Adam Copeland (WWE's Edge) and Kelsey Grammer star in the new film Money Plane, released Friday to all major digital video platforms. An action picture that doesn't take itself too seriously, the film also co-stars Denise Richards and Thomas Jane. Copeland plays Jack Reese, a professional thief who owes $40 million in debt. In order to keep his family safe and repay his debt to mob boss The Rumble (Grammer), Reese must complete one last high profile robbery by boarding a futuristic airline with high stakes gambling and some of the world's most dangerous criminals.
Speaking with ComicBook.com on Friday morning, Copeland described how the role came about for him just as he was getting ready to make his return to the wrestling ring, as well as why the role would have meant a lot to his late mother.
"It was all a very surreal time for me actually because I just found out that I was cleared to come back to wrestle," Copeland explained. "Maybe two weeks later, my agent called and said 'Hey we got this script. You've been offered the leading role opposite Kelsey Grammer.' As soon as I heard Kelsey Grammar I was like, okay I'm in. Then I read the script and the script was fun, didn't take itself too seriously. It's tongue in cheek. Kind of like throwback 90s, 80s action movie. Just forget a pandemic for an hour and 22 minutes and just have fun.
"But the back story with Kelsey Grammer is that my mom and I, the first show we ever really connected on and watched together was Cheers. I was just old enough that I could watch Cheers with her and that bled into Frasier. So my mom's favorite actor, bar none, no one came close, was Kelsey Grammer. She thought he was so funny, so charismatic, so entertaining. She just really really loved Kelsey Grammer, to the point where when she was diagnosed with cancer and I would take her down to her chemo sessions, we'd be sitting there for six, seven hours at some points. She goes 'I just want to go home and watch Frasier.' Right? That's what we are doing then, we are going to go home and we are going to watch Frasier.
"So all of this starts happening about a year and a half after she passed. I get cleared for wrestling, I get offered a role opposite Kelsey Grammer and I just went, okay, she's in the ether somewhere pulling some strings. Yeah, I'm taking this movie. So it was just a really fun experience. I just thought how much my mom would be beaming as I'm sitting there in a backyard in Hollywood opposite Kelsey Grammer hearing him drop some of those lines that he does. Just, again, back to very very surreal moments. I've been lucky. I've had a lot of surreal moments in my life. That one might take the cake though."
Copeland has had several opportunities in acting over the years, including notable recurring roles on Haven and Vikings. When it comes to feature films, Money Plane isn't his first. Copeland had the leading role in WWE Studios' 2016 film Interrogation and 2012's Bending The Rules. Other television roles have included The Flash, Sanctuary, Private Eyes, and others.
We asked Copeland how the preparation for Money Plane differed from his other roles in the past.
"Well, you know, I realized what it is. It's an action flick, right? It doesn't take itself too seriously and it's campy and it's cheesy," Copeland said. "It's all on purpose. There's some very over the top characters so in my mind, my guy was the straight and kind of the bedrock throughout. You can have these weird crazy things happening but Jack is the one who's in this. I guess I have some fun in terms of getting fish hooked in the fight scene and just kind of throwing out a huge over the top animated facial and things like that. But I looked at it as my character's job was to bring it back to kind of what the story was. Okay these guys are in it, they need to get out of it. So that I thought okay, that's a fun aspect.
"I also just love the idea of this ass kicking female character, who essentially does all of the fighting except for one fight scene that my character is involved in. I thought that was refreshing because generally speaking, I know if I get a role there's going to be at least one fight scene. Sometimes there's a lot more than that. I was really happy that it wasn't the case, that Katrina's character had the majority of the fight scenes. I thought that was pretty cool. There was just a lot of fun things involved. I got to share some scenes with Thomas Jane and that was really interesting and fun just to see his process and sit down with him. We were about to do a scene and he goes 'You know what? I want to smoke my pipe.' I'm like, okay. You see it and you go, okay it added something. That was an interesting choice that he just felt like smoking a pipe for the scene. It was really fun.
"Any time ... I've been acting I guess for nine years now after I retired initially from wrestling. Any time I'm on set I just try and soak in as much as I can, try and really really pay attention not just to who I'm acting with but just the lighting, the DP, the director. I ask questions. I'm sure I get annoying at times but I really want to try and understand the process and why this choice was made and why that choice was made. I think I've brought that back in with me to wrestling and kind of brought in a different aspect that I didn't have in my tool belt before."
As the filming for Money Plane was going on, Copeland was getting ready to make a surprise return to wrestling at the WWE Royal Rumble in January of this year. Copeland explained how the filming and his training, which was showcased on a recent edition of WWE 24, overlapped.
"It all happened at the same time but I couldn't do everything simultaneously because we shot in New Orleans and we shot in LA," Copeland said. "So I knew what was coming. We wrapped up before Christmas so what I would do, I went to New Orleans, I think we did two weeks there, banged all of that out, came back, went back in the ring, continued that. Okay I knew we had another week out in LA so I just basically nose to the grindstone in the ring, continued to get ready, continued in the gym. They continued filming me for the documentary, which was supposed to be life after wrestling and then became how do you juggle all of it? Then I flew out to LA, finished that sequence, and then came back and then it was all go towards the Royal Rumble.
"So it was all happening at the same time. There were a lot of plates in the air but I had a great team around me. Beth, obviously, I had the Revival guys helping me out. Then just my friends that could pick up my slack around here. It takes a village, it really does, to kind of get someone ready to do that after nine and a half years and also try to pull off filming a movie all while that's going on too. It was a lot when I look back on it now."
You can watch Money Plane on most digital platforms, including Amazon Prime and Apple. Make sure to check back with ComicBook.com in the coming days as we will have more from our discussion with Adam Copeland, including thoughts on his return to wrestling, who he wants to get in the ring with when he returns from his current injury, his thoughts on which comic book film franchise he would like to join if given the chance, and much more!