Even though WWE Superstar Randy Orton had a role in the 2011 WWE Studios film That’s What I Am, opposite Ed Harris, he’s never anchored his own flick. Unlike John Cena, Edge, Triple H and more, Orton’s never been that guy; the one chasing down bad guys and dishing out beatings. Now Orton’s time has come with 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (the franchise sequel to the 2009 John Cena film), which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, June 4th.
Like the WWE’s Marine franchise, this sequel has a completely different story and hero, with Orton playing EMT worker Nick Malloy, who gets a phone call one night and is immediately thrust into a deadly “12 Round” game that he himself needs to figure out his role in. I spoke to Orton about his new film, playing an “everyman” character, some of the craziness involved during night shoots in shady neighborhoods, and his opinions of third generation WWE superstar Bray Wyatt’s new video and third generation star Curtis Axel’s debut.
IGN: Your character in 12 Rounds 2 is more of an “everyman” type. Not like the cop from the first 12 Rounds movie.
Randy Orton: Yeah, definitely. Well, you know, John Cena. He couldn’t play an “everyman.” Look at him. He looks like He-Man. Put Randy Orton into the EMT outfit however and he can be an average joe. [laughs] But yeah, I agree with you. I thought that was kind of cool. Because when I heard that I was going to be in the new 12 Rounds movie I was like “Okay, get ready, Randy. You’re going to be a police officer.” But no, the character is an EMT worker and I thought that was different. In a good way. It also gave them a way to cover my tattoos up for the entire length of the movie almost with the long sleeves. So they were thinking. There was some motivation behind my profession in the movie. But it was cool because there’s a part in the film where I break a guy’s nose down in a sleazy Chinese motel in Chinatown and I tell him to immediately put pressure on it to stop the bleeding. Because I care about these people. My character doesn’t want to hurt anyone, or police officers even, but I know that my wife is in danger so I gotta do what I gotta do.
IGN: What did you relate to most about the character?
Orton: I’m married and I have a daughter and I naturally love my family so, for me, trying to find motivation behind the character wasn’t that difficult. I just had to think “Okay, what if my wife was kidnapped? Would I be joking around with people and making wise cracks, or would I try to get where I’m going and figure out the bad guy’s plan?” You know what I mean? It’s high stakes. That’s what the acting coach told me. These scenes are all high stakes and so all the actors have to turn it up a notch. The challenging part for me was that, aside from maybe one scene, the whole movie was high stakes. So I had to be careful not to yell too much, or use the same mannerisms too much. And I’m not an actor. I had about 20 hours of acting coaching crammed into the week before I flew up to Vancouver to star in this low-budget action movie. But I’m happy with my performance. Could it be better? Yeah, it could be better. I ain’t gonna win no Oscars. But if you go into it knowing what it is, you’ll be entertained. And if you’re a wrestling fan, you’ll be entertained.
IGN: It seemed like you had your adrenaline going the entire movie. The action doesn’t really let up once Nick gets the first phone call. There’s a lot of running and scrambling to find clues.
Orton: I’ll tell you, the running was the hardest part for me. I’m not a runner. [laughs] Middle of the night in Vancouver and it’s raining up there. It’s late September, early October up there so it’s starting to get a little nippy. And I’m wearing the leggings underneath my outfits because it’s freezing and the director’s got me running up and down the block on a street downtown. And it’s like take after take after take. And my shins are burning and my lungs are hurting. And I’m like “This guy must think I’m some kind of sprinter or something.” I’m thinking “I’m not in the kind of shape you think I’m in, Director.”
You can read this interview in it’s entirety at IGN.com.