Kurt Angle has had a whirlwind two years.
He returned to WWE and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He followed that up by returning to the ring, initially by teaming with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as a member of The Shield, tagged up with Ronda Rousey in her first match at WrestleMania 34, and followed that up by wrestling several more matches before bidding the squared circle farewell this year at WrestleMania in a final match against Baron Corbin.
Since hanging up his wrestling boots, Angle has transitioned into a new role as a WWE backstage producer. While working behind the scenes, though, he's still managed to stay in front of the camera in another fashion: the film industry.
Angle co-stars in the new independent comedy Chasing Molly. I had the opportunity to speak with Angle about the new film in which he plays the role of a crude-talking drug kingpin, a character far from what WWE fans are used to seeing out of the 1996 Olympic gold medalist.
"They (the production crew) called my agent and wanted to see if I was available on certain dates. And it just so happened that I was able to make it," Angle said regarding how he landed the role. "I've been pretty busy with wrestling, but you know, I've been doing more of these one day, two day filmings where I take a smaller role, because it's harder for me to take a bigger role and be there for months.
"So the smaller roles seem to come better for me because I'm more available for them."
Since Angle was only available to film for brief periods due to his wrestling schedule, he had a tight window to get everything correct. When asked about how preparing for a film role compares to wrestling, Angle explained that coming from the wrestling industry is actually a major advantage when it comes to getting your scenes down quickly.
"Well, what is more of an advantage to me than others is that 99 percent of things we do in wrestling, whether it be back stage or in front of the fans, in the arena, or wrestling a match, we're live," Angle said. "You can't make a mistake. You make a mistake you just keep going.
"You know, filming a movie, I actually like it better because if mess up I can do it again. So you know, I've been trained to nail it on the first take. Now whether that's a blessing or a curse, because you know, [inaudible] movies, they'll keep doing take after take until you get it right. I looked that movie as I was doing it live, but I think in the future I'm going...
"I would know, in the back of my head, that this isn't live. And sometimes that happens. Sometimes when we do stuff pre tape we already know it and we just keep messing up, and that's why a lot of the wrestlers like to do their stuff live, because there's no safety net. And it seems like we really respond under pressure. Especially when you do that, you know, you put that type of pressure on somebody to go live, and you can't mess up, it's some heavy pressure."
Angle's character in the film might come off as a shock at first to wrestling fans who know Angle as the real-life Olympic hero and wrestling legend who told them to follow the manta of intensity, integrity, and intelligence. He wields a gun and swears almost every other word. When asked whether his wrestling persona or the character in the movie is closer to his true personality (drug dealing aside, of course), Angle laughed.
"I would say my wrestling character (is closer). I don't swear very much. It looked like it came easily off my lips though," Angle said.
He continued, "But I just embellished the character and decided, you know what, if I'm going to make this work I'm gonna have to really throw some umph into it and make it look like I really do talk like that. So it was great. I really enjoyed it. I was actually surprised at how well I did, 'cause I didn't know ... you know, I don't swear a lot. I don't really do that. But you never know how it's going to come across, but I was really happy with the outcome."
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