because you could tell they were getting ready to demolish it,” said Bautista, who was originally in line to play Arkady, the brutal general behind the terrorist plot.

“Every day was an adventure in film making, we had to be really creative.

“We were under a crunch because obviously they were going to demolish the stadium, but the script wasn’t originally written for me, so every day we were trying to figure things out.

“We also had to play with the dimensions of the stadium as well. So, it was really a tricky thing, but it was a learning experience.”

Final Score is released in cinemas on Friday, September 7.

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