Cody Rhodes recently sat down with Collider to discuss his recent appearance on the CW's Arrow, what it was like preparing for his character, the show giving a nod to his former Stardust persona, and more. Below are some highlights of that interview.
It's so exciting that you're on this week's Arrow!
"I'm jazzed about it, man! I'm giddy over it!"
Whose idea was it to have the nod to your WWE persona with the name of the drug being Stardust?
"I believe it was Marc Guggenheim. Actually, I think everybody agreed that there would be some sort of a wink to the audience who enjoyed the initial interaction with Stardust and the Arrow at WWE's SummerSlam. It concerned me a little bit because there are tons of Arrow fans who do not like wrestling, or maybe they're not aware of it and they don't intend to be aware of it. So, the last thing I wanted to do was make it so obvious that it was, "Here's the dumb wrestler who gives a dumb wrestler performance. Bye dumb wrestler!" But when I saw it all together, it's just simply a good wink at the audience and, in a way, it bridges the experience from the wrestling that Stephen and I did to being on set. When I did the character of Stardust, for me to play the character, I had to give myself something in my mind for why, in eight years of being Cody Rhodes and myself, I would want to be Stardust. I always thought of it as some sort of drug or brainwashing, so it's perfect. I think it bridges the experiences."
I recently spoke to Rick Gonzalez (who plays Wild Dog) about working with you and he said you really killed this role and that you had a certain energy about what you wanted to do with this character. How did you prepare for this and were there things you specifically wanted to bring to this character?
"I'm so happy to hear that Rick Gonzalez said nice things about me. A couple mornings on the way to the side were hour-long drives and all we talked about was fast food 'cause he were both on a diet. Stephen is ripped, so everybody has gotta be ripped, so we couldn't eat anything we wanted. So, all we had were these food orgy discussions. But to prepare, it was easier to plug into being a villain because that's what I'm used to. I didn't want to be over the top, especially coming from wrestling where everything is over the top. I wanted to provide some nuance to it. It might look over the top, but I wanted to actually be connected to it. I had a really brief experience in L.A. – and I'm not going to pretend that it was long – when I was a teenager and I attended the Howard Fine Acting Studio. Howard Fine is an amazing teacher, and he's always stayed in touch with me. Even with wrestling, he's helped me, and he was the first person I mentioned this to. Even if the character is something that seems ridiculous on paper, there's a human element to everything. Otherwise, we don't connect with it. So, even in these brief scenes, that was the goal with everyone. I can look like an absolute zombie drug dealer/killer, but I wanted to add some humanity to it."
Cody also discussed his fondness of all things comic book and superhero related, his thoughts on Stephen Amell, if he had nerves from being "the new guy" on set, and more. You can check out the full interview at this link.