By: J. Alex Mattis
This past Tuesday, November 9, 2010, the folks over at Anchor Bay released “Hunt To Kill,” a feature film staring pop culture icon and perennial badass, Steve Austin. During the media tour for the film, Mr. Austin took time to speak with The MMA Happy Hour about H2K, his acting career, and the amazitude that is Cain Velasquez.
This marks the third movie for ol’ Stone Cold this year. Things started off with “The Stranger” back in June then went on to the manliest movie ever made, “The Expendables,” in August, and are now wrapping up with “Hunt to Kill.”
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this movie, much like the other two, is heavy on action and firepower. Essentially, Austin and his daughter are held hostage by a group of very bad people and are forced to help said bad guys track down some money. Chaos, as well as some ridiculously awesome fight scenes, shortly follows.
“One of things I liked most about this movie was the relationship between this father and daughter. I can identify with that, spending so much of my life on the road with professional wrestling.”
Austin felt very comfortable with the character he portrayed in the movie – Jim Rhodes: a border patrol agent who, after a straining divorce, is trying to reconnect with his daughter. Like any other father-daughter relationship, its stability is tested over a few days of being held at gunpoint and trekking through mountains in inclement weather.
“Hunt To Kill” marked the first occasion that Austin worked with director Keoni Waxman. The former world champion had nothing but positive things to say about Waxman. “Keoni was good, man. He shot the hell out of this movie,” said Austin. “I liked the way it was put together.” Another pairing of the two is very possible in the future as Austin added, “I’m looking forward to trying to work with Keoni again.”
From a new colleague to a familiar face: sharing the screen with Austin, once again, was Eric Roberts. “He showed up on the set and started being a prima donna,” Austin light-heartedly recalled. “I weathered the storm and he came around real fast and I had a lot of fun working with him, again. Me and Eric hit it off great in The Expendables.”
Despite the seriousness of the roles played in both movies, Austin says Roberts is, “one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met in my life.”
Austin’s main rival in the film came in the form of ‘Banks,’ played by Gil Bellows. “Gil’s a great actor. Man, he’s fun to work with he’s fun to watch. He put a great spin on his character; he put it over the top.” Despite the two trying to run each other over with four-wheelers, it seems like the two got along fairly well; “I’d love to work with him again.”
As mentioned, this movie put a cap on the busy year that Steve Austin has had. Mr. Austin expressed how much this year has helped him grow as a person and as an actor.
“Man, it’s been a year of learning,” Austin humbly stated. “You go onto something like The Expendables and you work with a guy like Sly Stallone, and you see how a guy like that goes about his business and how prepared he is; it’s a real eye-opener.”
“I learned a lot from Sly.” The director of “The Expendables” had a clear influence on Austin. “It was a great year and I would say it was topped off by the chance to work with Sly. He inspired me to work a hell of a lot harder on what I’m doing, apply myself more and be more prepared; to be a better pro than I am.”
Inevitably the conversation turned to MMA. It was very interesting to hear what Austin had to say about the recent title fight between Cain Velasquez and fellow wrestling fraternity member, Brock Lesnar.
“Man, I tell you what – Cain Velasquez has some badass hands and he used those,” Austin still seemed taken aback by the showing Cain put on. “Cain fought of a hell of a damn fight and it’s going to be a hell of a fight between him and Dos Santos.”
While praising Velasquez, Austin expressed optimism in the future of his former co-worker. “Being the type of competitor that Brock is, he’s going to go home and watch that fight.”
“I think the next time you see Brock Lesnar fight he’s going to have better hands. He’s going to be used to getting hit. Sometimes a loss can make you a lot better.”
“I’m starting to get more comfortable now. It’s kind of like being in MMA and having your first fight versus being in pro wrestling and having your first match. Being green is being green and you get through a couple, and starting picking apart how to really apply yourself.” (He knew this would be run on an MMA site so I found totally awesome that he used that analogy. Thanks, Steve!)
“Being ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin,’ man, I lived and breathed that guy 24/7. I didn’t have to do anything to get into character. I was that guy. I’m not trying to be ‘Stone Cold’ anymore; I’m trying to be that character and living the words that are on that script, not just reciting them.”