Dean Ambrose recently spoke with ComingSoon.net to promote WWE Studios’ “12 Rounds 3: Lockdown” movie. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:
CS: I don’t know how long ago you shot “Lockdown,” but how were you first approached about doing a movie for WWE Studios?
Dean Ambrose: We shot this movie last year, almost a little over a year ago to the day that we did it in Vancouver. It was about a six-week shoot. It was an interesting process to make because I had no idea really how a movie even gets shot, because it was my first time really on a movie set, let alone being the star of a movie. WWE is kind of like show business boot camp where you learn a little bit of everything and you get so used to being in front of the camera with marks to stand on and cues to go to. You just learn so much about so many different elements of all entertainment, anything that’s in front of the camera or the mic. We do all our own stunts, we do all our own dialogue and fights, and everything is in one take. It’s such a high-pressure form of live entertainment that I found once I got out there being on a movie set isn’t that different from being on “Monday Night RAW.” It’s all stuff that I was prepared for. I feel like I did a really good job or as good as any experienced actor could have done with that role.
I definitely didn’t want it to be “Dean Ambrose plays a cop,” just a WWE pro thrown into a police uniform and that’s the movie, because to me, that wasn’t any good. I wanted to show that I could really do this and be good at it, especially the more I learned and as I got better, I really started figuring out how the process worked. I really wanted to make people forget that they were watching Dean Ambrose and buy into that I was a cop, who has a much different life from my real life or the Dean Ambrose you see on TV, who is probably a lot closer to my real life personality.
The thing is that not only do you learn so much about being in front of a camera and stuff, being on “Monday Night RAW,” but at the same time, I’m not really acting on “Monday Night RAW.” To me, what you see is what you get. I don’t go out there and put on any sort of front for people. If I’m in a good mood, I appear in a good mood on TV, and if I’m in a bad mood, I just go out there and look like I’m in a bad mood. I just go out there and be myself, and turn up the voltage a little bit for entertainment value. I’m one of the few guys that I’m not doing any acting on “Monday Night RAW,” so I wanted this to really be a chance for me to completely slip into somebody else’s shoes and really become somebody different, like an extremely confident detective, a guy who has a lot of responsibility and there’s a lot on the line here. Life is really a risk and he has skills and so forth. You have to keep thinking to stay alive and problem solve and really become this kind of person, not just some dude throwing chairs across the ring. It was a really fun challenge to me, and I think I did as well as I could have hoped for.
CS: You’ve only been with the WWE for a couple years so being asked to do a movie so soon, did you have to think twice about it because it would take you away from wrestling or was it just too good an opportunity to pass up?
Dean Ambrose: Oh, I took it in an instant. Are you kidding me? “For sure.” It came out of the blue actually. I don’t really know how everything came through the pipeline where they thought that there would be a character that I would be good at, but the second the opportunity was presented to me, I jumped all over it. How often do you get a chance to be in a movie, you know what I mean? It wasn’t something I had put any thought into pursuing at all. When you’re going to 300 towns a year and being on the road all the time wrestling, you’re just so sucked into that world that when you have a chance to step out of that with a part that’s ready made for you, it was like, “I can’t pass this up for sure.” I didn’t realize until I already agreed to do it that I would be the lead role in the movie. I thought I would just be a background player, have a bit part or something. Once I realized the position I was in and the challenge I had in front of me, it became even more exciting. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I could say I starred in a movie.
CS: I was at SummerSlam on Sunday and it was a great line-up. It’s interesting to see where the WWE is going these days, because there isn’t as much good guys/bad guys and you’re a good example because you’re a fan favorite without being the typical fan favorite. Do you think wrestling is getting smarter about what the fans want?
Dean Ambrose: All I know is that all I can do for me is… I don’t want to be inauthentic. The thing about me is that I was never created in a creative meeting. Nobody ever came up with the idea of Dean Ambrose. What you see in the ring on Pay Per View or “Monday Night Raw” of Dean Ambrose is just the total good and the bad of 29 years of life and ten-plus years experience in wrestling. Some of its good, some of its bad and some of its ugly, but this is just the person that has shaped me. I don’t want to be anything that I’m not, because I don’t think it would come off right. If you like it, cool, if you don’t, whatever. All I can do is be me to the hilt and if people like me, then it’s probably that authenticity and that honesty that they like ‘cause I’m not out there asking them to like me. I’m just going out there and laying my body on the line.
CS: You’ve had some great matches with Roman Reigns over the weekend and the Dudley Boys are back in action, so do you think you two will stay as a tag team and maybe take them on? That would be a pretty amazing match.
Dean Ambrose: Yeah, anytime I can team with Roman Reigns is always a good day, because it’s always fun to be out there with your friend and a guy you have good chemistry with. It just takes everything to a different level. It gives it a football game type of atmosphere, having that extra guy to play off. I will always welcome that opportunity.