Comedian and actor Leland Klassen plays ultra-marathon legend David Horton in EXTRAORDINARY. Leland shares how playing a runner led to a new appreciation and love for running.
I’m a stand-up comedian and actor, not a runner or at least, I wasn’t. The first thing people ask when they hear about EXTRAORDINARY is, “Are you a runner?” The answer: “No! Definitely, not.”
Being a comedian, I would often exaggerate the reasons I disliked running. Something like this: “Runners need to do something about their marketing. And by marketing, I mean the look on your face when you’re running. That face looks painful.”
All jokes aside, when I got the role of David Horton, I thought with running every day a month before filming, I could get into enough shape to handle it. I was acting like a runner; I didn’t have to become one.
The first day, I thought I was going to die. That’s when I decided to run at a slower pace – imagine that! By slowing up just a little bit, I began to learn how to enjoy running. I started covering a decent mileage. Not marathon running numbers, but I was running up to 10 miles a day and I liked it.
The final 10 days of filming were intense. These were the scenes running across America – the Washington Monument, the St. Louis Arch, the Rocky Mountains, the Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, Utah…and some corn field in the middle of Iowa. I ran across America and went from hating running, to enjoying it.
Now that the movie is finished, I don’t run every day, but I don’t mind it. I used to hike trails near my home, but now I run them and love it! This movie about an ultra-marathon runner turned me – a total non-runner – into a runner. Not one that would win races, but at least I don’t cry at the end like I used to.
EXTRAORDINARY is an ideal movie to encourage couples to go the distance in their marriages. Plan now to bring a group of 10 or more from your church, alumni association, marriage ministry, neighborhood or workplace. This one-night event will be in theaters Thursday, September 7 ONLY. Tickets are available at ExtraordinaryMovie.com