Austin starting to find comfort level as an actor
DARREN WOOD - SLAM! Wrestling
It has been a nonstop year for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He's had no less than three feature films released.
The latest is Austin's direct-to-DVD release Hunt to Kill, and it was his favourite one to work on.
"I had a blast filming this; I've always loved hunting and fishing. I loved spending the bulk of the movie outdoors filming. It was raining and it was in the winter and you were very cold and wet. But everybody worked their butts off, cast and crew and there were no primadonnas, so I had a great time," Austin told SLAM! Wrestling.
"I really enjoyed the movie when I watched it back, I then followed this up with The Expendables and so now I'm getting ready to go back to filming.
"I am looking to take what I have learnt from Hunt to Kill and working with Sly [Stallone] and all those other great actors in The Expendables and kick ass on the next film."
The former WWE Champion feels that he is now starting to find his whereabouts as an actor. Getting into a certain character and learning different techniques is something that Austin states he found difficult at first, but since The Expendables he has been concentrating on settling into roles he plays.
"I'm just focusing on being a certain character. I'm trying to get as fluid and as good at acting like I was being an ad-libbed, impromptu act on live TV. I was so entrenched in the storylines I was involved in and being Stone Cold Steve Austin that I knew exactly what that guy said and did at any given situation.
"Now though it's learning how to do that from a character standpoint and I think the more you know about the character the easier the words come. I'm trying to reach that comfort level with all the roles I play and that's why I am looking forward to filming my next project and taking everything I learnt into that one.
"Finding that comfort level is something that I have found difficult and it's something that I am looking to improve upon."
When Austin left WWE, his intention was to never be an actor, he originally stayed around in Texas for three or four years hunting and fishing. He then remembered that he enjoyed his appearances on the TV show Nash Bridges while he was with WWE, so he decided to go to Los Angeles and try to get into acting.
"I got into acting because I needed something to do. I wanted something to do. It wasn't so much a passion, it was a job that I could go from wrestling into this because I had somewhat of a name. Now that I have done five, six movies I am passionate about it, I understand the process," he said.
"I want to be as good as I can be, I wanna be a great convincing, compelling character in any movie that I do. I am now passionate about the acting profession whereas again when I got into it, it was just something to do. I want to be the best I can be and become a successful actor."
Being from the wrestling business, Austin felt that there may have been problems in generally being accepted in the movie industry at first. Now the WWE Hall of Famer hopes he can be as a successful in acting as he was in wrestling but realizes that this may take time.
"The Stone Cold Steve Austin character was tremendously successful. I'm getting a little bit of a late start but I have improved from when I got into the profession of acting. All I can do is keep a positive attitude, keep learning and soaking up information like a sponge like I always do.
"People think that the character you play in wrestling is who and what you are. I'm not totally Stone Cold Steve Austin, the ass-kicking, crazy, beer-drinking, hell-raising and finger-gesturing redneck. I loved being that guy and it's a big part of me but it's not who and what I am.
"It was tough to distinguish the two but I think now people are starting to get a sense that I am a different cat. Now I think it goes with the territory, you gotta get out there and network, which is not something I really like to do. You have to meet people and get them to have a sense of who and what you are in real life."
Speaking about his retirement from wrestling, Austin still believes that if the incident where he was temporarily paralyzed during a match with Owen Hart back at SummerSlam 1997 hadn't happened then he would probably still be in the ring. His passion and love for wrestling and its fans is something that will never change.
"I worked my butt off to try and entertain the fans in a job that I absolutely loved to do and it's a business that I absolutely loved. When I had to ride off into the sunset it was a result of a bunch of injuries saying, 'Hey you need to get your ass outta here and go do something else.' In life you gotta play the cards your dealt and those were the cards I dealt.
"It was time for me to go down the road. You know what, in 10, 20 years I still want to be able to go hunt, fish and do all the things that I do in a pain-free fashion. Right now I am 100% pain free and 100% healthy.
"Had I stayed in the ring with the very violent physical work style that I had. I wouldn't be in very good shape so I had to get out when I did.
"I love the wrestling business, I love my wrestling fans and if I can't entertain you in the ring, I hope I can entertain you on the screen."
Review: Hunt to Kill a good role for Stone Cold
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Darren Wood is a freelance journalist in the United Kingdom currently working as UK Features Editor for online magazine The Wrestling Press (www.thewrestlingpress.com).