What happens when you take Luke Evans (Clash of The Titans, The Three Musketeers, and future star of "The Crow" reboot), Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Silent Hill: Revelation), Lee Tergesen (Tobias Beecher from Oz), professional wrestling's only "living breathing rompin' stompin' Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay, and director Ryuhei Kitamura (Godzilla: Final Wars, Battlefield Baseball), and lock them all away in deepest darkest Louisiana for a few months? We caught up with WWE Superstar Brodus Clay to find out exactly why No One Lives...
Starburst: How did you get involved with No One Lives?
Brodus Clay: John Laurinaitis (Executive Vice President of WWE Talent Relations at the time) got me that. He was telling me he had a project coming up and I said, "yeah I'll do it". He said, "I didn't tell you what it is yet" and I was like: "I don't care, I'll do it." So we just kind of went from there. I was coming off that pay-per-view where Christian had busted me in the head with a ladder, so I had staples and I was going to be on the shelf for a few weeks. It was perfect timing.
Tell us about your role in the film.
I play Ethan, he's a real man's man who reports to his brother Hoag who runs a local gang. He's loyal to a fault and not very smart unfortunately, and not a tremendously gifted fighter either. Then he's face to face with Luke Evans who is quite possibly the most sadistic human being on the face of the planet. So even though I play a very tough mean man I'm at the absolute worst spot for being faced with a psychopath.
He got to you quite early on in the movie, didn't he?
If I'd have got one punch in, it would have changed the whole course of the movie so I kind of look at it that way. And if you're going to go out, go out big. I think I was the first male Caesarian birth in a movie and I'm very proud that I gave birth to a 5' 10", 135lb English male. I mean, that's not an easy task to accomplish.
You worked with Ryuhei Kitamura on the movie - were you familiar with his work before taking the role?
I knew about Midnight Meat Train and Godzilla: Final Wars. I'm a huge Godzilla guy, I love Godzilla, so I was very excited to be one of those monsters. I was a big S.O.S. and Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla guy, I love those, and when he and I actually talked about the role all we talked about more than anything else was the Godzilla movies. But then he was like, "Ethan! He's a big guy, he's aggressive, he doesn't say much" and I was like, "OK cool" but then he kept adding lines and lines and lines and kept giving me more opportunity. He was very gracious and he was very good at telling me exactly what he wanted. That was a tremendous help to me, he was a very good director.
Some of your fellow cast members have had some pretty big roles in their own careers. With you being relatively new to the movie world, did they have any words of advice?
Oh yeah. I was nervous about being the new guy and working with Lee Tergesen and Luke Evans. They'd give tips, not ask questions, and they were a lot of fun. They were very open, we had dinner a few times on set. They were very cool guys. For the amount of work they've done they could easily have been like, "who's the new kid?" and kind of done that hazing thing. But then again, the new kid was 6' 8" and 420lbs this time, so... They were very fun and I hope to work with them again, I really enjoyed it.
Now that you've appeared in a movie, would you say you've caught the acting bug?
Oh yeah, a hundred percent. I would like to try a different genre although the next movie I do I would like to be the actual killer and get some kills under my belt. Ethan didn't get any kills. He might get credited for that scene with Luke Evans' girlfriend but it's very sketchy whether I'm a killer or a suicide aider. There's an asterisk next to that kill, I don't know if I get a full movie kill credit for that.
We did wonder when you were "giving birth" in the film if you were about to come back as a zombie...
Huge curveball. At the film festival a lot of people thought when I sat up, "oh it's a zombie movie" but then they were like "what?!" and they all clapped, so... I hadn't seen it until I actually saw it in the movie theatre, and I didn't realise how badly I had been murdered until I saw it in the movie theatre. And the way it was done, it was very old school. It wasn't CGI and all this animation and stuff, it was good old fashioned latex and make-up, and Luke Evans did a tremendous job.
We were going to ask how you coped with the gore on set, but it sounds like you were probably OK with it.
Oh yeah. My favourite horror film of all time is An American Werewolf in London for the simple fact that I just really appreciate the animatronics. I love the old school films and things like that, and American Werewolf was very well done. I think a lot of movies kind of cheat with all the extra effects and whatnot, I think you've got to have the real fake blood and screaming girls and everything. I'm very happy and honoured that my movie was filmed like that. Being covered in gallons and gallons of sticky hot syrupy fake blood in Louisiana in the summertime, it's like basically just being in the shower all day on hot. It's really hot and unbearable, very muggy. It's a very tough place to be covered in mud and blood and all that stuff.
How do acting and wrestling compare to each other? Is it possible to say whether you prefer more than the other or are they so different that you can enjoy both in their own ways?
I think you can enjoy them both, creativity and entertainment go hand in hand together. Movie characters take more repetition and there are different scenarios and film angles, and the WWE is kind of more "live right now" so you interact with the fans and you feed off the people. The people are, a lot of the time, the director, whereas in movies you have an actual director and you've got to do a certain thing a certain way no matter what. Things happen in WWE in the middle of the ring, a situation will happen and you don't know how the fans are going to react so a lot of WWE is impulse, instincts, and feel the crowd and know the direction your character is going. When the WWE asks you to produce, that means now, so I think there's a lot more pressure in terms of delivery in the WWE. But in terms of separation, overall, in terms of trying different things and going in a certain direction you'd have to go for movies. They're both very interesting, and different but similar at the same time.
Were you a fan of wrestling when you were growing up?
Growing up I was a big Heenan Family guy, I was a fan of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, a huge King Haku fan, and "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff was probably my favourite wrestler hands down. Double A Arn Anderson, so many guys. I didn't miss it - I'd go from playing outside with my brother to running into the house to catch WCW or NWA or WWF. It didn't matter what brand it was, I was going to watch it.
Starburst Magazine mainly covers movies and comics, so some of our readers might not be familiar with the world of wrestling. For the benefit of those readers, tell us what an average day looks like in the life of a professional wrestler.
Take today for example, I've got phone calls with our WWE publicist and so I'll do my interviews and then I'll get up and stretch, then I'll hop in the car to go and train with my trainer Bill DeMott to work on some new moves. Then I'll hop back in the car and drive for another 45 minutes - I've been working on breaking my deadlift record and my bench press record so I'll go and do some powerlifting with Rob MacIntyre at Hard Nock's South. Then I'll go home and pack my bags and get some sleep, then in the morning I'll fly out to Denver, Colorado. I'll drive again there, find a place to stretch and lift, and then get ready to have a wrestling match and entertain the people of Denver.
WWE fans know you as the Funkasaurus, but when you first appeared on the main roster your character was completely different. What was the reason for that, and is it something you'd like to go back to?
In WWE your character always has to evolve. You have to keep changing, and situations dictate behaviours. I would like to see a marriage of the two characters eventually. I think having a mean streak is a good thing in certain situations if done right, and having the Funkasaurus is also a tremendously cool thing so it would be cool to do both together. Almost a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde type relationship, I think it could be a lot of fun. My goal is to bring the two together.
You mentioned a few of your favourite wrestlers earlier. Would you consider any of them to have influenced your own career in any way?
King Haku, yes, quite a bit. I tape my fingers like he did. Dusty Rhodes as far as showmanship and just having a good time and being relaxed out there. Bam Bam Bigelow and Terry Gordy were some other favourites of mine, just being aggressive and going forward. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was another one, and Andre The Giant. There are so many different guys that you want to emulate and hope they rub off on you. You have to be influenced to be inspired to want to do things and go after it and want to go out and put in the work that you do to have that opportunity to be in the WWE. I think without those inspirations I probably wouldn't be here.
What have been your personal career highlights so far, and where do you hope to go from here?
Obviously to be a world champion - you wouldn't do this if that wasn't something you wanted to be. To be recognised for your work and to be more than just a pretty face, so to speak. I haven't had a match at WrestleMania yet - due to circumstances, it didn't happen but it lead to my "365 To Redemption" on Twitter where I've been working every day to get back to WrestleMania. It's been a journey with the fans, with all the ups and downs. We talk about it every day - today is Day 168 of 365 To Redemption so I'll finish training and I'll drop some words about my day to my fans on Twitter. It's kind of become almost like a cult following a little bit - people send me pictures of tough things they're trying to fix or goals they've set and where they're trying to go. I look at it as a personal low in terms of anticipation in that you always want to have that match at WrestleMania, but it's kind of turned into a positive. We're building on it and trying to get some momentum going through things coming up like the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, and hopefully be in a spot at WrestleMania where they can't mess with our time. Everybody wants that Undertaker or that John Cena or that Randy Orton match. To have that moment could take your career to a whole other level.
NO ONE LIVES is out now on DVD/Blu-ray.