November 20, 2007
Chyna's rough road in Hollywood
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling
Hollywood has been kind to some wrestlers, while others haven't fared so well. Dwayne Johnson, for example, is becoming more of an A-lister with every picture he puts out. On the other hand, it's safe to say nobody's bugging Kane to make See No Evil II. Looking to join The Rock in the spotlight of success is Joanie Laurer, better known to wrestling fans as Chyna.
While the former WWE star hasn't been on WWE programming for several years now, that's not to say the former Women's and the first ever female Intercontinental Champion has disappeared from television entirely.
"I've been in Hollywood for eight years now," she told SLAM! Wrestling, taking a break from signing autographs at last month's Wrestle Fan Fest in San Francisco. "I've done a lot of TV, I've been playing my music, I've been getting naked a lot, I've done a few movies."
Um, could you back up for a second there? 'Getting naked a lot'?
"Well, I (appeared in) Playboy magazine," she said, proudly holding up one of the two issues that adorned her picture on the cover. "And I was naked on The Surreal Life", a reality TV show that features mainly B-list and C-list celebrities living together in a house.
Laurer has actually done two seasons of that show over the past few years. The first year, fans were shocked by her behaviour, which generally involved her drinking heavily. On one infamous incident, she got into an on-camera spat with her then-boyfriend Sean 'X-Pac' Waltman.
It was with Waltman that she also appeared in a homemade sex video, which was released commercially a couple of years ago. But it's clear that she would rather put that particular film experience behind her, and focus instead on her burgeoning career in more mainstream fare.
"I have a movie that just came out," she said excitedly. "It's called Cougar Club. It's a comedy, and I'm really happy about it. I got to work with a great cast, like Joe Mantegna, and one of my movie heroines, Faye Dunaway."
Laurer wouldn't divulge too much about the plot, other than to say it involves a club for younger men who appreciate the charms of older women, or the character she plays, beyond noting that making the movie was "a lot of fun. It was a role that I really liked to play."
As for future roles, Laurer isn't going to rule anything out. Including the role of Wonder Woman, for which rumours often link her as a prime candidate, should the yet-to-be-confirmed movie actually come to fruition. That would be an ideal role, she says, though doesn't necessarily pay heed to the casting speculation.
"That would be a wonderful role, I would absolutely love to do that. Yes, I've heard the rumours. There are a lot of rumours that I hear about -- sometimes, I hear about them just like the fans do, in the tabloids or newspapers. But I would definitely love to do that kind of role. I like sci-fi roles, horror, action. Anything I can play the role well in, I'd like to do."
Does that include maybe a role back in the ring as a wrestler?
"Well, I've never been asked," she replied after mulling over the question. "But I haven't always been treated nicely in wrestling, so I don't know why I would. And anyway, that's not my ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to do more films."
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"Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur would like to express his condolences to the friends and family of The Fabulous Moolah, one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time. Share your Moolah memories at email@example.com.