As a lynchpin of the World Wrestling Federation and the WWE that followed, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was greatly responsible for the dawning of a new age in the sport, having earned a rep as being one of the toughest SOB’s in the ring or out. Although his wrestling career may be over, Austins’ career as an actor, which began with his recurring role on the CBS show “Nash Bridges” in 1999, is just getting stared.
The Condemned is Austin’s first big movie, in which he plays Jack Conrad, a military man wrongly put on death row in a Central American prison, but given a chance at freedom if he can get past nine other convicted killer all pitted against each other in a deadly game on a remote island.
ComingSoon.net had a chance to talk to Austin briefly at ShoWest in Las Vegas about the movie and about his future plans as an actor.
ComingSoon.net: You were actually acting before a lot of these other wrestlers like The Rock and Kane, but this is only second real movie
Steve Austin: I would say that it’s my first big movie. I had a real small part in “The Longest Yard” with Adam Sandler, but I did thirteen episodes of “Nash Bridges” back in the day and I’ve been wrestling for years. Obviously, this is different from wrestling with the movie cameras and hitting marks is something you never have to do in a professional wrestling, but nonetheless, I found there a lot of similarities but some major differences as well.
CS: Considering how long it’s been since “Nash Bridges,” why did it take so long for you to get into doing movies?
Austin: You know what? I’ll tell you why. When I did “Nash Bridges,” I was offered to do a series based on my character there. I just didn’t choose to do that, ’cause I still had wrestling in my blood, and I still wanted to keep wrestling. My goal in my life was to be a pro wrestler, and now that that part of my career is over, now I’ve shifted to the acting. But not before I got it completely out of my blood and got everything I could out of it. I think timing is everything. Could I have gotten into the movies sooner? Yeah, I could have, but I think the time is now, and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity, and I think it starts with “The Condemned.”
CS: Can you give a brief synopsis of what that’s about?
Austin: Yeah, basically you have a wealthy TV producer who is sick of the bureaucratic red tape and the system in Hollywood, and he goes out and buys ten criminals condemned to die on death row from various prisons throughout the world, puts them on an island where they’re forced to fight for their freedom, that freedom going to the sole survivor. He’s going to broadcast this over the World Wide Web, so basically, for $49.99, you get a chance to watch a human snuff film.
CS: So basically you kill people for the entire movie.
Austin: Yeah, you better if you want to live.
CS: Who directed the movie?
Austin: The director is this first-time director named Scott Wiper. He ended up doing a couple rewrites of the movie as well. I think he rewrote the thing 8 or 9 times till we got it right. It turned out real good, guy was really prepared. I think you’ll be hearing this guy’s name in the future and they did a hell of a job, and I’m looking forward to working with him again, if I get a chance.
CS: Vinnie Jones was known as one of the most violent guys in soccer back in his day. Do you get to thrown down with him in this movie and does someone being a tough soccer player mean anything to a wrestler?
Austin: I actually met Vinnie many years ago, but I think the guy’s wonderful. He’s a big hunter and a fisher just like myself. We had a good time on the set, and he had a wonderful soccer career, and yeah, we mix it up a lot on the set, had several fight scenes together, but at the end, we’re always laughin’ and jokin’ and pretty much pulling pranks on each other, so we had a good time.
CS: Were you guys able to go get a few drinks together?
Austin: Oh, yeah we had several drinks together several times. We had a good time making this movie.
CS: When you get drinks, did you have to drink Guinness or did he drink Bud?
Austin: You know what? We were drinking Australian beer. We filmed this on the Gold Coast of Australia and I don’t remember what kind of beer it was, but it was all good. We had a good time.
CS: What are you doing next? Do you have another movie in the works?
Austin: No, we’re trying to find another script right now. It’s hard to find good material, and we really want to make sure we find the right thing, ’cause we don’t to do the wrong thing.
CS: I saw that you were hanging with Larry the Cable Guy earlier. Would you two do a movie together?
Austin: I’d love to do a movie with Larry. I don’t know the guy but I’m such a fan o’ his that I just wanted to meet him. He passed right by, so I wanted to make sure I got a chance to meet him.
CS: We saw a lot of great fights between you and The Rock (or Rocky, as he was known) back in the day.
Austin: I had a good time working with that guy.
CS: Do you think the two of you might ever get together and make a movie?
Austin: Well, that’d be interesting. I’d certainly be willing to consider it. He’s certainly one of my favorite people to get into the ring with. I think we brought out the best in each other and there’s chemistry there that you couldn’t deny, and I think he liked it as much as I did.