Steve Austin Interview - Damage DVD
By Anne Brodie Mar 25, 2010, 7:59 GMT
Steve Austin. (Credit Image: © Camilla Zenz/ZUMA Press)
Steve Austin says ďHell, yeah!Ē to a new career. The long-time WWE champion wrestler and entertainer is now a bona fide actor. And donít count him out. Heís working as hard on acting as he did on wrestling he says and I believe him. He has the discipline, passion and smarts to reinvent himself at age 45. Monsters and Critics threw it to the mat in a recent conversation with Austin.
Monsters & Critics - You seem very mindful that a lot of your fans are young so you really tell them some good home truths Ė like no drinking and driving or going overboard.
Steve Austin - In my day I was a very edgy act and I pushed the envelope every which way, language, fighting, but now Iím a different person. That was a part of my life but being Steve Austin, not Stone Cold, is what interests me now.
M&C - You play a prisoner released from jail who wants to right his wrongs. What spoke to you about the role?
SA -Itís about how far a man will go for redemption. Heís out of prison and trying hard. Thereís a young person who needs help and I can choose to help or not. The only route I know is underground fighting so I put my freeodm on the line to help this person. The movie has a lot of cool fight scenes and brutal fights and bloodshed, great fights for my core fan base but itís a story driven by whatís at stake. Itís what you have to do, itís not gratuitous.
M&C - Have you seen underground fights?
SA - I am aware that underground fighting exists. A lot of the extras for the film are from that background. But itís not something I researched for the role. What was required didnít take great knowledge. But looking into the future, I know I will endlessly research roles.
M&C - I understand you retired when you left wrestling a few years back. It didnít take, did it?
SA - I thought I was going to retire, and I did for 3 or 4 years. But after realising I was too young to retire, there were things I wanted to do and be a productive human being. I had to do something. So I thought of acting and moved to LA. Early on when I did Nash Bridges, I really enjoyed it. I hate it when Iím not busy. Iím just trying to be as good in this world of acting as I was in my other world.
M&C - Was it hard to give up wrestling?
SA - When I left, I knew it was time to do something else. I was feeling like a million bucks years out of the ring. It was time to do something else physically. My body was telling me to get out of wrestling and be free of pain for ten years, then twenty years, like I am now. Iíve left it behind. I loved being in that wonderful part of my life.
M&C - How are you training for this new life as an actor?
SA - I wrestled and became really, really good at it. I had talent and I developed my skills. Iím there now as an actor and believe I have the talent and timing. Iím working on it, on accessing the inner tools and living in the moment and creating a character and preparing for a role. Just now Iím getting the sense of what it takes. Such is life, you donít know but the more experience you have the better you are. Iím proud of my work in Damages. And now Iím looking into the future.
SA - All my energy focuses on being as good an actor as I can. I hope to grow a fan base based on my merit as an actor, a new fan base. I want to entertain my core fan base of course, too.
M&C - You just finished working on Sylvester Stalloneís big budget actioner The Expendables. Thatís pretty high profile.
SA - Iíve got Damages out and Iím doing reshoots on another movie next week so now I finally have some product out there. Slyís movie The Expendables is out August 13 and now finally, as long as my films are well received and we do some business, Iíll have something to roll out.
M&C - You went from casual labourer to wrestling superstar and nowí youíre on your way in the movies. What has the journey been like?
SA - It has been a great ride. I grew up 100 miles south of Houston, Texas in a small town and I happened to see wrestling on telelvison when I was seven or eight. I feel in love with it that day. After college, I starved for a couple of years paying dues, and learning the ropes and I became Stone Cold Steve Austin. I worked very hard and then I had to cash in my chips, when I had injuries and start another career. Itís challenging because of the places Iíve been. I expect a lot of myself and I donít want to be second best. I donít want to be the greatest actor, but I want to be as good as I can be. I have the time to get there as long as the opportunities keep coming.
Damage is out on DVD now and available in shops and via Amazon.
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