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COMMENT





Citizen Kane
Wrestler throws himself into gory Hollywood flick
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun




Grapplers doing newspaper interviews in character may have been the norm in the 1970s, when wrestling still portrayed itself (poorly, in many cases) as real athletic competition.

But in 2006, when the cat is clearly out of the bag, that old school practice is as ridiculous as William Shatner insisting on being interviewed as Captain Kirk, or Terrell Owens trying to convince reporters he's developed a sense of humility.

So when the call from WWE H.Q. was preceded by a friendly warning -- Kane would only speak to the Calgary Sun as his wrestling character, not as the athlete behind the gimmick -- the potential for a train wreck interview was looming.

Luckily, Kane (Glen Jacobs) is a master of the media junket, never directly violating WWE's 'in character' edict but still managing to keep the conversation grounded in reality.

He openly spoke of meeting with WWE boss Vince McMahon about an upcoming project, but with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge, said McMahon wisely approached him "very, very cautiously."

He willingly let the conversation move into the realm of sports talk but after some surprisingly educated opinions on the L.A. Lakers' mishandling of Shaquille O'Neal, he gleefully talked about choking out Pete Rose.

Of course, most of the talk revolved around the release of Kane's upcoming horror movie, See No Evil, in which he plays a violent psychopath with homicidal eyes for a group of delinquent teenagers.

It's the first big budget release from WWE's motion picture division, and given McMahon's disastrous track record in non-wrestling ventures (XFL, anyone?), industry insiders are taking a wait-and-see approach with the flick.

But Kane says the movie -- which is being theatrically released by Lions Gate Pictures next weekend -- is a top quality Hollywood gore-fest.

"A good horror movie has a good story and a good character," Kane said. "This movie has both. I felt a connection to the character as soon as I read the script."

Playing a psychotic killer wasn't much of a stretch for the 6-ft. 10-in. superstar. For the past decade, his only public appearances have been as a muscle-bound monster on Monday Night Raw, a role which unnerved his fellow actors on the first day of filming.

"Oh, they were definitely scared of me," Kane said with a laugh. "But intimidation is a good thing, because you can get the reaction you want out of people. In some of those scenes, those actors aren't really 'acting' as much as you think."

Kane also gives props to WWE for its incredible marketing strategy for the movie, weaving the May 19 release date into Raw's weekly storylines. In the wrestling universe, May 19 has been revealed as the anniversary of a mystery tragedy in Kane's past and the very mention of the date sends his character into fits of violent rage.

"The trigger that this date has on me has got people chanting it in the arenas now," Kane said. "What other movie can you think of where crowds have chanted the release date?"

Kane is keeping mum -- for now -- on what the secret is. But he was more than willing to chat about some decidedly less dastardly topics, such as the NBA's MVP Award.

"Kobe (Bryant) is a great player," said Kane, who was an NCAA basketball all-star in his pre- scary monster days. "But Steve Nash deserved it all the way."

RELATED LINKS

  • More on Kane
  • More on See No Evil