Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber filmed a boxing biopic together, Chuck (originally titled The Bleeder), around December 2015. I remember because we had photos of them on the NJ Boardwalk set of the film together. Around January of 2016, Star reported that Naomi and Liev had broken up, however they continued to talk about each other in interviews as if they were still together, they were papped out together with their two sons Sasha, now 9, and Sammy 7, they posted photos together on social media and they even did events together during awards season. It looked like things were fine and like Star’s reports were incorrect. Then, in September of last year, they announced their split. They were together 11 years but had never married. Only according to Chuck Wapner, the boxer whose life their movie was based on, they had already split when they were filming his movie together back in December, 2015. He said they were very professional at the time and you couldn’t really tell.
But Chuck Wepner, the real-life heavyweight boxer on which the film is based, tells PEOPLE the exes were able to put their personal lives aside while on set.
“They had split up and separated before the movie even started but they came on the movie and they acted just like they were married,” he says. “They were friendly.”
Wepner says he is grateful that Watts and Schrieber waited until after filming wrapped to announce their split.
“They didn’t want to do anything to screw the movie up, which I thought was absolutely wonderful,” he says.
The former couple announced the end of their relationship in a joint statement to PEOPLE in late September. They share two children.
So I guess Star was right and they had split by January, which is sad but kudos to them for keeping it amicable and under wraps. That’s no small feat, although I will admit that I’m one of the rare people with a lot of interest in them. I was going to say that maybe Wapner meant that they split before they had to do promotion, but he was very clear that they broke up before they even came on set. They’re good actors definitely. I also wonder if they worked hard to try and reconcile for months before they finally realized it wasn’t going to work. That would explain a lot.
Their movie, Chuck, is out tomorrow and has a decent 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. I would see it. Naomi and Liev looked friendly on the red carpet for the premiere over the weekend.
photos credit: FameFlynet and Getty