You might remember the bright eyed but brash skinny kid with a big mouth from the 2001 season of MTV’s The Real World: Back to New York. Or perhaps you’ve seen him while flipping through the channels either sitting on the couch at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno or executing his signature “Skullcrushing Finale” to an adversary inside of a WWE ring. Either way, Mike Mizanin or The Miz, as his professional wrestling moniker would indicate, is an pop culture attention grabber. And with his first leading role in “The Marine: Homefront,” available on DVD and Blu-Ray March 5th, The Miz has seemingly developed yet another wrinkle in his unrelenting entertainment arsenal.
Like the two films that preceded it, “The Marine: Homefront ” is an unabashed action film, carried by a WWE Superstar. Despite being backed by the Studios wing of the normally family friendly company, viewers and fans alike will find a much welcomed R rating here, with a litany of violence with even some cursing thrown in to satiate even the hungriest of action movie fans. The third film in the trilogy follows marine Jake Carter, returning home to his rural town following an extensive tour of duty overseas. As soon as he returns however, he has a difficult time in readjusting to everyday civilian life. Meanwhile as his youngest sister has begun dating a rather unsavory character with a checkered past, she witnesses a shooting and is subsequently kidnapped by a morally focused, rogue militia group led by the villainous Neal McDonough, who is hell bent on making a hazardous impact on some of the country’s most high profile banking CEOs. Strategically it seems that despite the beat efforts of the state police and even the FBI, only Carter himself is equipped to bring the terrorist group to justice and rescue his kid sister, if he can manage to stay out of his own way long enough to do so.
The film runs a speedy 91 minutes and has the quick cuts and fast pace of many of the 1980’s action films that “The Marine: Homefront” attempts to emulate. The supporting cast of relative unknowns performs capably here with relative newcomers Michael Eklund and Ashley Bell garnering much of the attention when the cameras are away from McDonough, who as no stranger to WWE Studios’ projects, is always cast as a believable villain. The Miz himself, in his first starring role, says little, but looks the part, with his bulked up frame and boyish good looks. While WWE fans may scoff at his arrogant swagger in the ring, his character in “The Marine: Homefront” does allow the suspension of disbelief on screen, where at times, you forget you’re watching Mizanin himself. Will “The Marine: Homefront” be taking home an Academy award next year? Not likely. But can it keep you entertained for a cool hour and a half that takes you away from the concerns of your everyday life? A resounding yes.
LocalBozo.com was fortunate to grab a few minutes with WWE Superstar and former cast member of MTV’s “The Real World,” Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Listen in to our exclusive interview as we discuss the making of “The Marine 3: Homefront,” the upcoming Wrestlemania 29 card in the New York area, and a round of rapid fire questions about the WWE Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Browns, and so much more.
- Jane Van Arsdale
The audio has been transcribed for your reading pleasure below.
LocalBozo.com: LocalBozo.com is proud to have with us as our guest for an exclusive interview- WWE Superstar, Media Personality, and star of “The Marine 3: Homefront,” released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 5th, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Miz, thanks for giving us some time today.
The Miz: Thank you very much for having me- I appreciate it. Great introduction.
LocalBozo.com: Miz, with “The Marine 3,” you’re following in the footsteps of John Cena and Ted DiBiase in the series. Talk about how you were cast in the film and the level of difficulty in adjusting from a live TV personality to an on set performer.
The Miz: Well you know, coming into The Marine 3: Homefront, I wanted to really show everyone- I didn’t want people to look at the movie and go “Oh that’s The Miz” or “Oh that’s Mike from ‘The Real World’” or “That’s a WWE Superstar.” I wanted them to go “Oh wait, this is something new, this is something different.” So to get ready for this role, I kind of looked at some old school action stars like “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” with Clint Eastwood and “Dirty Harry.” Watching him perform in these kinds of roles, he didn’t say much, but when he did, you were intrigued and he was a show stealer just when he walked in here- just his aura. And then also, I looked to Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” and how just cool and natural and relaxed he was. And then watching the “Die Hards” with John McClain and the action and the real kind of setting- he’s just like an every guy. And so I wanted to bring that to “The Marine 3: Homefront.” I wanted people to go ‘Wow this is real. It’s gritty. It’s dark.” And hopefully with the success of 1 and 2, I’m hoping to continue it and hopefully exceed it.
LocalBozo.com: The film sees you as a marine returning to his hometown to save his kidnapped sister and spoil a potential terrorist attack. How did you go about preparing or training for the role and for the combat scenes?
The Miz: I wanted to be authentic as possible and so I had marines actually on set with me and I had them show me exactly how a marine would go about, not necessarily his day, but how he’d go about holding a gun and going through rooms. If he was in battle, how would he go through- like, we were on this cruise ship- how does he go through these halls? How does he go through certain areas? And they would show me exactly what a marine would do. And then during the fight scenes, I didn’t want the fight scenes to be like these martial arts, roundhouse kicks- you know, that kind of stuff. I wanted it to be exactly what a marine would do in a real life situation and so these marines would be like “listen it’s kill or be killed. When you’re in combat and you’re in battle and you’re going for something and you’re in a fight, you’re fighting to the death.” So that’s kind of the way I wanted it- punches, kicks, looking for weapons- you know if I find any kind of weapon, using it. Whenever I get someone, try to get his gun, try to get his ammo- so that’s the kind of realism that we were trying to bring into “The Marine 3: Homefront.”
LocalBozo.com: Now, we had a chance to screen the film- a fun action movie in its truest sense that doesn’t necessarily take itself too seriously. Just days away from its release on Blu-Ray and DVD, how pleased were you with the finished product?
The Miz: I was ecstatic. I am still smiling, I have a huge grin on my face. Every time I see the poster, every time I see clips of it- you know, I was scared because normally I don’t like watching myself. I don’t like observing myself and if I do watch myself it’s just to critique and to see what I could have done better. But when I watched “The Marine 3” for the first time, I was really nervous and I had my fiancé there and we were watching and I was like just looking at her face and seeing if she really did like it and I couldn’t help but get involved with it. Some of the scenes really gave me goosebumps and I was really proud of the work that I did and so no matter what anyone says- because I don’t care if you have the greatest movie in the world there’s always going to be naysayers. There’s always gonna be people that have their critiques and you know what, I bring them all on because I’m very very happy with the performances with not only myself- but man, to cast Neal McDonough as the villain- I mean this guy’s one of the top villains in Hollywood. He’s been in everything- you name it, he’s been in it. And so just to be able to witness and observe and kind of be like a sponge and learn from this great veteran was just fantastic as well as new up and comers like Ashley Bell and Michael Eklund. It was incredible to just have this great cast around me.
LocalBozo.com: Do you think that being the lead in The Marine has sparked the acting bug in you? Can you foresee a time in your career, maybe away from the ring and solely on the big screen?
The Miz: I like doing both, you know, to be completely honest with you. I enjoy doing WWE as well as movies and I have another one that I’m getting ready to film called “Christmas Bounty,” which will be out on ABC Family this Christmas, so I’m really excited to get my hands wet on that.
LocalBozo.com: Miz, you’re a guy that’s spent more than a decade growing up in front of the cameras and now you’ve become sort of this media ambassador for the WWE, which isn’t always embraced by mainstream media. What’s it like to have that kind of responsibility- is that something you revel in?
The Miz: Yeah, you know, any time someone wants me to talk about the company that I work for- whether it be MTV, Bunim-Murray, WWE or WWE Studios or Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, I always want to talk about it or brag about it if you will because I’m proud of it. There is nothing wrong with being proud of what you do for a living and if people want to be negative about it, that’s going to happen. It happens all the time- no matter what you do or where you’re from there’s always going to be someone that hates on it. And that’s fine because that’s their freedom of speech and everyone’s going to have an opinion but it’s my job to have thick skin and to say you know what? That’s fine, but I love WWE. I’ve loved every opportunity that they’ve given me. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to do it. And not only that, but MTV and Bunim-Murray have given me the opportunity to- actually open my eyes with The Real World and allow me to realize that I could pursue my dream because I do really believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for The Real World. So I embrace- you know people sometimes say “Oh you gotta forget about the reality in order to be successful in WWE and in movies,” but I say no. I’m gonna embrace every life thing that’s happened to me because without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today and today I am a happy person.
LocalBozo.com: Switching gears, we’re now just a few weeks away until we hit Wrestlemania 29 on April 7th at MetLife Stadium in the New York/New Jersey area. Where do you see yourself fitting in as the big day approaches?
The Miz: You know MetLife Stadium, basically our Super Bowl, our NBA Finals, our World Series- only bigger- and I am ecstatic about it. Right now, I’m not sure exactly where I’m standing in the Wrestlemania [card]. I know I’ll be a part of it, but I don’t have a match yet. So I’m looking for anyone who wants to battle this guy because what I plan on doing is- even though the main event is John Cena versus The Rock for the WWE Championship- I feel like what people are going to be talking about after Wrestlemania will be what The Miz did.
LocalBozo.com: Miz, you’re a guy in your early 30’s, you’ve been a reality star on MTV’s The Real World, a WWE Superstar, you’ve done the talk show circuit, headlined a Wrestlemania, and now you’ve starred in a film. What’s one thing that’s left in your career that will leave you completely fulfilled?
The Miz: Be the biggest WWE Superstar that anyone has ever seen.
LocalBozo.com: Lets finish up with a couple of rapid fire questions for you if we can. Wrestlemania 29, April 7th MetLife Stadium in the New York/New Jersey area- it’s The Rock versus John Cena for the second time. Who takes it?
The Miz: I don’t know man. You know, that’s a great question. The Rock was victorious last time and now you look at it and you go, “okay who has the momentum? Who’s really showcasing what they have,” because right now is when you want to peak- you don’t want to peak a little bit early or a little bit late. You don’t want to be, you know, the San Francisco 49ers, where you go all the way up to the finals and then you lose to the Baltimore Ravens, you know? You don’t want to be that team. So who’s it gonna be John Cena or The Rock? To be completely honest, The WWE Universe- the fans that are going to be watching are the gonna be the ones that win this thing because it’s gonna be an absolutely incredible match.
LocalBozo.com: The person who most deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next is?
The Miz: Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Ooooooooh yeahhhh!
LocalBozo.com: It’s no secret that you’re a huge Cleveland Browns fan. Who should be their starting quarterback in 2013- Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, or someone not on the roster?
The Miz: Definitely not Colt McCoy. I think Brandon Weeden needs some weapons around him. I think the Browns need to look at where they need to be and I think there’s a lot of free agents out there. And if we need a number one wide receiver, if we need that, I think we should be looking towards the Mike Wallaces, the Dwayne Bowes, the Wes Welkers- we need to start looking at these guys and start giving them an opportunity to become a Cleveland Brown because then they can actually teach, because they are veterans, the Josh Gordons, and the Greg Littles, and the Travis Benjamins. We already have our running back, we have our all-star running back who’s going to be absolutely incredible this year. I think if Brandon Weeden has enough around him, he’s going to be able to be the starting quarterback. I don’t think there’s anyone in the draft that’s going to be better than Brandon Weeden and anyone in free agency or looking to be traded, I’m not sure is worth the trade picks. I think, you know, Alex Smith, is worth- I don’t think he’s worth a first round pick, but maybe two or three picks in the later rounds, but I don’t think the Browns should do that. I don’t think that’s worth it. I think giving Brandon Weeden another year would definitely set him up and be in the right direction because to be completely honest, he didn’t do that bad.
LocalBozo.com: When we look back on 2013, we’ll think The Miz was?
The Miz: Awesome.
LocalBozo.com: Miz thanks so much for your time today, anything else for the readers of LocalBozo.com?
The Miz: No man, just get “The Marine 3: Homefront” this Tuesday on Blu-Ray and DVD and then definitely check me out at Wrestlemania 29 at MetLife Stadium on April 7th. And it all will be awesome.