Eric: How is your health and when can we expect to see you back in the ring? [Note: Mr. Kennedy has been out of action since the summer with a torn labrum]
Mr. Kennedy: I’m getting back into shape and my injury is healing up nicely. I have about two more months left before I get to see Dr. Andrews again. Hopefully, he’ll tell me that I’m good to go and then I can return to action.
Eric: Congratulations on your new movie. Can you tell me how you got the part in Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia?
Mr. Kennedy: I was approached by the WWE. They said we’ve got a new movie we’re going to be working on, Behind Enemy Lines 3, and we would like for you to read for a part. They sent me over a script. I looked over the script and a couple of weeks later I went in and read for the part. A couple of months later, they called me and said we’ve got this part for you and we’d like to offer it to you and the rest is history.
Eric: Did you have any acting training prior to filming the movie?
Mr. Kennedy: When I was in high school, I was involved in theater. I took some summer courses while I was in high school. I was involved in forensics while in high school, which involves a lot of different aspects of speaking. There’s poetry reading and there is debate. There is play acting, there is solo acting, and things like that. For three years, I was a part of the play acting team. We took gold medals at state all three years that I was involved.
Eric: What is your military background and did it help you in the filming of this movie?
Mr. Kennedy: I was in the Army Reserve. I joined in ’96 and I was honorably discharged in 2002. So that’s six years. Yeah, it definitely played a big role because I knew a lot of the nomenclatures, the procedures, and stuff like that. Or if I didn’t know the procedures, I was quick to understand them because it’s kind of a universal language in the military. Also, with a lot of the weapons training and things like that, it really helped out because I had already had experiences with those weapons before. So if we had a weapons malfunction, which happened a couple of times on set, I was able to clear the weapon and bring it back up on target. I don’t think any of those actual moments made it into the movie but if they had, it would have been good because it adds to the realism because I think that if you are in the middle of a firefight, things are going to happen.
Eric: Is it more nerve wracking to perform live without a net or having to wait almost a year for reviews to trickle in about your work?
Mr. Kennedy: I’m not so much concerned with the reviews as I am with the numbers that the movie does. I really don’t care about the reviews. I don’t read the reviews. I’m not going to read any reviews. But, I think it is more nerve wracking waiting for a movie to come out. Because, in the ring, you are in front of a live crowd so you know right-then-and-there depending on how the crowd is reacting whether or not you are doing your job. I prefer to act without a net. There is nothing like live TV and working in-front of a live audience. There is nothing like it and you can’t screw up. It’s impossible to screw up. In a real fight situation, things happen. You know, you don’t always land every punch; things don’t go the way that you want it. So, I for one, enjoy it when things like that happen in the ring.
Eric: While on the topic of movies, I wonder if you have seen The Wrestler yet and what your thoughts are about the movie?
Mr. Kennedy: I have seen it and I really liked the movie. I enjoyed it. I’ve actually seen it twice now. I thought that Mickey Rourke and the rest of the cast did a tremendous job. I thought that it was a pretty accurate depiction of some of the guys that have come through our business. But at the same time, I hope that people don’t think that that is the way that every wrestler turns out in the end. Because I know a lot of guys who have been very successful in the business, who have gone to get out of the business and start business of their own. Maybe get into real estate or whatever, it may be. Start car dealerships, buy car dealerships, or, get into movies. So, there are a lot of guys who have been successful.
Eric: We spoke a year ago when the RAX XV CD was released. During that interview you told me the process of getting your first theme song. Since then your song has changed. What was the process behind that change?
Mr. Kennedy: Kevin Dunn [WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production] pulled me aside at TV one day and said “We’ve got your new music in the truck and we’d like you to go listen to it.” And I said “New music, what do you mean?” He said “We had Airbourne make your new music.” So I said “OK”. I didn’t know anything about it, went out to the truck, listened to it and said “OK, I like it.” That night, that was my new entrance music.