-You’ve had such
a fascinating career — A wrestler, and then
you transitioned into films, and not just one kind of film.
You do action films. You do comedies
that are family-friendly. You do comedies that are
not kid-friendly. [ Laughter ] And — But how involved — What’s your involvement
with the WWE these days? -Have you been stalking me? -I’ve been stalking you.
I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan of your work.
-That’s fair. That’s fair. I’ll allow it. No, I will never leave the WWE. Everybody’s like,
“Well, hey, we don’t see you in the ring regularly
on ‘Monday Night Raw’ or ‘Friday Night Smackdown.'” The thing when you do
these movies, and these are wonderful
opportunities that I truly enjoy doing. And don’t tell anybody. I’m sure, you know,
this will stay between us. I’m 42. I’m a little bit
long in the tooth. I’m not as young as I used to be
nor as quick. And even when I was in my prime,
I was labeled unorthodox. So unorthodox with age, I’m just
going to be like this. [ Grunting ]
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -So, I never want to do that.
[ Laughter ] So, basically, I had to kind of
to look within and realize that, like, I’ve had
a great contribution over there and I can no longer do it
full-time because I just — I’m not built to last like that. -Right.
-It’s a rigorous schedule. And then, add on top of that,
these wonderful opportunities where when you get them,
they’re like, “Yeah, we’re going
to film for six months,” and I was like, “Hey,
can I have weekends off to get my face bashed in?” Like, “No, you can’t.”
-Yeah. -Yeah, you can’t.
So they just don’t — The movie business doesn’t
allow you to do both. -But the WWE must be happy when
you do find time to come back. As somebody who’s been away,
they just must be thrilled when they get to see you.
-No, it’s great. And every single interview I do,
like, I’m taking so much of my WWE experience with me
to this new chapter of my life. And it is my family. I realize, like, their fans
are so dedicated and passionate, and I’m one of them. Like, my position
has just changed. -Yeah.
-I just watch as a fan, and I contribute as a mentor,
and I coach more. And I still love it. It’s still the most exciting
thing in the world that I wish
I could do it forever. But it’s just a different
set of circumstances. -Position changed.
Your haircut changed, as well. How are the WWE fans of that? -The WWE fans hated it. -They did, yeah?
-Yeah, yeah. So — So, for 25 years —
For almost 20 years, I wore, like,
a nice $6 high-and-tight where I just go in and be like,
“Usual?” “Yeah, usual.” And now I just stand
in front of a turbine engine and put a lot of goop
in my hair. -Yeah, there you go. You actually found a way
to do it for less than $6. -Yeah. Yeah. -So, in this film,
you play a smoke jumper. -Yes.
-Which is a very highly — the most elite,
I guess, version — -336 in the world. -That’s only — Only 336?
-Only 336 in the world. -And these are firemen
who basically just drop into the center of the blaze. -Yes, keep in mind, they’re
choosing this as a profession. They drop at low altitudes,
so it’s a very dangerous jump, oftentimes dislocating joints
and breaking bones. They then set the bone
or the joint on the spot and go to work with the injury. So they drop into
these wildfires, and they stay
until the fire is contained. So they drop in with their gear
to fight the fire and supplies to live. So, like, they’ll drop in
as a team. And somebody sets up camp, and the rest of them
go fight the fire, and then
they take shifts sleeping, and they just never stop. So that’s definitely something
I could never do. -Yeah.
-Yeah, I very much admire it. -And yet, this is
also a kids’ film. And it’s about firefighters. -Don’t get this one twisted.
This is a fun gag — -Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I feel like we focused too much
on the fire-jumping part. Kids are like, “I don’t want
to see this movie, Mommy.” No, but this is — Because this is about,
you basically have to take care of three kids
in an unexpected way. -The reason we wanted
to use smoke jumpers is because first responders
are heroes. Their job description is to put themselves
in harm’s way to save others. And we wanted to get an elite
sense of those first responders. So with only 336 smoke jumpers,
seemed like an obvious choice. So we wanted to establish, like,
these guys are super fearless and heroic and can handle
everything, except normal life. -Yeah.
-Life gets turned upside down. Poop, soap, gags. -Yeah, there you go.
-You guys know. It’s fun! -How do you like —
You’ve worked with kids before. Is it hard being on set
with kids, just because, obviously,
there’s a — You have to keep it PG? -No, no. So, and, I guess
it’s all about environment. Like, kids are special. I filmed a show recently called “Are You Smarter
Than a 5th Grader?” and these kids were so wonderful
and brilliantly talented. The original concept of the show
was a comedy bit with essentially the host
and the competitor. When I saw these kids,
I know the kids are the stars. We have to showcase
what they do. And it was on Nickelodeon,
which is a partner of the movie. So we wanted to embrace these
wonderful, beautiful minds, and they’re awesome. And it was the same
on “Playing with Fire.” We just had to have things
like a bouncy house on set. -Right.
-And toys everywhere. And our director, Andy Fickman,
was awesome. Like, day one,
he sat us adults down and was like, “You guys all
signed up for a kid movie. We’re going to treat the kids
super special. We’re going to take care
of them first, and you as responsible adults
are going to wait your turn, and we’ll get to you
afterwards.” So the kids were great because they had such a fun time
making the movie. And we tried to make it
never like work for them. -That’s fantastic.
-And us as adults were cognitive enough to know, like, I didn’t know what was
going to do at 8 years old, let alone be asked
to do something on cue. -You were youngest of four boys,
is that right? -No, no, I’m the second oldest
of five. -Five.
-Yes. -Did you guys all treat each
other with the same respect that those kids were
treated with on the film set? -We did not.
-Yeah, yeah. [ Laughter ] -Yeah, yeah, it was — Worst household ever. -Really?
-Yes. Yes. Think — Think “Animal House.”
-Okay, yeah. -Yeah.
-Were you by far the biggest of them all? -No, see, we’re all
really built, like, all have big hands. We all wear, like,
size 13, 14 shoes. All of us are in that
like 200- to 250-pound range. -Oh, my gosh.
-We’re all really close in age. It’s like, 45, 42, 41, 39, 37. So on any given day,
you could get your ass kicked. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -It was —
You literally just — -At what point did
just the house clear out of anything fragile
or breakable? Like, at which point
did they just give up trying to have
nice stuff around? -Probably by me, child two. -Yeah. -And then by child five, the
entire house was Tempur-Pedic. Run into a wall
and sink into the wall, yeah.