By Ben Silverio
When WWE, the Connecticut-based wrestling company, started producing films, not too many people were excited. They were essentially vehicles for wrestling stars to get more mainstream media exposure. There were a few hits here and there, but largely, these movies were misses.
Things eventually changed and WWE started to step up their game. When it comes to sports-entertainment and social media technologies the WWE’s got it covered, but with their recent slate of movies, they really kicked their film division up a notch. And their first film to get the public really interested was Dead Man Down.
From the director of the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev, Dead Man Down was written by J.H. Wyman of Fringe and stars Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, and Terrence Howard. That’s quite a group of A-list talent, wouldn’t you say?
Also featured in the film is WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. Recently, the champ was in town for a sold-out Monday Night Raw (which PFS’ own Pari was lucky enough to attend), just two week’s before the company’s biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania. Before he walked through the curtain and displayed his skills in the ring, I had a chance to talk with him about Dead Man Down, which was shot in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
First, he talked about starting at the top even though he is brand new to acting:
“It was great. It was the first film I was ever really involved in, so I was incredibly lucky to be around those guys and get tips from them. I got to watch them in really close quarters and they were able to help me out. I felt very privileged to be starting out at the top in their world. Obviously, I’m a professional wrestler in the WWE and I had to start out the hard way wrestling on very small circuits in the UK. We weren’t in the most glamorous buildings and sometimes there were small crowds, but I worked my way up the ladder. It was nice already starting at the top of the ladder with Dead Man Down.”
Then, he went on to talk about Philadelphia, which he became very well acquainted with while he was shooting:
“I love the city! Prior to the film, I had a pretty positive view of Philadelphia. We didn’t really shoot too much in the city. We were more out in the more industrial areas. But I got to stay in Philadelphia for two months while we shot the movie. My hotel was in Rittenhouse Square and I did the touristy thing and saw the Liberty Bell and the Rocky statue at the Art Museum stairs. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to go back.”
To read the whole interview where we discuss wrestlers getting into acting, his current place in the WWE, what’s in store for Sunday’s Wrestlemania, and more, head over to Cinedork.com.
Dead Man Down is currently playing in theaters everywhere, but if you wanted to see Wade Barrett at his day job, Wrestlemania 29 airs on Sunday, April 7th on Pay Per View. Or, as a fun alternative, you can go to Fox & Hound on 15th and Spruce to watch Barrett defends his title against the brash former reality star, The Miz, on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
If already managed to see Dead Man Down, what did you think? Did WWE Studios’ latest film impress you? Let us know what you think by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or leave us a comment on our Facebook page.
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