People Talk About What It Was Like Working On Movies With Pro Wrestlers
Vote up all the quotes about working with pro wrestlers that slam you with knowledge.
Professional wrestlers are such larger-than-life characters that they can't be contained by a ring. They've infiltrated business, music, mixed martial arts, and stand-up comedy, but their most successful medium outside of wrestling is film. Several wrestlers have become movie stars, while many others have provided stellar acting in supporting roles.
However, when you bring a wrestler onto a film set, you also bring their whole personality. That can lead to some friction, but it always ends with some great stories. Here are 12 of the best, as told by the people who worked with them on set.
- Photo: The Princess Bride / 20th Century Fox
André Roussimoff, AKA André the Giant, was around 7 feet tall and weighed over 500 pounds, yet it was the size of his heart that most impressed Mandy Patinkin. In an interview with NPR, the actor recalled how André made dreams come true on the final day of shooting The Princess Bride:
The movie was over, the final shot was made, and we stayed around for two, three, four, five hours while every person, every grown-up and their family came by, waited in line like children at Disneyland to stand with Andre and have their photograph taken. And he took his photograph with every single person that asked. And it was a lesson of a lifetime for me.
- Age: Dec. at 46 (1946-1993)
- Photo: Spectre / Sony Pictures Releasing21,111 VOTES
While filming the train fight between Bond and Mr. Hinx in Spectre, Daniel Craig accidentally broke Bautista's nose:
I broke his nose. I didn't do it deliberately. Clearly, it was a mistake. He's a big guy, he's a professional wrestler. You really wouldn't mess with him. I threw this punch and hit him on the nose.
Fearing retribution from the 6-foot-4, 265-pound wrestler, Craig fled in terror:
I heard this crack and I was like “Oh God no” and ran away. I thought he was going to come after me but he was so sweet.
More impressively, Bautista re-set his nose and continued filming.
- Age: 54
- Photo: The Princess Bride / 20th Century Fox3748 VOTES
Chris Sarandon Said His Daughters Were Scared Of André, But He Didn't Take It Personally
One day while filming The Princess Bride, Chris Sarandon introduced his young daughters to his co-star André Roussimoff, AKA André the Giant. His oldest, Stephanie, freaked out at the sight of the 7-foot wrestler, and her sister followed:
…Stephanie took one look at Andre and started screaming at the top of her lungs and she wouldn’t stop. Of course, her sister picked up on it and she started screaming. We had to take them out immediately. I went back and said, “André, I’m so sorry. Please forgive their behavior.”
Having experienced every imaginable reaction from onlookers, André replied in stride. “Either they come to me or run from me,” Sarandon remembered him saying.
- Photo: They Live / Universal Pictures
As the star of John Carpenter's They Live, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper paved the way for all wrestlers turned leading men, including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne Johnson, and John Cena. In Entertainment Weekly, Carpenter explained why he chose Piper for his celebrated sci-fi flick:
First of all, I was a wrestling fan when I was young. Even when I figured out what wrestling was, I was still a fan. To me, Roddy just had a weathered face and looked like he’d been working all his life. He wasn’t a Hollywood star. He had some scars on his face and I thought he would be convincing walking into town with a backpack on his back looking for work. I’d met Roddy at Wrestlemania 3 in Pontiac, Michigan. He was a great heel.
Moreover, he revealed that Piper coined his character's famous line, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum." Carpenter elaborated:
Roddy came up with that. Traveling all around the country wrestling different people, those guys come up with a lot of stuff to hype matches in interviews. They have to come up with one-liners. Roddy had a book full of them that he carried with him. He’d sit on a plane and come up with these things. He gave me the book when I was writing the script and that was the best one in there. I think he was wrestling Playboy Buddy Rose and he may have said the line then.
When Piper passed in 2015, Carpenter wrote, “I'm devastated by the passing of my friend Roddy Piper. Great wrestler, underrated actor, dear friend. Rest in peace, Rod.”
- Age: Dec. at 61 (1954-2015)
- Photo: Predator / 20th Century Fox
While getting fitted for wardrobe on Predator, Jesse Ventura learned that his arms were 1 inch bigger than his co-star Schwarzenegger's. Besting the biceps of the world's biggest bodybuilder made Ventura “feel pretty good" - until he realized it was false. Arnold had set the whole thing up:
…I told the wardrobe department they should tell him that, so I can bet him a bottle of champagne afterwards when he comes to the gym. He came to the gym two days later and he says, “You know something, Arnold? We should measure our arms [to see] who has bigger arms.” I said, “Of course we should.” I said, “Let’s bet a bottle of champagne.” He says, “Of course we should.” Then we measured it and my arm was three inches bigger than his. And he lost a bottle of champagne.
- Age: 71
- Photo: Magic Mike XXL / Warner Bros. Pictures
Joe Manganiello co-starred/stripped with Nash in both Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL. When not filming, they ate, lifted weights, and discussed art history:
He was my lifting buddy. He was my eating buddy. We still stay in touch. I love that guy. He’s also one of the f*cking smartest people you’ve ever met. Like you’ll just be sitting there bullsh*tting, and then he’ll come out with some fun fact about Cubism and the Cubist period. And you’re like, “What the f*ck?” There’s nothing that guy doesn’t know. He’s a fountain of information on everything. He’s a trip, man. I love that dude.
Nash attended the University of Tennessee but dropped out after three years.
- Age: 63
- Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America