WWE Superstars take acting classes
Hollywood? No thanks!
Cody Rhodes is a wrestler and actor. His career was mapped out because he came from a real American wrestling dynasty. Trained by his world-famous father, he turned professional at the age of 21 - and is now one of the top talents at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In the interview he talks about comic heroes, life with superstars and a career as a Hollywood star.
Cody Rhodes is the son of a legend. A wrestling legend. His father Dusty did what only six other wrestlers did as "The American Dream": He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at both WCW and WWE.
Cody's half-brother Dustin also won various titles as "Goldust", his uncles Fred Ottman ("Typhoon") and Jerry Sags ("The Nasty Boys") are also successful entertainers. In short: Cody Rhodes comes from a real American wrestling dynasty.
His own career path was therefore mapped out. He was trained and educated by his father Dusty in the high school state wrestling champion in the US state of Georgia, later attended an acting school and turned pro in 2006.
Today, Cody is one of the top talent in the WWE and starred in a well-known TV series, entertainment shows and commercials. SPOX spoke to Rhodes about a future in the movie business, his great passion and his wrestling-crazy family.
SPOX: Mr. Rhodes, you are continuing a long family tradition, half of your relatives were or are employed in the WWE. How proud do you do that?
Cody Rhodes: I am very proud to be able to continue this tradition. But do you know what is even more beautiful?
SPOX: Tell us ...
Rhodes: In contrast to the other family clans in sports entertainment, ours is completely different. Put the characters of my father "The American Dream", my half-brother "Goldust", my uncle "Typhoon" or me in the ring next to each other - then you will see that none of them are alike.
SPOX: As a member of a family that has produced as many professional wrestlers as yours, isn't one trying to copy the successful family characters?
Rhodes: It is. But when I got into wrestling, everyone advised me not to do just that. At first I didn't really understand it, but in the meantime I have noticed that it has helped me tremendously on my way to find my own identity, a strong own character and simply my own way.
SPOX: What qualities do you have to have to make it into the biggest wrestling league in the world?
Rhodes: You should definitely be open to tips. Stars like John Cena, Edge or Triple H don't have so much success for nothing. But the most important thing is to keep developing your own character, because that's the only way you can make it onto television. You have to find a way to entertain the audience. It can't just be about becoming a champion. Both have to be in balance with each other, otherwise you will quickly disappear from the scene again.
SPOX: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson perfected just that and is now a Hollywood star. You too have taken acting lessons and have already been in front of the camera for a TV series. Are you planning a similar career?
Rhodes: I think I'm too happy to be in the ring to permanently swap it for a movie set. But when I was on the TV show, it was a completely new and wonderful experience. To be honest, it's very tempting to work in the film or television business. I can very well imagine slipping into small roles in the future, but my home remains the ring. Definitely.
SPOX: Has it always been your dream to be in the ring? Or, despite your family's wrestling past, did you dream of other jobs in your youth?
Rhodes: Look, I grew up wrestling. Of course, it has always been my goal to get into business myself. But I've always been a huge fan of comics.
SPOX: So comic book artist would have been an alternative to wrestling?
Rhodes: Maybe. And I took tons of classes in high school too. The whole range. From creative writing to drawing. Unfortunately, I had to realize that I am not good at painting - but the idea still fascinates me to this day.
SPOX: Superman or Batman?
Rhodes: Neither. I've always preferred the characters that no one liked.
SPOX: Just like your own character in the WWE. "Dashing" Cody Rhodes is a conceited and self-loving guy who likes to insult the audience with rough slogans. What would you most like to throw at the German audience?
Rhodes: Oh, the German fans are perfectly fine. The people make a very well-groomed and civilized impression. But in England I gave people mouthwash and toothbrushes, then stood in front of the Union Jack and said: "God save the Queen, God save your teeth!" That didn't go over so well. (laughs)
SPOX: Completely understandable. What have you seen of Germany so far?
Rhodes: To be honest, I only know the gyms. And that they have a "Mc" in their name. Which, by the way, is very funny. Because here in the USA we tend to associate it with restaurants that sell fat makers. Somehow the opposite. (laughs)
SPOX: So you don't really see much when the WWE travels the world ...
Rhodes: That's right, we just don't see enough. We mostly only see the airports, the gyms, the hotels and the arenas where we fight. Occasionally we visit a few sights such as Cologne Cathedral. But if you take your profession as a wrestler seriously, then there is no other way. But every time I come home, I mark the places on a map of the world that I want to go back to one day so that I can take a closer look at everything.
SPOX: The big WWE family is mentioned a lot. To what extent do friendships develop when you are out and about all year round?
Rhodes: It's not easy because you're together so much. You often change shows, one in New York, the other in Los Angeles. And like in every family, there are people in WWE you don't like so much and people you love. Ted DiBiase Jr. and I shared so many moments during our time as Tag Team "The Legacy" that we became really good friends. Even so, we don't even make regular phone calls anymore. There are close interpersonal relationships and certainly friendships as well, but that is not a matter of course in professional business.
SPOX: You accompanied your father on stage when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. How did that feel?
Rhodes: Whether you liked his style or not - he always knew how to entertain people. Many people have long doubted him or his services to wrestling have not been adequately appreciated. When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he proved once again why he received this honor. That was a great and moving moment. For me too.
SPOX: Did you often have to do without him because of his career?
Rhodes: No. I was fortunate that his active career was over when I was growing up. Although he still worked in the background for WCW and later for WWE, he no longer had to travel through world history all year round. He was always there for me, never been away for long. In contrast to my brother Dustin, who actually saw him maybe twice a year. That was hard.
SPOX: You are addressing your half-brother. On the show, the relationship between the two of you wasn't that good. How is it in reality?
Rhodes: He's only my half-brother, but I see him as a brother. I would do anything for him. He is completely different from me, which is certainly due to the fact that he practically grew up without our father. But maybe that's why we get along so well, complement each other perfectly and also enjoy working together. He's just a great and very kind person.
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