WWE.com interview (12/23/03)
Movies or WWE? Triple H wishes he could do both
by Phil Speer

Triple H still has more work to do on “Blade: Trinity,” but he’s already getting rave reviews for his quick learning and his work ethic. With those accolades and another film already lined up, the Game has a decision to make: How many movies does he want to do, knowing that each film will require time away from his first love, WWE.

“Wrestling is my priority, but I’m being realistic about (my) career, about injuries, about all the things that go along with this industry,” the World Heavyweight Champion said. “Also, for me, I’ve been on the show, featured a lot. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for me to be gone for a little bit. Not that I want to. It’s hard for me. It’s a really tough decision for me. I was just gone for two weeks making the film, and I missed being around the (sports-entertainment) business. When I was getting ready to go to (Armageddon), I was saying, ‘I can’t wait to get there. I miss it.’

“On one hand, I don’t want to pass up this opportunity to do something that can continue if physically I can’t wrestle, and also at the same time bring prominence to the wrestling industry. Because I certainly don’t want to be the guy who just goes to Hollywood and forgets about the business. I would like to make it a part of the business, and make people who aren’t fans of our business become fans of our business. And I think there’s a way to do that, and do it right. But it’s a tough decision. I don’t think at this point I want to do what (The) Rock’s doing and just make movie after movie. When you look at it now, Rock’s been gone almost a year. That’s a long time. I was out for a year once (with a torn quadriceps). I didn’t like it much.”

But the opportunity to star in “Blade: Trinity,” the third (and said to be final) film in the Wesley Snipes action/thriller trilogy, was just too good to pass up. So the Game traveled to Vancouver in December to film the role of the muscleman/enforcer for a group of vampires, led by Parker Posey, who are trying to kill off humans and make themselves the dominant species. Posey has appeared in close to 50 movies. Over the last few years, they include “A Mighty Wind,” “Josie and the Pussycats,” “Best in Show” and “The Sweetest Thing.”

Other vampires include Dominic Purcell from “Equilibrium” and “Mission: Impossible II.” The heroes in the movie are Snipes, who plays the title role, Ryan Reynolds of “Van Wilder” and Jessica Biel of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake and the television series “7th Heaven.” Kris Kristofferson is also back, reprising his role as Whistler.

The current release date for “Blade: Trinity,” which is always subject to change, is Aug. 13, 2004.

The champion said he still has a few more weeks of shooting to do.

“I was supposed to be there right now, but they’re trying to get Wesley Snipes’ part of the film shot and finished by Christmas, so they’re rescheduling some of the stuff,” he said. “So I have to go back in January, probably for a couple of weeks. We finish up at the end of January or the beginning of February. I don’t think I’ll miss hardly any (episodes of RAW) now. Maybe an occasional show here or there. Once the holidays are over, my schedule will pretty much be: wrestle, go straight to Vancouver to work on the movie, go straight from Vancouver back to wrestling, etc.”

Like most Superstars who go away to film a TV show or a movie, Triple H said he’s enjoying himself, but he prefers the adrenaline rush of a live WWE audience. “There’s no energy to (filming a movie),” he said. “But it’s fun.”

And the timing of “Blade: Trinity,” Triple H said, “was actually a blessing, because I had a torn groin anyway, so it allowed me the opportunity to heal up.”

After an extremely physical match with Goldberg and Kane at Armageddon, Triple H has pronounced himself healthy.

“I feel great,” he said. “I came back (at Armageddon) and I didn’t wear my ‘support hose’ on the show for the first time in a while. I was very happy about the fact that my groin didn’t bother me at all, really, after the match. It didn’t bother me again the next day either. So I’m hoping it’s healed up and I’ve got that behind me now, because that was really bothering me.”

The groin injury had haunted him for the last several months, and he said it was limiting what he could do in the ring, and bothering him every time he landed on his back or hit the ropes.

“When you’re in pain when you’re trying to wrestle, it’s just hard to enjoy what you’re doing and hard to give it all you’ve got and be a good performer,” he said. “So it’s obviously nice not to have a major injury right now.”

Thus, the movies vs. WWE debate becomes even more difficult for the Game. At the moment, he’s confirmed for one more feature film after his “Blade: Trinity” commitment is fulfilled.

The screenplay, currently titled “Jornada del Muerte” (“Day of the Death”), was written by John Milius, who has a host of credits as a writer (“Conan the Barbarian,” “Apocalypse Now”), director (“Conan”) and producer (“Uncommon Valor”).

“He’s a very big writer in Hollywood,” Triple H said of Milius. “John has wanted to do something with me for a long time, and finally he wrote a project for me.”

The movie is described as a modern-day Western based on a real-life phenomenon in which motorcycle gangs run drugs from Mexico up through New Mexico.

Triple H said “nothing’s definitive yet,” but the movie should start shooting in late spring, and is scheduled to be filmed on location in New Mexico.

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