An Interview with Molly Schiot: The Brains Behind the Brawn

Sam Rivman ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Poster for Our Tough Guy.
Poster for Our Tough Guy.

Our Tough Guy is a short documentary and part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series about John Wensink, one of the most famous NHL “enforcers” of all time. Being an enforcer means defending your teammates from being roughhoused by the opposing team. The film revolves around an infamous moment when Wensink challenged the entire Minnesota North Stars bench to fight him, and not a single member of the team had the courage to face him. I got to sit down with Molly Schiot, the director of Our Tough Guy, at the 30th Annual Boston Film Festival to ask her a few questions regarding her new film.

Emertainment Monthly: So Molly, you’re the director of the documentary Our Tough Guy. What inspired you to pursue the story of John Wensink?

Molly Schiot: So I’m a huge documentary fan and I grew up playing sports, so I think that I’ve always had a little bit of a hesitation to get into sports documentaries because I’m not interested in just the sport. I’m more about the storytelling, so when the 30 for 30 series came out, it was like the most beautiful combination of story and sport. I just started watching every single one, and the Pete Rose story was the one that was kind of a springboard into my thirst to do one of them. So then, I just reached out to their team and made it happen.

ESPN is certainly a large team to get involved with. What was it like working with them on this project?

They were actually amazingly hands off. They gave the director and my crew freedom to do what we wanted, and when I finally gave them the final cut, they were just really good team players and they wanted to make the best possible product. So, it was a really good experience.

That sounds great! What is something that you want your audiences to take away from the story of John Wensink?

I hope that other people that watch the film notice that a woman directed it, because there aren’t many female directors or female subjects that ESPN has featured. I want it to give a lot of women hope that they can make something really awesome and cool.

Thank you for your time!

Thank you! I hope you enjoy the film!


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