Stone Cold on Stern
NEW YORK -- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin brought The Condemned tour to Sirius Radio when he appeared on "The Howard Stern Show" Wednesday morning. Stone Cold discussed his latest role for WWE as star of the company's third major theatrical release.
"My dream was to be a professional wrestler, but you can't do that forever," he said. "I was known for so long as being ‘Stone Cold' Steve Austin on Raw. I think I was doing that for so long, that's the only way people knew me."
Stone Cold called The Condemned an opportunity for people to see more of the person he is. Once the final draft of the script was completed, the movie was tailored for Austin. He also had some creative input during the course of the two years the movie took to make.
"It's not the biggest budget in the world," he admitted about the $20 million funds, "but I'll tell you what: We maximized this thing."
Austin joked that the movie was a great excuse to stay in shape, and he can't wait to start another movie to get fit again. He may not have to wait very long; his deal with WWE is for three films.
"The hardest part of the movie business is running around, promoting the thing," he admitted. "It's been a hell of a schedule."
Stern considered The Condemned a big step in action movies, as Hollywood has seemed to find the right man to ring in the next generation of the genre's stars. Stone Cold said he wouldn't mind becoming typecast as an action performer as long as the viewers continue to like what they see.
"There are not enough films like this," Stern said in reference to The Condemned's fun violence and simplicity.
Stern did his best to provoke controversy when he asked Stone Cold what it's like to be working for Mr. McMahon again, but Austin had nothing but compliments for the Chairman.
"I learned more working for that guy than I learned in life from college or anywhere else," he said. "[The sports-entertainment business] is not an easy thing to put together. It took seven years, and it took me getting fired. To get to the very top level, you better be smart."
There was very little glamour when it came to filming the movie. Stone Cold said nobody came in with a big ego; everyone worked hard to be efficient in trying to make the best movie possible.
"I want this thing to pay off," he said, going back to his business relationship with Mr. McMahon. "A guy takes a chance on you -- you've got to do what you've got to do."
In the end, Stone Cold is proud of the finished product. He compared it to the Rocky Horror Picture Show since people have so much fun watching it.
"It's a fun ride," he said, but admitted it took a lot of hard work and bumps and bruises, as did his role on Raw. "It's entertainment. The laws of physics apply. Gravity is not so kind sometimes."
Stone Cold was careful to keep his ego in check, but he was sure of his abilities and the entire team's capability to create a good movie.
"I'm confident. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody's going to believe in you. I'm confident the movie is going to do well."
The Condemned opens in theaters around the country on Friday.