What Is Jeff Bauman Doing Now?
Harrowing story of personal resilience
On Monday, April 13, 2013, Jeff Bauman was waiting at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, holding a sign, and cheering on his girlfriend, Erin Hurley, who was competing in the race, along with two of her friends, when a bomb was detonated, as reported by the New York Times.
Shortly after the attack, Bauman's father, also named Jeff, described his son as a "good kid" who "never got in trouble." He played the guitar, worked at Costco, and dreamed of someday paying off his student loans so he could finish university.
The son's legs were amputated at the knee before the father could reach the hospital. During the medical procedure, doctors has to keep stopping and "resuscitating him, giving him blood and fluids, because he had lost so much."
The Baumans point to Carlos Arredondo, the son of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq, who was handing out American flags at the finish line, for saving the younger Jeff's life. Arredondo's actions have been credited with stopping Jeff from bleeding to death.
Following the ordeal, Jeff Bauman and Erin Hurley married and had a daughter, Nora Gail, in July 2014. The Hollywood Reporter featured the couple's divorce in February 2017.
"Jeff and Erin have decided that it is best to move forward as friends," a spokesperson for the Bauman family stated. "Though their relationship has changed, their admiration, love and mutual respect for each other will never waver. They are dedicated to loving and parenting their daughter, Nora, and ask for privacy."
Time states that Jeff Bauman has become a "symbol of resilience."
Of the film, which has received 7.1 out of 10 stars with IMDb users, Bauman had nothing but praise.
"The tears – I couldn’t hold them back. They were running down my face," he said. "It was hard, but it was beautiful. It just brought me back."
What is Jeff Bauman doing now?
In December 2017, The Hollywood News published a Jeff Bauman interview where he discussed the making of Stronger and the two years he spent working actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who played his character in the film.
Scott Silver and Todd Lieberman with Mandeville Films first approached Bauman about making his memoir into a movie. He then worked with Gyllenhaal, who studied Jeff's physical manner, as well as his book. Bauman confided that he has difficulty walking with his prosthetic legs on uneven surfaces, and that recently, when in Rome with Jake Gyllenhaal, the actor would "stand in front of me so if I start to fall I can use his shoulder. He’s one of my close friends, he’s pretty cool."
Though he no longer drinks, Jeff Bauman praised director David Gordon Green's use of humor in Stronger, as a way to document the drinking that occurred in his family as "a way to cope with what happened."
"It was cool to be in a room with two thousand people who are dying laughing. That was really funny," Bauman said.
When the "strong depiction" of Jeff Bauman's family in Stronger was mentioned, the author reflected on his parents and his wife, saying, "I hate to say it but I was kind of focused on myself, trying to deal with what happened to me and I didn’t know what other people around me went through. When I saw the movie I could see that. It was really powerful."
When it is pointed out that, seeing as how he lost both of his legs, it is fair that he would focus on himself, Jeff Bauman explained how the film was "about me but it’s not really about me."
Saying that he feels "super involved" in Stronger and that, "It's my life," Jeff spoke of how he and Jake Gyllenhaal worked to advertise and market the film, together, because they "didn’t have too much marketing money or advertising at all!"
Despite this, Jeff Bauman currently has no aspirations to pursue a career in film production, choosing instead to focus on fathering "full time" and getting "back to school."
© 2017 Stephen Sinclair