‘I’d love to play a Marvel superhero’: Nicola Adams turns attention to acting after boxing retirement

Adams was the first woman to win a boxing Olympic gold medal but is now eyeing a fresh challenge

Jonathan Veal
Tuesday 09 November 2021 09:00
<p>Adams was the first woman to win a boxing Olympic gold medal</p>

Adams was the first woman to win a boxing Olympic gold medal

Nicola Adams has spent most of her time being a real-life superhero but now her boxing career is over she wants to play one on the big screen.

The 39-year-old broke down pretty much every barrier on her way to stardom in the ring, becoming the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal and then claiming a world title in the professional game.

There were plenty of challenges along the way, not least a difficult home life and battles against racism and sexism, and her journey is captured in Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story.

The documentary launches on Amazon Prime Video on 12 November and gives an honest and eye-opening insight into her journey to the top and the battles she faced being a pioneer in women’s boxing.

If Adams gets her way she will be starring in front of the camera on a regular basis as she is currently pursuing a career as an actor.

And, as you would expect from a woman who has achieved what she has, she is aiming big as she dreams of a role in a Marvel movie.

“I actually did acting alongside my boxing before I became a gold medalist in London 2012,” she says. “And it was one of my passions, then obviously once I won my gold medal in London, the acting kind of took a backseat for a while.

“Now I’m super excited because I can give 110 per cent to my acting career now. I’m still being coached, I’m not quite there yet. But I will be. I’d love to play in an action hero movie. I mean that’d be awesome. Marvel superhero.”

Dream team: Adams is among a host of stars to feature in new Amazon Prime sports documentaries

There are plenty of transferable skills between boxing and film, namely when the pre-fight war of words and verbal sparring.

Adams knows better than anyone that boxers are putting on an act in the build-up to the bout, so she has plenty of experience.

She added: “The bravado before the fights and then being in the ring performing and, you know, playing up to the crowd.

“It’s the same thing. If you’re, for example, going out onto a stage at theatre, you’re going out to the crowd, when you go into a boxing ring, you went out to the crowd and you perform so it’s actually a lot of the same stuff that you do in acting.

“I guess it is something that comes naturally to you.”

Adams’ first credit will be appearing in her documentary where no topic, including the abuse and trauma she suffered as a child in a difficult upbringing, was off limits.

And she hopes her inspiring story can act as an inspiration to others to follow in her footsteps.

“I’d retired from boxing and I had the time to be able to do it,” she said. “I wanted to be able to inspire the next generation to show them that it doesn’t matter where you come from.

“Because I grew up in a council estate, my mum was a single parent, and I wanted to show other people that you really can achieve anything you want to.

“I didn’t think it would be as detailed as it is. It was good as well, because I remembered things that I’d forgotten about.

Adams was filming for over a year on her documentary

“It was like, ‘Oh, yeah, we need to talk about this. We need to talk about this’. And it was a really, really cool experience. It’s very, very well done. I mean, I love it. I can’t wait for everybody to see it. It’s unreal.

“It was quite hard to talk about the personal stuff. We spent hours with it. I think it was about a year and a half that we’ve been working on this.

“And it was quite hard bringing up old feelings or the old emotions. But I was in a place where I was ready to do that and ready to go there.”

‘Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story’ launches on 12 November on Prime Video

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