Sci Fi is ECW...and Jericho, too

The current ECW wrestlers invade Sci Fi Channel every Tuesday night, but another ECW alumnus will soon be seen on Sci Fi as well. Chris Jericho stars with Joseph Lawrence in Android Apocalypse, a Sci Fi Pictures Original Movie that premieres next Saturday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

So what is Android Apocalypse about? “It’s sort of a modern day Defiant Ones, if you’re familiar with that,” Jericho said in a phone interview. “A guy kills an android and is put in jail, but there’s a wreck when he’s taken out to the prison planet. The prisoner and android then have to co-exist in order to survive. It was originally called 2 Human, but Android Apocalypse has much more of a sci-fi feel to it.”

Jericho plays TeeDee, who despite having a small presence is one of the story’s central characters. “TeeDee is the android that the prisoner kills to get everything going,” he said. “My part sets up the movie; my character’s demise is why the rest of the movie takes place. It’s a smaller part but it’s an integral role.”

Jericho auditioned for the role in Los Angeles, and the film was shot last summer in Saskatchewan. “It’s been about a year in post-production, which I think has to do with all the CGI effects and such.” Jericho then laughed, adding that “it’s been so long I’ve actually forgotten most of what I did. I just remember I had a great time doing it and I’m pretty excited to see what it will look like.”

While Jericho has years of experience performing live all around the world, he is excited about seeing his work on the small screen. “It was very cool to be involved with, and it was sort of a movie making boot camp,” Jericho laughed. “I did a lot of stunt work and there’s a lot of CGI involved, so it’ll be interesting to see how it comes out. (In one scene) I had to fire a machine gun at this crazy robot in the sky, which of course was just a red light I was shooting at. I’m really excited to see what the final product looks like.”

Sci Fi Channel is of course the home of the new ECW. Jericho, a former ECW Television Champion, is excited to see the rebirth of his old home. “It’ll be interesting to see how it works, there are a lot of variables,” he said. “You can’t rely totally on nostalgia, or else it’s just like a reunion tour. They have to keep it fresh and build up some new stars as well, but I think it can be good.”

Speaking of One Night Stand, Jericho says many people wondered why he wasn’t at the Hammerstein Ballroom this year. “A lot of people ask that; I get more questions about that than about not being at WrestleMania,” he said. “I wasn’t really that much of an ECW staple but I guess I was associated with ECW a lot more than I thought. It was the first place I made a name for myself, but it’s not like I was a staple like Tommy Dreamer or the Sandman.”

Still, Jericho feels the presence of his former profession. “I’ve got a movie on Sci Fi and two weeks before that debuts ECW starts up. I can’t get away from it,” he laughed. “It’s like if I turn a dark corner, (wrestling) is right there staring me in the face.”

Overall though, Jericho thinks the new ECW will succeed on Sci Fi. “The way those fans are, it would succeed on pretty much any channel it’s on,” he said. I think it would work whether it was on Sci Fi or the Oxygen network. Wrestling fans will follow it to wherever they can find it. Of course, if we find out that Sandman is really an alien that has plastic skin and eats rats or something, that might be too out of control,” he added with a laugh. “Or maybe Sabu is a Vulcan…actually, that might explain his inability to feel pain most of the time.”

From ECW to WWE to the stage and screen, Jericho has pretty much done it all. However, he did say that he’s happy where he’s at now for one big reason. “After years of being Chris Jericho, it’s nice to finally play a different role,” he said. “It’s the first time I get to see myself in those shoes, so I can’t wait to see how Chris Jericho does TeeDee the android that has no emotions. It’s a big step in my career.”

Jericho also said that another great part of the experience was working with the rest of the cast. “I got to work with Joseph Lawrence, who you might remember from Blossom. He’s been acting since he was a little kid, so that’s kind of cool,” he said. “I learned a lot, but I also taught them a thing or two when it came to the fight scenes because those come so natural to me.”

Fear not, fans; Jericho will be back on the live stage later this summer in Toronto (which you can read more about here). Until then though, be sure to check him out in Android Apocalypse on June 24…and while you’re watching Sci Fi Channel, stick around and take a look at ECW as well.

Watch a clip of Chris Jericho in Android Apocalypse

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