Hall of Fame wrestler makes his animation voiceover debut...
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"Rowdy" Roddy Piper ruled the wrestling ring for the better part of four decades, crafting a Hall of Fame career that brought cheers – and huzzahs – from fans across the globe. Along the way, Piper established numerous milestones that set his career apart from all others.
Today, Piper continues to entertain and educate, whether it be via his one-man show or as a best selling author of an autobiography entitled "In the Pit with Piper." And on June 7, fans can experience Piper's acting chops in his very first voiceover role for animation as the barbaric Bolphunga in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights will be distributed by Warner Home Video on Blu-Ray, DVD, On Demand and for Download June 7, 2011.
Piper's character – Bolphunga the Unrelenting – is the central antagonist in the episodic segment entitled "Mogo Doesn’t Socialize." Based on the 1985 story created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the story centers on Bolphunga’s search for Mogo, the largest Green Lantern, in hopes of engaging the famed warrior in a battle worthy of the villain. The role serves as a perfect vehicle to showcase Piper's strength and sense of humor.
Piper spent a few moments after his recording session with Warner Bros.to discuss his current activities, his love of acting, and the responsibilities of being a role model.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights was your first-ever voiceover for animation. How was the experience?
Professional wrestling gave you plenty of experience being both the villain and the hero. How does the public perceive you today?That was about as much fun as I could ever hope to have. You can really lose yourself in an animated role. There’s so much freedom, so much room for creativity. It’s a blast.
What’s your approach to performing these one-man shows?I guess a lot of folks have grown up with me and, in an awkward way, for people who really have seen the good sides of me, I’m like a father figure. It’s remarkable – every place I go, there’s somebody that has an inspiring tale to tell. At one of my shows, there was a policeman named Paul who had been awarded a Congressional citation for saving someone’s life. He came up and gave me his citation. He said that when he was a little boy, he had troubles – but he would watch me and that’s where he found inspiration and direction. So when he goes into a tough situation, he relates to (my actions), and he says it saved his life.
The profession that I took upon is a lawless, tough piece of work, and so many of my friends are dead now. So in my one-man show, I tell the folks about people that they grew up with, people that they may have related to in different ways. My profession is very renegade. But as crazy as it seems, it’s as real as it gets.
You seem like a natural for animation. What’s your attraction to playing an animated character?I was with Burt Reynolds at his house in Jupiter (FL) and he said to me, “The one thing I try to convey as actors is that we don’t get enough ‘Atta Boys.’ So I try to make them leave with an ‘Atta Boy.’ And that really sticks with me. Encouragement is an essential.
There are those that would claim wrestling is acting. What are the key differences in those two performances?I like the fact that I can go away and lose myself so I don’t have to live in the world of courage that everyone else does. I like creating, it’s what I do, and acting allows me to stretch all those different muscles in all kinds of ways. That’s pretty cool.
Source: Edited Warner Bros. PRWrestling and acting couldn’t be anymore different in terms of what it takes to entertain. Wrestling is explosion, acting is implosion. One really screws up the other. That’s why Hogan sucks. If I came out on camera like I do in Madison Square Garden, it would look crazy. Clint Eastwood just shakes his head and raises his eye and it works. But when you’ve got 96,000 people at Wrestlemania, I need to get through to the back row. Fighting is not internal, but it can be very spiritual. Everything acting is internal. One of my problems in making the transition is pulling back, but I’m working on it.
Roddy Piper Photo Courtesy of Gary Miereanu