Today sees the release of WWE film No One Lives on DVD, co-starring WWE superstar Brodus Clay in his first feature film role. The film is a violent portrayal of a gang of ruthless highway killers who kidnap a wealthy couple traveling cross country only to shockingly discover that things are not what they seem.
I caught up with Brodus this morning and was given a 10 minute window. I began by asking him how the role had come about and how it had been proposed to him.
Well, it was actually right after a ppv. I was working with Alberto [Del Rio] at the time and had just been busted open so was coming backstage for treatment. John Laurantitis, who is head of talent relations, came up to me and said that they might have a project for me and I was just all over it from the word go. I didn’t really mind what the role was, I never saw a script or anything like that because I didn’t really matter – this was always a dream for me.
Given that you hadn’t seen a script, how did you feel about being involved in such a violent picture – were you nervous about playing a role that’s such a departure from your normal character?
Well at the time I wasn’t actually the Funkasaurus yet. I was playing a kind of monster anyway and was teaming with Alberto and we were feuding with Edge and Christian. So I was playing a villain on screen anyway and I didn’t think anything of it. It kind of only hit me after we made the movie and I kinda thought “wow, yeah I wonder how this is gonna go down.” But it’s been cool so far and people don’t seem to have a problem with the two roles.
Is this something that you can see yourself doing again, if it arose? Given your size, I guess you could easily become typecast?
Definitely. I want to do it again. Anything like this good for development and helps you to expand as a performer. If I get typecast, so be it! I mean there are plenty worse things in life than being typecast, “oh no, I gotta go and do another movie, ah man!”So, yeah I would love to do this again and we’ll see how it goes.
The 'No One Lives' Cast
So, when you started with the company, what were your goals back in Deep South and FCW?
It was all about taking baby steps. To be honest, I just felt I had been on an amazing journey to even get to be with WWE. All I wanted to do was move up the card. I didn’t get ahead of myself – you start in developmental, then you get on roster, then you wanna try to get on TV and then you hope that you can work in a good feud and so on. It’s all about small steps at that stage.
And in 2008 – when you were released – did you kind of write it off, was there part of you that had given up on working with WWE again?
Well don’t get me wrong, I had no delusions of grandeur, I left and went back to being a bodyguard. I mean I knew I’d wrestle again with but I just had to work hard it and try again to work for them. I didn’t give up even though it was a setback. By 2010 I was back with the company.
What are your memories of NXT? It looked like a fun show to work on?
Oh yeah, NXT was a lot of fun. It gave us all the chance to expand. We’d get there and they’d say “so what are you going to do?” and we’d be like “we don’t know!” So there was a lot of room to be creative. I mean even though were competing with one another, everyone was really supportive of one another. It was a great group to work in.
So, I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times but how did the Funkasaurus character come about?
Well, the nickname was something that was invented by my trainer, Rob. We kind of played around with it and then I think it was Bill De Mott who came up with ‘Planet Funk’ and it kind of spiralled from there. The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, worked on my entrance with me and then we realised that I couldn’t dance! He just said “once you hear that crowd, you’ll know what to do”
First time you did that entrance was live on Raw – that had to be nerve-wracking?
Oh yeah. I mean I was definitely nervous. I knew that as soon as you do something like this it’s replayed and it’s all over the internet. And I hadn’t done it in front of more than a few of the guys really before so it was new and was so different.
Fast forward to today; you’re really over at the live shows, you have a ton of merchandise, you have a tag partner (Tensai) and you’re a fan favourite – so what’s the next step for your character/for you as a performer?
Well erm… I think you always dream of that world championship, or that one moment that you will always remember or that WrestleMania moment – something that you can kind of come back to again and again. I mean it’s great right now, I’m obviously tagging with Tensai, which is a real honour, so who knows where that will lead. Maybe something will happen for me in the singles roster.