WWE’s Randy Orton recently took some time to talk to us about his film, “12 Rounds: Reloaded”, who his favorite wrestlers were as a kid, his life as a professional wrestler, and to offer advice for aspiring wrestlers.
Mandatory: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions, I know you’re busy. I just watched “12 Rounds: Reloaded” and it was great. What was it like working in front of a camera instead of an arena full of fans?
Randy Orton: Well, in that arena full of fans there’s usually a couple of cameras keeping an eye on us there too, you know? When we do T.V., we’ve got 5, 6, 7 cameras on us at one time and that’s how this director liked to do things. He always had at least 4 or 5 cameras running so the whole multiple cameras and, you know, in front of people thing, I was used to that. Doing live TV, there’s nothing more stressful than that, but with the movie, I was very nervous. I had about 20 hours of acting classes crammed in the week before I flew up to Vancouver. We rehearsed up there for a week and that helped with some of the nerves, being up there around everybody. Everyone was great and really nice to me. They knew I was a beginner and that I needed to lean on them as much as possible, but it was kind of a lot less stressful than the whole wrestling thing because we had take after take after take. If something happened the director didn’t like, just do it again.
Were there any changes to your workout regimen for the movie compared to your regular workout routine?
Oh yeah, well even normally it’s difficult to get into the gym more than two or three times per week but add in another four 10-20 minutes matches onto that, that’s enough for a week. But you know in this instance with the movie I had two days off in eight weeks. We shot for five weeks and I would fly home on Monday and come back on Wednesday every week when I was doing the movie. What I was doing on those days, while everyone else had the day off, I would go do Smackdown or Raw. So I did that for five weeks then we went straight to a European tour after that, that was almost three weeks. So it was a tough eight week process when I was gone last fall, but it was worth it and time flew that’s for sure. Time just flew by because you’re working so much. My workouts really did suffer. I was trying to eat as clean as I could and definitely hit the weights at least once a week. Anything more than that I just didn’t have the time.
Did you do your own stunts for the movie?
I did them all. There was one scene where I actually got kicked down a flight of stairs. I had a stunt double. His name was Ed. He was Triple H’s stunt double for “Blade: Trinity” with Wesley Snipes, as a matter of fact. Good guy. He told me about a bunch of cool stuff he had done. But he didn’t get to work much [on this film] so he didn’t like me too much I’d imagine. They get paid for every bump they take and the bigger the bump, the more money. I remember joking with him about taking bumps like, “Yeah I wish I got paid for every bump I took, I’d be a billionaire!”
Now that you’ve gotten into acting is there anyone that you would like to act alongside in the future?
Yeah man, you know, I hadn’t thought that far ahead I must admit. But there’s certainly a lot of guys. Russell Crowe. Definitely Kevin Spacey, and a couple of girls I wouldn’t mind acting with. What’s that girl from uh, oh I’m drawing a blank. She’s a Spanish lady. Vergara?
Oh, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family?
Ooooh damn, I’ll do a little acting with her, how about that? [laughs]
Now obviously wrestling has been a part of your family for your entire life. Who were some of your favorite wrestlers when you were growing up?
Oh [Roddy] Piper was a big one. He’d be around the house a lot because he and my dad were buddies. Hogan would come by. We had a condo in St. Louis and whenever the guys were coming through or working in St. Louis, they’d pass through and eat with my dad, you know. Hillbilly Jim, when I was a kid, Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff. I remember the funniest characters, man and they were all really good to me. Bret Hart watched me for a summer. While my dad would go to the ring, Bret would watch me in the back and I was probably only 5 or 6 years old, you know. I wish I had a camera back then because there’s a lot of memories but you can only remember so much and I know I got to see a lot of interesting stuff.
Definitely. Now you were the youngest person ever to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. What advice would you give to young athletes who are aspiring to make it in professional wrestling?
Well I would say there’s a few things really. You want to be careful because there’s a lot of schools out there that these kids could give thousands of dollars to and they can learn how to wrestle but it’s not that easy. I would say for anyone wanting to get into the business, guy or gal, the most important thing is to take care of your college education first. Make sure you have something to fall back on. You may have a better chance of becoming a pro football player than you would a pro wrestler so just keep that in mind. Not everyone can do it. You guys know that we’re telling a story and it’s just entertainment but, you know, I’ve got friends that can’t wrestle anymore because their necks can’t take it. I have people that I know that have given their lives for the business. It’s not easy. So definitely have something to fall back on and don’t just give your money to the first wrestling old timer that says “Hey I’ll take your money! I’ll teach you how to wrestle!” Just always think twice.
That’s solid advice. Now if you weren’t wrestling or acting what do you think you’d be doing for a living?
You know it’s funny, doing the stunts in the movie especially the ones in the car, that was so much fun. I could see myself doing that. I could be a stuntman. It was pure adrenaline. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie myself, you know, not like John Morrison or Evan Bourne adrenaline junkie. I’m not jumping out of planes anytime soon, but the whole stuntman thing was fun. Doing 180s and the 360s in the car and hitting the brakes, then running a car into the tail end of a cop car. That was fun. I got to do all the banging and smashing with the cars, that was me. I would be a stuntman if I wasn’t a wrestler, for sure.
Last question and I’ll let you get out of here, what can fans expect from you next?
Wow, well I will be working on getting some gold around my waist because it has been too long. That’s what I’ll be focusing on next.