Normally the voices Randy Orton hears are in his head. They talk to him, they understand. They tell him to punish his opponents with RKOs, punts to the head, and whatever he calls that awesome ropes-assisted DDT thing he does. However, in his new movie “12 Rounds: Reloaded,” the voice Randy hears is over the phone. It tells him he has to complete a series of twelve dangerous tasks or something terrible will happen to the woman he loves.
I spoke with “The Viper” the afternoon of the release of his new movie and had a chance to ask about the learning curve that comes with your own starring vehicle, the match he’s looking forward to at Payback, and which WWE Superstar looks like Sloth from “The Goonies”
Gordon Holmes: Randy Orton, third-generation star, the Viper, the youngest WWE champion ever and now the baddest EMT of all time.
Randy Orton: (Laughs) It’s very exciting for me. It’s been a long couple of months here, the editing process takes forever. But, we’re finally here. It’s my first time doing anything like this. I’m anxious for what the WWE Universe and action fans in general are going to think.
Holmes: As a sports entertainer, you’re used to telling stories. But, they always say the best characters are you with the volume turned up. This time, you’re stepping into someone else’s shoes. You’re Nick, an ordinary EMT who’s thrown into an extraordinary situation. How different was this process for you?
Orton: There are a lot of similarities, there are also a lot of ways you can contrast. I’m used to being on camera. I’ve been on camera for 13 years now with the WWE. Live television is stressful, it’s tricky, you’ve got to hit your cues. The biggest difference is that level of stress is non-existent on a movie set. For me, it was a little nerve-wracking at first because I was new to that world. But, I felt at home real quick. The actors, everyone from make-up to wardrobe to the director, they were all great. And they knew that this was my first time doing this, so they were there to help.
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!”
A huge thank you to Kaitlin over at J-Cena.com for the video.
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.