In just a few short years WWE superstar Brodus Clay has made quite an impact on the professional wrestling world and now has his sights set on the big screen with No One Lives, which opened in limited release this past weekend.
Prior to working with the WWE, Clay was a bodyguard for none other than Snoop Dogg (whose real name inspired Clay’s own character name), and since his television debut in March 2011 after being named the runner-up on NXT, The Funkasaurus (as he’s now know to millions of fans worldwide) has quickly become an audience favorite, often celebrating his victories over his opponents by dancing it up in the ring, funk-style.
Being a lover of both horror and wrestling, this writer jumped at the opportunity recently to chat exclusively with Clay about his role in No One Lives (review) , his experiences working on the film, whether or not he’d like to take on more motion picture roles and what he’s hoping for in the future while involved with the WWE.
Dread Central: Thanks so much for talking with me today, Brodus. I grew up with two loves – horror movies and professional wrestling – so any time those two worlds intersect, I’m very happy. Are the last few years surreal to you as you’ve really enjoyed a great push at WWE and now you’re starring in a badass horror movie for them as well?
Brodus Clay: Yeah, you know, I still look back at the last few years and it’s just like- wow. There aren’t many times in your life where you’re given the opportunities like I’ve been given so working with the WWE the last few years has been amazing of course. Back when I was in NXT, I was able to show them that I’m a big guy who knows how to talk so I really proved myself there; and then getting moved onto the shows, being a part of the tours, then working with a guy like (Alberto) del Rio when I came up was a lot of fun and taught me so much about the business and about myself, too.
But you know, it wasn’t so fun last year at Extreme Rules though when I got nailed with the ladder during Alberto and Christian’s match and had to get a ton of staples in my head. It worked out though because I had to take some time off, and then I was offered a role in No One Lives so of course I jumped at that. Before I knew it, they were doing all sorts of body casts on me, which I thought was a really cool process to be a part of. That was, until they told me to shave off everything right before (laughs).
Dread Central: I knew when they announced No One Lives it would be right in my wheelhouse- it’s a horror movie from the director of Midnight Meat Train which I loved, it involves WWE (and you) and also co-stars one of my favorite actors ever, Lee Tergesen from Point Break.
Brodus Clay: That’s awesome! And Lee was so cool to work with- such a great guy! I’m a movie buff so I immediately remembered him from Wayne’s World so to get to work with him was awesome. We even went to dinner one night before we started shooting and he was so funny with a great sense of sarcasm that made it easy to like him instantly. He’s such a pro and I definitely learned so much by working with him; I’m really just a rookie at this acting thing, remember, so I really worked hard to be over-prepared because I didn’t want to be the guy holding everyone back or anything like that when we were shooting.
Dread Central: I probably know the answer to this but did you tackle your own stunts for No One Lives and did you show anyone on set some moves to help them with their fight scenes?
Brodus Clay: Oh yeah, that was all me- I mean, how could I not want to fight Luke (laughs)? Well, it was more like fighting the stunt guy for a lot of it, but I did get to work with Luke on the moments where we weren’t kicking each others’ asses (laughs).
And so the stunt guy of course had on protective gear and all that stuff but I just went at it as-is and told him to just come at me and hit me. I realized really quickly that it was the wrong thing to do and say of course after getting kicked repeatedly, all day, for something like 40 or 50 kicks (laughs). All I kept thinking to myself was, “Man, I just hope we get this right soon” because there was a lot of physicality. It wasn’t like wrestling at all and you have to prepare for it in different ways.
I also helped out a few others on set with showing them some ways to do their own strikes and punches. But man, I just love that scene with Luke so much because you know at that moment, when he kicks the knife over to Ethan, that things are about to get serious and painful for him.
Dread Central: Yeah, whenever you’re in a movie and the guy you’re about to fight kicks you a weapon and doesn’t have one himself, you know you’re in for trouble (laughs).
Brodus Clay: I know, right? (laughs) That should have been the first clue that maybe Ethan needed to rethink his approach to that WHOLE situation.
Dread Central: Now that you’ve got No One Lives under your belt, have you wanted to start looking for more acting work?
Brodus Clay: Totally; I’m chomping at the bit for more movie roles as long as it doesn’t interfere with my WWE schedule. Guys like (John) Cena and (CM) Punk are workhorses so that’s the standard I hold myself to so I want to make sure I can still do the touring schedule and interact with fans if I get a chance at another role in the future. But for sure I’d love to do more acting.
Dread Central: Last question- it seems like WWE has found some success recently with revitalizing the tag team division; how soon until we see you and Sweet T in the championship mix?
Brodus Clay: See, now that’s how I know you really watch- you called him Sweet T and not Tensai (laughs). Yeah, the tag team division is getting stronger and I know we’d love to get in the title mix soon. Who knows what’s going to happen each week? It’s just a crazy ride.
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