"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, it should come as no surprise what his favourite activity was during the filming of The Longest Yard remake." />

 

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   Sun, May 22, 2005



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Austin open to more acting roles
By SCOTT ZERR - Edmonton Sun


Steve Austin in The Longest Yard.


To those familiar with wrassler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, it should come as no surprise what his favourite activity was during the filming of The Longest Yard remake.

"The most fun I had was the time I spent off-screen after work with the football players, drinking beer and popping out the stories," said Austin (known to his momma as Steve Williams), in his unmistakable Texas drawl.

As prison guard Denham, who hits the field with the likes of star Adam Sandler, rapper Nelly, fellow pro wrestler Bill Goldberg and former NFL players Michael Irvin and Brian Bosworth, Austin admitted his role in The Longest Yard is hardly Oscar-worthy.

"It's not like I'm all over this movie. Don't go to the bathroom or you're going to miss my part," the former six-time World Wrestling Entertainment champion offered with a hearty chuckle during a recent phone interview.

Austin appears in an anticipated remake of a much-admired 1974 film. The original starred Burt Reynolds, who played a former football star whose drunken rampage earns him a lengthy jail term. Once inside, Reynolds' character is blackmailed into coaching and playing for a prisoners' team in a vicious game against the guards. The Longest Yard remake opens Friday and also stars Chris Rock, James Cromwell and, in a nice touch, Reynolds himself.

If you do leave the theatre momentarily and miss Austin's appearance, keep in mind this is only the start of his movie career. He's had previous credits, a recurring role on the Don Johnson show Nash Bridges -- not much of stretch portraying a tough-talking, head-bashing, no-nonsense detective who rides a motorcycle -- and on MTV's hilarious and bloody Celebrity Deathmatch. Come August, Austin will begin shooting a starring role in the first of his three-picture deal with WWE Films.

"I'm really excited about it," said the 40-year-old, who hasn't been a regular in a WWE ring since 2003, due to a severe neck injury.

"Vince McMahon is the kind of boss who puts his money where his mouth is -- that should make things interesting."

But don't expect anything too dramatic from the Texas Rattlesnake -- more bullets, car chases and explosions than flowery monologues and touching moments.

"The characters I see myself playing are not a far cry from being Stone Cold," said Austin. "Everything will be in the action-adventure genre. I'm not looking to be a twinkle-toes or a guy like (Marlon) Brando or (Robert) De Niro. I admire those guys a great deal but I have a unique niche and I'll find stuff that easily fits my image.

"I'd like to play the lead in a movie but I'd love to be sort of a heel (bad guy) lead. As long as it's good material. It's not so much about the character per se because I'm willing to consider anything that comes down the pike.

"I just want to give Stone Cold fans exactly what they want -- solid stuff that is entertaining and intense."

Could those rugged looks attract a love interest at some point? The answer got a trademark Stone Cold response.

"Oh hell yeah! I'd definitely like some romance," offered Austin, who has had two high-profile breakups in his personal life -- one with former wife and WWE diva Debra.

"It just has to be something that is tailor-made for me and does not push the envelope too far."

Austin made a return appearance in front of his fans at Wrestlemania XXI -- more limited than what he originally expected - and is open to a potential icon against icon match with Hulk Hogan. What made him a star is never far from his mind and Austin was particularly eager to discuss one of his greatest ring moments, which just happened to occur in Edmonton.

"I wrestled Chris Benoit the night before in Calgary on Raw and we went for 10 to 12 minutes," recalled Austin. "The next night on Smackdown! we both wanted more time and I told Chris that we should just tear it down. We worked for 28 minutes. I've got a lot of respect for Chris because he's just such a terror in the ring.

"I loved being on the road every day wrestling and those cheques were great. It was such a blast to me. It's been an adjustment to life outside the ring, but life is too short to feel sorry for myself. Really, I've got nothing to be sorry about."

RELATED LINKS

  • More on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • The Longest Yard website


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • The Austin matches you've NEVER seen:
    Order Classic Superstars of Wrestling Vol. 1: Steve Austin