Would it really be Christmas without Clark W. Griswold? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Ralphie? Those iconic characters have two things in common. First, they’re loved by millions.
And second, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin could totally take ‘em in the squared circle.
I recently had a chance to speak with “The Miz” about his entry into the Yuletide-movie genre “Christmas Bounty,” how his WWE buddies feel about his softer side, and the difficulties making the transition from the ring to the big screen…
Gordon Holmes: Your character is named “Mike” in this movie. Is that some kind of typecasting?
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin: When I saw it as a script and it said, “Mikey Muscles” I said, “You do realize my name is Mike?” And they said, “You look like a Mike.” So I guess that settled it.
Holmes: How on Earth did your parents have the foresight to do that?
The Miz: When I came out of the womb, they were like, “This guy looks like a Mike.” There was no denying it.
Holmes: I think “The Miz” is catchy. Miz TV is a fun segment. But, “Mikey Muscles” has a nice ring to it too. You might want to consider bringing that into the WWE.
The Miz: Mick Foley had like three characters, why can’t I?
Holmes: It just makes smart financial sense. Foley sells three action figures, he sells three t-shirts…
The Miz: A little merchandise never hurt anybody. I’m up for it. (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re a Cleveland guy. Mikey Muscles is all about Jersey pride. Was it tough to make that transition?
The Miz: When I first saw the script I was like, “I’m not going to try a Jersey accent.” But then I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do it.” I had a voice coach, so every time before a shot I’d go and talk to that person. As I was up there in Vancouver I eventually started talking in a Jersey accent the entire time. It just got so catchy. And I love New Jersey. They have like their own little gimmick. You’ve got to love it. You’ve got to respect it. It was fun to play.
Holmes: What’s the reaction been like from the WWE Superstars and Divas?
The Miz: We’re always about ribbing each other. There’s a whole lot of love. I get a lot of past/present/future references because that was one of Mikey Muscles’ romantic moments. And whenever a guy’s giving his softer, more sensitive side they’re going to make fun of it. Everyone’s been pretty cool about it.
Holmes: You, John Cena, Randy Orton, Kane, and others are all doing movies now. Is there any competition between you guys?
The Miz: WWE is all about competition. Everyone wants to have the most sales, the most trending topics on Twitter, the most media.
Holmes: What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?
The Miz: Dude, luckily WWE Studios and ABC Family got together and we got to see a preview of the “25 Days of Christmas.” I’m a huge fan of that whole event. I was watching it yesterday and I saw my favorite Christmas movie of all time, you’d think it’s “A Christmas Story” because I’m from Cleveland.
The Miz: No, my favorite Christmas movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” No one beats Uncle Eddie. It’s the best.
Holmes: Those are both solid choices. But what happens when Mikey Muscles goes toe-to-toe with Ralphie from “The Christmas Story”? We’ll even let Ralphie bring his Red Ryder b-b gun.
The Miz: Listen, you can bring your little b-b gun. The fact is, the bb gun isn’t going to poke your eye out, The Miz is going to poke your eye out with a Skull-Crushing Finale.
Holmes: What about against Clark W. Griswold? We’ll let him bring the Family Truckster.
The Miz: He can bring the dog, the squirrel… You know, the promo that he cut on his boss? That’d better be the promo he cuts on me. He’s going to need it. I’ll put him in a figure four and make him tap, tap, tap.
Holmes: Like when Bing Crosby danced with Danny Kaye. Alright, Buddy the Elf?
The Miz: Who’s that?
Holmes: Buddy the Elf? From “Elf”? He’s got the kind of attire you might see in a wrestling ring.
The Miz: Buddy is such a nice, warm, wonderful character. He tries to bring goodness and positivity to everything. I don’t think he’d actually go up against me, he’d con me into tag teaming so he could win and be the good guy.
Holmes: You got your start in reality TV with “The Real World,” then you became a WWE Superstar, now you’re making movies. These are three very different forms of entertainment with their own intricacies. You’re a bit of a Renaissance Miz. What’ve have been some of the challenges and difficulties as you’ve switched genres?
The Miz: I think the biggest and hardest thing to do is get respect. When you come from a reality show, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Just do reality. Sit your life in front of a camera. That’s it. You have no talent. But, I wanted more. When I went to WWE I was frowned upon by the WWE Universe, the locker room. Nobody wanted me to succeed. I worked hard at it, I dedicated myself, and now eight years later I can say I’ve had a successful run in the WWE. And now moving into movies it’s another transition. “He’s just a WWE Superstar.” I feel like we don’t get the respect we deserve. WWE is theater. We’re in front of a live audience and you have one take to get it right. We have these amazing storylines. It’s very much like movies except we don’t get 100 takes. I think people are going to say, “Oh, it’s just a wrestler.” But, I think we’re going to turn some heads.
Holmes: The Christmas season is underway. There’s a ton of competition as far as entertainment goes. Why should someone plop down and watch “Christmas Bounty”?
The Miz: Whether you are a small child, a mother, a father, a young adult, a hipster…if you like action, if you like drama, if you like comedy…if you like fight scenes, if you like holidays and Christmas…there is only one movie you need to see and that is “Christmas Bounty.” Get in on DVD or Blu-Ray exclusively at Wal-Mart. You can also get it on iTunes. I’m telling you, you will not be disappointed. You will laugh, you will cry. At the end of the day you can sit down with your family, drink your egg nog, have your Christmas tree all lit up. Put on some nice warm socks and watch it on TV. You’ll be laughing and smiling at the end and you’ll have an amazing holiday.
Holmes: And is there any one adjective that can describe “Christmas Bounty”?
The Miz: It is “Christmas Bounty” and it is…Aweeeeeesoooooooome!
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes