Since The Rock made the transition from professional wrestling to Hollywood, WWE has had no shortage of stars leap into major motion pictures. Fellow former WWE Champions like Dave Bautista and John Cena have flexed their acting muscles in blockbuster franchises like Guardians of the Galaxy and Peacemaker, respectively.
With that path being much smoother today than it was in the 20th century, more wrestlers are dipping their toes in the film industry. Speaking to The Town, WWE President Nick Khan noted the company sees Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns as the next guy to make that eventual leap.
“We think he’s certainly up there,” Khan said. “We have big plans to help him cross over, which we think will be great for him and certainly great to do with him.”
As mentioned, the blueprint for the Hollywood transition has been created by The Rock. The Brahma Bull has seen unprecedented success in the world of movies in the past decade but did experience several bumps in the road early on.
“I think he was given advice early on to, ‘Hey, get rid of the muscles. Don’t be a handsome leading man. Distance yourself from WWE.’ You saw the result was like the Tooth Fairy movie,” Khan said. “He, to his credit, like Vince and like other people, has the unique ability to see things clearly. Instead of saying, ‘Hey, this Tooth Fairy thing was great! I made X number of millions of dollars on it!’ It was more, ‘This is not what I want this to be.’ It wasn’t authentic.”
Nick Khan revealed that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon played a crucial role in course-correcting Rock’s acting career, one which included his famous return to wrestling in 2011.
“One of the people, Rock has shared with me and Vince has shared with me, Rock called was Vince,” Khan continued. “Rock called Vince and said, ‘Hey, this is not working the way I think it should be working. I think I want to reattach to WWE and I think I need to get a new agent.’ Vince helped him do that, and Rock was on his path that he’s on now.
“The inner voice has to match the outer voice. It’s the same thing with our characters. Rock, John Cena, Stone Cold, Roman Reigns. Who they are now is who they are in real life, just amplified. That tends to work best for us. When you miscast someone, it never works in the film business.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Town with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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