WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose is nicknamed "The Lunatic Fringe" for his brand of chaotic frenzy unleashed on his opponents in the ring. But when it comes to his first acting gig -- a starring role in the new movie, "12 Rounds 3: Lockdown" -- he takes things very seriously.
"If I'm going to be in a movie, it's going to be a good movie," the 29-year-old grappler says. "I have a competitive nature, perfectionism kind of takes over. I did all the legwork and research necessary to do everything I could do to make sure this is the best movie it can possibly be."
In the film, he plays a detective, John Shaw, who takes on corrupt cops trying to kill him.
amNewYork spoke with Ambrose about the film.
How did your WWE career help prepare you for acting?
Everybody in the WWE, when they get on any kind of movie set or television commercial, we always find that we're more prepared than we thought. We're uniquely prepared for anything in entertainment because the WWE is kind of a show business boot camp. We learn so much about what goes on in front of the camera, behind the camera, the stunts, doing everything in one take. On "Monday Night Raw," there's no second takes. ... We're like the Navy Seals of entertainment. We're so used to going nonstop, 365, doing all these different things.
What was your favorite part of doing the film?
We do all these fight scenes. The fight coordinators and stunt coordinators were some of the best in the business. They put together these awesome, cool fight scenes. Those were the [most fun] things for me; that to me was the easiest part. Everyone else was having trouble memorizing these complicated choreographed things. You have three days to learn this fight scene. ... It took me, literally, 90 seconds. It came so easily to me because that's what I do.
What was the most surprising thing about making a movie?
I'll tell you the stupidest thing. ... I don't know why this never occurred to me in 29 years of life. I said to the guy, "When we're filming this and I throw this right hand, where should I land it? Do I just like get him in the face, do I try and pull it?" He looked at me like he didn't understand. He was like, "You just leave some space, so it goes across the camera." It was like this lightbulb went off, like movie magic had been fooling me for 29 years. I just whiff. I don't hit him at all. ... I don't even have to get hit? I thought I was going to get punched in all these fight scenes. This is great; it's like a vacation!