Usher has been dedicated to his role as Sugar Ray Leonard in the biopic Hands of Stone, shooting now in Panama City, FL. He dropped over 30 pounds to play the boxer by riding his bike 20 miles a day and training for months.
As a result, the singer has had to put his singing on hold. “You can’t box, ride a bike for 20 miles in the heat—Georgia heat—and then go to the studio and rehearse,” Usher’s explained in Men’s Health. “That’s not happening.”
“My commitment to this character demands that I not only physically get ready,” he revealed. “But also become him. The hair, the personality, the manner he conducts himself in—all that. He’s an incredible man.”
Usher’s fancy footwork on the dance floor also give him an edge at authenticity. You can train all you want, but it’s difficult to mimic Sugar Ray’s stylized boxing if you don’t have a little talent and experience with slick movements.
On the down times Usher’s been enjoying his time in Panama City, sharing Instagram shots of himself living the good life: