Mike “The Miz” Mizanin has been pulling double-duty as a WWE Superstar and an actor for some time now, not even counting his years as part of the Real World franchise. He stepped into the lead role of WWE Studios’ longest-running action franchise starting with The Marine 3: Homefront in 2013, and his Jake Carter character returns this week in The Marine 5: Battleground, out on Blu-Ray and DVD today, April 25.
The Miz was kind enough to join us for an interview, where we got to pick his brain about the movie, his dream role, his father’s famous restaurant Mr. Hero, and of course some discussion about Cleveland sports. Stick around at the end of the interview for an exclusive clip from The Marine 5: Battleground.
With Spandex: Your career got revitalized when Maryse came back, and I wanted to know, how does that help your comfort level and confidence with what you’re doing now, and did that in any way translate to having her in Marine 5 with you?
The Miz: Any time that you have a support system with you, all the time … basically, no matter what, she is literally at ringside with me. So, whenever you have your wife there, you kind of want to show off. You don’t want to be a loser in front of your wife.
So, yeah it has brought a whole new confidence to me and having her around, being able to talk to her … you know, before, she was at home and I was on the road and it takes a lot. You don’t get to be around each other, and we actually like being around each other. The main thing is: a married couple that actually enjoys being around each other. It’s shocking, isn’t it? But, we do, and she gives me a whole new revitalization because of the support that she gives. Having her in Marine 5 is just topping on the cake, you know. She earned her role, did a great job in it, and we had a lot of fun shooting the scene.
So this is your third go-round as the lead in the Marine franchise, and I want to know, how do you feel this one stacks up to the others, and do you like the single location, trapped element of this particular film?
Yeah, it’s one of those situations where you’re trapped, you gotta find a way out. It brings up so many obstacles and having the amusement park, is just … makes it that much more cool and gritty. I always say this film is beautifully gritty and the way Luke Bryant — the director of photography — really made a beautiful, beautiful scenery. He used everything that he was given.
[Director] James [Nunn] really knew how to get everything out of his actors and get exactly what he wanted from his crew, from his cast, and knew how to get it from day one. Whether we would lose a day or gain [one] … he would always find ways to basically do what he needed to make this a really good, gritty, fun, entertaining action movie.
So, let’s talk about your co-stars real quick. You’ve got a bunch of WWE Superstars in here. Besides Maryse, you have Naomi, Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel … and in my opinion, they’re all amazing in the movie. What’s your take on all of them and how they fared as actors?
As soon as I knew they were all in the movie, we basically went at a Smackdown Live, I believe we were all there, and … this is before the draft happened, or the brand extension. So we went upstairs at Smackdown Live, and literally just sat down and read the whole script together as a complete unit; as a cast, just to really know that what we’re doing, what we want, and these guys really came to play. They weren’t messing around. They wanted to do a really good job and I think they really succeeded at it.
Which of those four — let’s exclude Maryse, because I know she’s already a star. Which of those four do you think has the best chance of making that jump to acting like you have?
Oh, I mean, they all have the ability. It’s a matter of if they want it and what they’re going to do get it. Obviously, they came to this movie well prepared, ready to go, and now it’s just finding new things.
A cool little story that I have is, one day we were driving to the set and we were all joking around, having fun in the car, and Heath was kind of being kind of quiet. And we all know that Heath Slater is not a quiet guy. And I’m like “Heath, man, what’s wrong? You’re not being Heath Slater.” He goes, “‘Cause I’m not Heath Slater. I’m Cash.” And I was like “Ah, man, that’s good.” He was so into the character that he was preparing way before we were even getting to set!
That’s the kind of mentality that you need going into one of these types of movies. You need to be on point, ready to go, and have all their lines, have their character down, and just … have all their fights down, because we don’t have the time to mess around.
When you were starting out to try to be a wrestler, cause we all know that this is a long passion of yours, did you ever imagine that, not only would you be part of an action movie franchise, but that you would be in a movie with Scooby-Doo?
Ha! No. I never thought I would be in a movie with Scooby-Doo. Like, when they first told me that I was going to be in Scooby-Doo, I couldn’t believe my ears because when I was a kid, what did you do Saturday mornings? You watched Scooby-Dooby-Doo! So, now, to be able to share the screen with Scooby-Doo was pretty incredible. It just brings a smile to your face, it brings your inner child out.
I know you love being the Marine, you love playing this character. If WWE Studios came to you and said, “You can do whatever you want to do with a movie,” what would be your dream project?
My dream project? I mean, I think anyone’s dream project right now is how amazing the Marvel/DC comic book era is really coming together and really blowing up the scene. Anytime you have a movie, it’s breaking records, it’s doing great things, so obviously I’d want a Marvel character.
Obviously, Deadpool is already taken and Ryan Reynolds did an absolutely fantastic job. That was always my dream role ever since I saw the video game seven years ago, I was like “Oh my god, I want to play this guy!” But, Ryan Reynolds took it and knocked it out of the park and did an absolutely incredible job, so I can’t fault him at all. But I think anyone would want to do Marvel or DC, maybe WWE can combine with them and do something, but you never know.
So if Deadpool’s taken, do you have a top comic book character that you’d like to play?
Yeah, I mean a lot of the main ones are kind of taken. I’ve always wanted to play Booster Gold. Do you know who he is?
Yeah, I know who Booster Gold is.
So that would be pretty fun.
That would be perfect for you.
Well, we’ll put that out there. We’ll put that on UPROXX, and now DC can see it. Alright, so what are your three favorite Miz WWE Studios movies and your three favorite non-Miz WWE Studios movies?
Okay, three favorite movies? God, they’re all my babies, you know. I would have to go Marine 3 because it was my first, Marine 5 because it’s my latest, and then, it would have to be out of either Marine 4 or Santa’s Little Helper … are my other two. I don’t know, they’re all my babies.
I guess all the Marines, I’d go with all the Marines because it’s action, it’s fun, it’s gritty. But, you know, I also loved the Christmas movies. That’s ducking the question, but I guess I’d have to go the Marine movies. It’s good as a franchise.
Okay, how bout the WWE Studio movies that you’re not in?
Oh, that I’m not in? WWE Studio movies that I am not in? Okay, See No Evil, The Condemned, and … Countdown. I’ll give Dolph Ziggler a plug.
Yeah, and I noticed no John Cena movies in there, so that’s good.
Oh, yeah … that was not planned. I’m just being honest. I really like See No Evil, I really like The Condemned. I thought they were two of WWE’s … Oh you know what else, The Call. The Call‘s very, very good as well.
We all know that you’re better at playing John Cena than he is at playing himself.
Ha, thanks. I try.
I want to know, now that you and Maryse are feuding with Dean Ambrose, and by extension Renee, will we get sort of a Total Bellas BS reprise, perhaps, with you playing some other new characters?
Oh, you want more Total Bellas BS, don’t you?
I want all of it.
I don’t know. You never know what’s going to happen. That’s the best part about being a WWE Superstar and being a part of Monday night Raw, it’s live. You never know what’s going to happen and when it’s gonna happen. But when it does, you want to be there to watch it to see it live. So that’s why I love Mondays.
Okay, I’ve got two more questions for you and they both have to do with Cleveland. What do you think happened to the Indians in the World Series last year? You threw out the best first pitch of all time, and then Cleveland lost in seven.
I honestly couldn’t even tell you. It’s one of those situations where you’re 3-1, you’re in the World Series, we think we have it locked down. I mean, any time you win three games to one, you’re pretty much a lock to have it. But, then the opposite happened to what the Cavs did. The Cavs were down 3-1, came back, win the whole thing. Indians are up 3-1, lose the whole thing.
I think it’s … I wish I could say this year is going to be the year, but man, they are not looking good right now. So, I am hoping that they’re being able to turn it around and take it to the World Series and now that they know what it takes to win a World Series, now I think they can actually go and really hone it in and really become World Champions.
Alright, so my last question for you: What do you order when you go to Mr. Hero, and what should people order when they go there?
Romanburger, waffle fries, cheese sauce. Now, I do know that that’s not the healthiest meal in the world, but it is divine.
Below is an exclusive clip from The Marine 5: Battleground, out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.