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‘Grudge Match’ Surprise: Ireland Baldwin’s Acting Debut

Kara Warner
Yahoo Movies
December 31, 2013

With all the attention paid to the Sylvester Stallone vs. Robert De Niro boxing match in "Grudge Match," you may have missed one of the film's cinematic surprises: Ireland Baldwin's acting debut.

Baldwin is of course the 18-year-old daughter of actors Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. In the film, Ireland can be seen briefly in a series of flashbacks as the younger version of Basinger's character, Sally.

[Related: See the stars shine at the "Grudge Match" premiere in New York]

At the film's press junket, Basinger told Yahoo Movies that she loved having Baldwin play a younger version of herself. For one thing, Basinger was able to help coach Baldwin through some first-time acting jitters.

"I loved it. When [director] Pete Segal asked me, for a minute I thought, 'Oh wow,' then I asked Ireland and she said, 'Yeah mom, I'd like to do that.' So we slipped her into New Orleans [where they filmed the movie] and she was a little nervous so I helped her get dressed, and after her first scene, she was just ready to do the second scene! So she was very cute," Basinger said with pride. "It was lovely and we'll always have that on film."

See Kim Basinger tell Yahoo Movies about working with her daughter:

Director Segal ("Tommy Boy," "Anger Management," "50 First Dates") added that having Ireland involved in the production helped make his job easier.

"We went through a lot of technical procedures to de-age Bob [De Niro] and Sly [Stallone], that was a nightmare it was so technical but one thing we thought, we don't necessarily have to de-age Kim because her daughter Ireland looks so much like her, let's just use Ireland for the flashbacks," Segal recalled over the phone. "We couldn't find anyone who really looked like Bob and Sly enough, I really wanted to bring a reality to it, fulfill the promise of Rocky and Raging Bull but with Kim, Ireland was right there, the only difference is Ireland is about four inches taller than her mom so we just made sure we cast people around her who were the same size."

[Related: Ireland Baldwin and other model celebrity daughters]

Baldwin is most well-known because of her famous parents and occasionally, due to one of their public rants, but has recently come into her own as a model. And although it's too soon to say if she is following directly in her mother's footsteps, she is certainly shadowing Basinger, who also got her start in modeling.

See Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro and more talk "Grudge Match" with Yahoo Movies: