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Bret Hart Interview

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Bret Hart Interview

Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart

© 2007 Random House Canada
I had the opportunity to interview WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart a few weeks prior to his the release of his autobiography in the United States. I reviewed the Canadian edition of the book last year and felt that it was by far the greatest wrestling book ever published. The American and Canadian releases of the book are the same.

Eric: Can you tell me about the book and how it came about?

Bret Hart: It evolved, just like everything else in my life. I never really set out to write a book like the one I did. When I first joined the WWE, the WWF back then, I didn’t think I was going to last long but I thought that for the few months I was there I’d try to keep a diary of what it was like seeing the different cities and stuff.

It was too hard to write a diary so I bought a little Dictaphone that I carried with me and I just started making little entries in it. I sort of made one rule for myself. I would never listen back to them. Just say whatever you want to and then some day when you’re old and gray to sit back and be able to hear the raw truth of what happened.

Then as my career kept going up and up, I realized that over the years I had quite a collection of tapes that I never listened to. I just kept adding on to them without ever thinking about what was in there. But, just before my brother Owen’s death, I started transcribing them and the idea started forming about writing a book based on what was on those tapes. That’s kind of how it all started.

Eric: What is it about your book that has made it get such strong positive reactions from all the critics that have read it?

Bret Hart: I think that it is the truth. I don’t think that anybody, maybe Mick Foley kind of touched on the truth in his, but he had a really different career than mine. He wrote a really detailed, honest account of what it was like living his life. In my case, I think it is the same thing. People are really curious to know what goes on in the wrestling life. A lot of times in television, movies, and books, people don’t really know what they’re writing about. In order to understand wrestling, for the most part you had to have been a wrestler to really understand the intricacies of the actual timing, working, and professionalism that it takes to be a professional wrestler on all different kinds of levels. I think that the fact that I had the details from all of the tapes and the fact that I think that I had the most interesting story of a wrestler to tell.

Eric: One of the major storylines in the book deals with the fighting within your family. Since the book came out, has it served as a bridge to bring the family together or has it pulled the family further apart?

Bret Hart: I don’t think it’s done either yet. I haven’t heard a whole lot from people in my family. I’d suspect that they didn’t necessarily agree with everything that I wrote. I think that for the most part, the family has taken heavier blows. My sister Diana, for example, wrote a much more poor account of what it was like being a Hart. I think that with my book, they might not agree with everything in there but I don’t think that you’ll get much of an argument that it is well said anyway.

Eric: What are your thought about the new generation of Harts in the business?

Bret Hart: There is a lot of talent instilled in the Harts coming up. I know that they have a lot of the same aspirations and dreams that I did. I think that my book has served as a good account of what the pitfalls ahead are and I think that they are all leery of falling into some of the same pitfalls that their parents or other wrestlers have fallen into with the drug problems and such. I think they’re all doing pretty well and they have the talent and have clear heads and a lot of potential.

Eric: Will your children get into the business?

Bret Hart: It doesn’t look like it. They don’t seem to have any desire to get into it at all. I have two boys that are both a strapping 6’4”. Big, tall, lanky boys that seem to be more inclined to do anything else but wrestle. I never encouraged them or discouraged them one way or the other. I never sensed any interest on their part.

The interview continues on the following page

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