Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Steve Austin Interview

Don't Let Steve Austin Be a Stranger
The stone cold wrestler-turned-action-star talks his latest movie and the truth about beer.
Originally published on: June 7, 2010

5. The Talented Mr. Austin

Chris Radtke: What are some of the films, when you were doing your research for the role, that you saw inspiration? In terms of great action movies of the past and classic revenge films.

Stone Cold: This probably would be a working man’s Bourne Identity type movie. That’s the best way I can try and break it down for you. I loved the script when I first read it. It was a very challenging type role and told with the use of a lot of flashbacks. So if you watch the movie, you have to stay on your toes to watch the flashbacks, and piece it all together which comes together at the end of the movie. Dealing with everything involved with this movie, I loved the script and I thought it was a challenging role. I speak a little Spanish, I speak a little Russian and my character loses his memory in the movie. He has amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is, what he’s done, anything about his family, and he’s putting all these pieces together through the course of the movie. It was a way to push myself and try to bring up my acting shots, rather than just relying on my physicality and fight sequences. This was a challenging role to try and transition into being considered an actor. It seems every time I do another movie, there is a light at the end of tunnel. The first few didn’t even come on. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, I see one far away. It’s flickering and it got a little brighter. I’m in no shape or form, right now, a premiere actor, but at least I’m starting to unravel the pieces of what it takes to properly prepare for a role and execute it. I’m learning and that’s my goal, to be as good as I can be.

4. The Future of Steve Austin

Chris Radtke: You got to have an idea, like a director or type of movie that you are working towards to.

Stone Cold: I love the action stuff, but I love the comedy stuff too. Most of the time that’s all I do is laugh my ass off all day anyway. I’m more of a funny guy than I am a tough guy. I made a great living beating people up on TV, but that’s not who and what I am. If I could do a lot of action movies, some comedies or humor movies, that would be fantastic. It would be great to go into a movie and not lift a finger. To just do dialogue, but be able to create an interesting enough character. The bottom line is if I could make 20 more action movies, I would be a happy guy. I just want to improve. I want to be as good in front of a movie camera as I was in front of a wrestling camera. If I can be that good, I’m going to be okay.

3. Stone Cold is Just Warming Up

Chris Radtke: What about TV? You were on Nash Bridges at one point. Would you ever do a TV show? A sitcom or procedural cop show?

Stone Cold: Oh, absolutely. I would love to do something like that. Me and my guys have worked on a couple projects that were trying to tighten up. We pitched a few of them and hadn’t quite put the right pieces together, I guess. That was more of an action cop oriented.

Chris Radtke: Can you tell us a little about it?

Stone Cold: Well, no. (laughs) Someone else is going to tweak it. I love the action, buddy cop type stuff, bounty hunter type stuff or lethal weapon type stuff. 48 hours or the comedy side of things just from pure, straight up sitcom type stuff. I keep my mind open to anything. I just want to just be able to go and do it, I like to keep busy.

Chris Radtke: Would you ever consider doing a movie with The Rock?

Stone Cold: Of course, I would consider doing anything with anybody. I know that Dwayne has definitely distanced himself from the world of pro wrestling and I still might be, actually, too close to it at this point. That would have to be a whole conversation that you’ll have to have with that guy, but I think it would be great chemistry. Yes on my end. Definitely something could happen, but he’s doing his own thing and I’m proud of him for it.

2. Following in the Footsteps of the Govenator

Chris Radtke: Your one of the premiere, straight to DVD, action stars right now. There is only room to go up at this point. Have you have had any conversations with people in the past who kind of been in that realm and give you pointers on what to do, mistakes they may have made? Where people have graduated from the next level?

Stone Cold: No, I’ve never had any conversations with people who were where I am right now. I remember, you know, when I go back to my days in wrestling; when I was actually a pretty good hand in the ring. I asked this particular guy, Ricky Steamboat, who was one of my favorites to work with.

I said, ”Ricky, what am I doing wrong? What do I have to do to get to the next step?”

He said, ”Hell Steve, I don’t think you need anything.”

And I didn’t, I just needed a gimmick. That’s when I came up with the Stone Cold thing and things took off for me. I just continued to home my skills and become a better actor. Sometimes it’s a fluke, sometimes its luck and its putting yourself in the right position. But, you know, finding that role that fits just like a glove that you can really bring to life and its like some of the movies that made and defined Arnold Schwarzenegger. They were absolutely perfect for him. Look back at Conan the Barbarian, who else would’ve or I mean who could’ve played it like he did? And it wasn’t all about the dialogue; it was just a badass movie that fit him or his Terminator. Man I don’t know what to tell you, when you’re out there working on the set, I ask a lot of guys and a lot of ladies questions that are ahead of me, but it’s like you know the success of my own Stone Cold Steve Austin. I made it on my own, asking a ton of people for advice, but when I really hit it. It was just forging my own path and catching a lucky break, or catching a break. Maybe there’s not lucky about it. That’s all it is.

1. The Secrets of Beer Revealed

Chris Radtke: I have one more question, I’ve been wondering for a long time. What’s your favorite beer?

Stone Cold: When I go to my ranch on Thursday, I’ll have the daily one or two Coronas. So it’s Corona, but you cant drink a Corona unless you have a lime or salt because other than that it sucks. I really don’t drink to much beer anymore and I’m a bit of a wine snob. I live here in Los Angeles and I go to Napa Valley. I try to go their every other year, but anyway, I’m a cabernet guy and I have...

Chris Radtke: Excuse me, but what are some of your favorites?

Stone Cold: Some of my favorite cabernets are Cliff Lede, Honig and Chappellet. For a pretty damn cheap cab, Two-Buck Chuck stuff. A damn good daily drinker is called Penalolen. It’s from, I don’t know if it’s from Argentina or Chile. Anyway, that would be three on my list. I could go higher in range than that.

Chris Radtke: How did you make that transition?

Stone Cold: Well actually, back when I was out on the road, I was a big Crown Roll or Corona guy. I still am during deer season. And then I went through my vodka kick and I started drinking red wines. I was always, pretty much, into the cabs and merlots. I always do the occasional resent knelt. Basically, I’m just a cab guy.

Chris Radtke: My friend’s wife actually went to classes and studied to tell the differences between the wines. Do you have any formal introduction or do you just drink it for taste?

Stone Cold: No, I never took any classes. Can you get a good bottle of wine, cheap? Yes you can, but by the time it passes through all the mark up places, that’s where your price comes from.

Chris Radtke: What are some of the higher end cabs that you drink?

Stone Cold: I like Opice, Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente. I do like Darioush. I also like their lower selection which is Caravan, but that’s from Darioush also. Like here, right now, I picked up a case of some Obsidian Ridge and that’s from Road Hills Lake, and this is a bottle of Doumos Aura.

Chris Radtke: Do you have a custom storage area?

Stone Cold: Don’t believe in it. When I go to my wine store, my guy recommends something and he tells me, “It won’t be ready now Steve, you got to wait three or four years.” I say take it back and I won’t hold onto them that long. I want to drink them right now. I’ve had those things in the past and don’t use them. When you bring a wine out of a cooler, to me that’s too cool. I do like mine to be room temperature, if not slightly warmer. It is badass for bragging rights and they do look cool.

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