By Phil Allely
In an exclusive interview with Phil Allely WWE legend turned hugely successful actor ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin promoted his latest DVD release Born To Fight and stated that if he did have one more match the WWE’s CM Punk would be his chosen opponent.
Still on very good terms with the WWE Austin has been the face of the recently revamped Tough Enough series and stepped back into the ring to referee a match at this years Wrestlemania. He is also the man at the centre of an interesting semi-shoot storyline where CM Punk and himself are battling on Twitter in relation to a proposed feud.
So Steve whilst we have seen twitter remarks and other mentions of him, we’ve not actually heard you comment on CM Punk, what do you really think about him?
“Aw hell I think Punk is a great guy, I’d say he looks up to me for what I did in the ring back in the day. I now look up to him for what he is doing now. I’d say it’s a case of mutual respect now. So yeah I hear the stories, if the stars aligned and all things worked out to benefit us all (The WWE, myself and Punk) I’d say that he is the guy I’d pick to face. I could get another match out of this carcass of mine sure”.
Born to Fight is Austin’s latest DVD and one that takes him away from his comfort zone of action films. Telling the tale of a young man new to school who experiences bullying, this tale is one that Stone Cold feels will appeal to more than just his loyal fan base.
Born to Fight is a movie that seems well out of your action movie comfort zone, was that a conscious decision after such movies as Hunt to Kill and The Expendables?
“This movie (Born to Fight) shows a softer side to me than the previous ones I guess. I’d call it the Karate Kid meets Rocky type of film, I play an ex-boxer turned school janitor. I see this kid being bullied and I train him to become a boxer and teach him how to stand up for himself, whilst learning more about myself too. I enjoyed the role as it stretched me as an actor, there is more dialogue for me to tackle for a start, I don’t even cuss once in this one. I got to develop my character more than in previous movies. There’s no fight choreography, it made it interesting. It’s a different kind of movie for me. You know when I was young I wasn’t bullied, but now days you hear of it all the time. I think the story here where my character (Dan) helps this youngster learn how to make his way through life is a confidence building one. There’s more to the story than most you see being made. People will relate to it.”
What’s next for you movie wise?
“Next up I have a film called recall in post-production, I’m a vigilante ex-cop and track down people who got off through the system, and serve my own kind of punishment to them.”
I think we can safely say you have a talent for acting, I’m sure you get many scripts sent to you now that you’ve notched up such an amount of successful roles, what entices you to a role?
“You know what I read the script and try to find something different, I mean saying that a bunch of my films have seen my family killed, I look for a good script. A lot of my films lead to some form of fighting, I want to grow as an actor, and still please my fans.”
Last time I spoke to you (promoting Hunt to Kill) you said that comedy was something you would love to give a go, how is that going?
“Comedy, no one has asked really, but I am working on it now myself. I have a script in progress, kind of a spoof of the action genre and I do want to do that, I’m a fun guy in real life, I’d love to do that.”
So Steve you’ve been fortunate enough to work on big budget films, low budgets straight to DVD movies and TV shows, which do you prefer?
“You know I had a lot of fun on expendables, those guys were carrying the weight of the film and I got to hang out have fun and aspire to be a bigger star one day. I enjoy making what I do, I am a quiet guy and am happy doing what I can do.”
“TV wise, you know what I am trying to pitch a script right now, to be part of something I could invest years in to build a character would be something I’d definitely like. On many levels I like change and get uneasy if things stay the same, but to be able to work on a project for set hours and days would be perfect, Nash Bridges was something I enjoyed, but I was in high demand, wrestling was extremely over then, I had a blast, if I knew what I knew now I’d do it different now.”
You returned to the WWE at WrestleMania, what prompted that?
“We I thought if I am gonna be there and not one of the guys wrestling why not be the guy pullng all the strings. I enjoy working WWE shows and the fans. It’s fun being closer to it all. It’s changed a bit since my day, we were a lot edgier then. I don’t miss the bumps and travel grind though. Wrestling is out of my system, but I still like being involved.”
At Mania you got to work with your old friend Jim Ross do you remain close friends?
“JR and I talk all the time, it’s great to work with him when I have the opportunity. He was instrumental in the success of Stone cold. He is doing alternate commentary on my new DVD, there are three unseen matches on it so that will be good for the fans. We cover my time in USWA then we jump to WCW, take in ECW and then the WWE. One of the unreleased matches has me against Kurt Angle, it was a really physical match and I’d forgotten how tough it was til we started watching it back. Looking back like that lets you see things you would change if you could go back.Early in my career I was in Ric Flair mode early in my career (acting like a back peddling heel) I was really treading water for a time. But then as the fans yearned for an ass-kicking guy I stepped up and gave them what they wanted, it was my greatest success when Stone Cold was born.”
What about Tough Enough, will we see a season 2?
“ I hear there will be a second series I’d say there’s a 95% chance of it right now. I really did enjoy doing it. That was my first foray onto reality TV. I had been approached before and turned them all down, but Tough Enough intrigued me. To work with Bill (De Mott), Booker and Trish (Status) made it special, reality TV was more fun than I anticipated it to be.”
What are your feelings on the much hyped John Cena/Rock match at next years WrestleMania?
“That’s an interesting build-up to watch, a year-long build is something no one’s ever done. Rock is doing his thing (in Hollywood), WWE are doing their thing and there’s still a while to go for the pay off. I will be interested in seeing how it plays out.”