From his role as Super Shredder in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,” Kevin Nash’s Hollywood resume dates as long as his pro wrestling career.
Movie goers will have two opportunities to see the superstar grappler on the big screen this summer with a bit part in “Rock of Ages” and a bigger one as a member of an eclectic group of male strippers in “Magic Mike.”
In “Rock of Ages,” which was filmed throughout South Florida, Nash plays a bodyguard for Tom Cruise’s character Stacee Jaxx. This wasn’t a stretch for the imposing near 7-footer, who broke into WWE as the brawn behind Shawn Michaels.
“It was more of a cameo,” Nash said. “They were looking for two bodyguard guys. Not many of us around who are this big. I just sing a line with Cruise on the ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ cover of Bon Jovi. With the amount of people in that cast, it is incredible. It was long hours where we would sit around for hours and not do a shot all day. It was one of those pay to wait type of situations. That is the nature of the business.”
He is given more exposure (no pun intended) in the Channing Tatum strip flick “Magic Mike.” Nash portrays Tarzan, a tragic character, similar in some ways to Randy The Ram Robinson in “The Wrestler.”
“He is the aging guy in the crew,” Nash said. “He is the old warhorse. I actually have a really bad right knee. I said to director Steven [Soderbergh], ‘I don’t think I can dance without this knee brace on.’ He says, ‘No, I think it’s funny. Wear the knee brace.’ So I have the knee brace on in all of the dance scenes.”
Nash says the ensemble had dance rehearsals for at least a week solid, hours at a time.
“We would go back to do our individual work and put together our individual dance routines,” Nash said. “We had great choreographers who worked with us. We had two or three days until they said, ‘Okay, tomorrow you are going to be doing it in your underwear.’”
Aside from Tatum, whose male dancer back story inspired the movie, the other stars had to get into stripper mode.
“Channing, of course lived the life,” Nash said. “So his comfort level was there. The guy is also an amazing dancer. He did it for a living, but on top of that, he did several movies that were dance based movies. He is an amazing dancer. Matt Bomer has some classic dance background.
“As far as Matthew [McConaughey], myself and Adam Rodriguez, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello are kind of new to it. Of all the things I ever worked on, besides the ‘The Longest Yard,’ it was by far the tightest group of guys because we worked and had some fun together. When each guy did their solos, all the other guys would sit and watch. It was a good experience.”
For Nash, who has more than 20 years experience performing in front of worldwide audiences in the ring, there was some initial intimidation with the project.
“I don’t know what you would call it besides a long loincloth type Tarzan thing that I was wearing, but the first time you pull it off and you are there with a G-string with your back-end exposed,” Nash said. “You are in a room full of 200 women who are real human beings. Once you do it and you get a good response. Once you hear them cheer and whistle, then its like, ‘Okay, it’s just like wrestling.’”