Because of his cartoonish exaggerations, it’s easy to imagine that if Shrek were based on a real person, the likeness would be quite tenuous at best. The creators of Shrek, however, used a real-life figure who looked just like their green monster with a golden heart. Let’s find out Who Is Shrek Based On?
Who Is Shrek?
The American computer-animated comedy picture Shrek from 2001 is based on William Steig’s 1990 book of the same name.
For those unfamiliar, this is the debut film in the Shrek series. Filmmakers Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson (both making their feature directorial debuts) worked from a script by Joe Stillman, Roger S. H. Schulman, and the duo of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow all lend their voices to the animated film. In the movie, Shrek (Myers), an ogre, returns to his swamp home to find it overrun by creatures from fairy tales exiled by Lord Farquaad (Lithgow).
Shrek, persuaded by Murphy, a talking donkey, promises to help Farquaad reclaim his swamp in exchange for the return of Princess Fiona (Diaz). Let’s find out Who Is Shrek Based On?
Who Is Shrek Based On?
Wrestler Maurice Tillet, born in Russia and raised in France as “The French Angel,” is the true Shrek. Tillet’s enlarged bones and tissues are the results of acromegaly, a condition he developed in his thirties in which the body produces too much growth hormone.
For many years, beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1940s, Maurice was a popular professional wrestler in both Europe and the United States. A number of greenish busts of Maurice were created by sculptor Louis Linck in 1950. The Weightlifting Hall of Fame and York Barbell Museum both have masks on exhibit.
During the time that Shrek was being made, an anonymous blogger claims to have worked in the art department at Dreamworks, and he has images of weirdos, such as wrestlers called “The Swedish Angel,” “Irish Angel,” and “French Angel.”
Maybe they influenced the artists who sculpted Shrek. There has been no outright denial that Maurice was an inspiration for Shrek, but the modeler and artist who worked on Shrek have remained mum on the subject.
Mike Myers provided the voice of Shrek, although Chris Farley was cast in the role. Farley had already recorded over 90% of the film by the time he died of a heroin overdose in 1997.
Originally, Shrek was a lot nicer and the story was different in the Chris Farley version. The original plan had Janeane Garofalo playing the role of his love interest Princess Fiona, but she was let go when the movie was rewritten.
To this day, I still don’t know the reason. Because, presumably, I sometimes sound masculine. ‘I don’t know why,’ Janeane told Film.com in 2007. To paraphrase, “No one informed me…” But the film didn’t do anything, so what’s the point?
She is mistaken about it, as much as we adore Janeane. The 2001 release of Shrek brought in $484.4 million and marked the beginning of a profitable film series for Dreamworks.
Extremely Rare Disease Of Maurice Tillet
The 19-year-old Maurice, born to French parents in the Ural Mountains in 1903, seems to have had a typical upbringing. The name “the Angel” stuck because of his angelic appearance, but as he matured, he learned that he had a disease that would alter his life irrevocably.
It was determined that Maurice had acromegaly by a medical professional. Swelling of the face, hands, and feet might be a symptom of a pituitary tumor releasing too much growth hormone. Bone overgrowth and thickness also dramatically affect the appearance of patients with acromegaly.
Maurice’s once delicate features got heavier, bigger, and squarer as his acromegaly worsened. As his bigger hands and feet made him clumsy, he had to adjust the way he moved.
Young Maurice’s ambitions to become a lawyer were dashed because of his illness. He believed that his appearance would put him at a significant disadvantage. Instead, he enlisted in the French navy and spent the next five years working as an engineer.
Maurice Tillet Wrestling Career
For the first time, in 1937, Maurice traveled to Singapore, where he connected with Karl Pojello, a professional wrestler. Karl saw potential in Maurice’s powerful physique and encouraged him to try his hand at professional wrestling.
The two then uprooted to Paris, where Karl gave Maurice a thorough education in his trade. With his mediocre success, Maurice became well-known in France and England.
The partners relocated to the United States in 1939 due to World War II, and it was there that Maurice’s career took off. Paul Browser, a skilled wrestling promoter, and Maurice became fast friends. Paul considered Maurice’s acromegaly a strength and used him as the showpiece of several of his events.
In a display of strength and skill, Maurice went on a 19-month winning streak. “French Angel” Maurice was the AWA World Heavyweight Champion from 1940 to 1942.
Because of his achievements, numerous copycats emerged. Wrestlers from other countries with angelic names like “Russian Angel,” “Czech Angel,” and “Canadian Angel” also showed up. Paul Olaffsen, commonly known as the “Swedish Angel,” was the only one of these imitators to actually have acromegaly.
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