Since The Mummy Returns is your first feature film role, were you at all nervous? After all, this is the sequel to a film that grossed over $400 million worldwide.
I wasn’t necessarily nervous, I was really really excited. I was excited to meet Stephen, and I flew out here to meet Stephen and his energy was just fantastic. He told me the entire story of the Scorpion King and you could see how passionate Stephen was about his history. He described everything and I was really diggin’ it.
Did your role within the WWF as The Rock help you out at all in playing The Scorpion King?
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve done some TV spots and I do four hours of live television every single week which allow me to showcase some entertaining qualities.
Rock fans got to see you act on “Saturday Night Live” as well. Did you intend for “SNL” to open up doors for you in the Hollywood world since you were so adamant about not doing any wrestling skits?
I was adamant about not doing any wrestling skits on “Saturday Night Live” so I could do what I did– you know, Monkey Boy and dress in drag. After that that is when I suddenly was offered all these scripts. I never thought I was going to use “SNL” as a springboard, I just loved “SNL” and it was great working with Will and everyone there. A lot of eyes were opened after that.
I heard you got sick on the set of The Mummy Returns. How did that happen?
I remember Oded Fehr saying, ‘Rock, you just got to watch out what you eat.’ He’s got his long hair and his goatee, and I remember seeing him in Deuce Bigalow and thinking, this guy is a mac. Anyway, he’s telling me ‘you got to be careful of what you eat’ and I’m like ‘no, no, it’s okay, I’ve traveled before I’ll be okay. I’ve been around the world once, sometimes twice’ and next thing you know I was so sick. I thought I would be okay because the chicken was squired and barbecued, but it’s the little things like using the butter when it was in ice. I was sick as a dog. It was 100 degrees and I was shaking with blankets over me, outside in the middle of the desert, literally shivering.
Was it food poisoning?
They think it was food poisoning, they think it was sun stroke… they didn’t really know what it was. I didn’t know what it was. When you are halfway across the world, away from home and in the middle of the desert with people you really don’t know, you start wondering, ‘Am I gonna die out here?’ I was literally living on toast for four days.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding you and the fact that you may be the next big action star, along the lines of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why do you think that is?
I get asked that a lot and I truly don’t know. I don’t mean I don’t know what they see in me, I just don’t know. I think it’s easier for you guys being in the industry a lot longer than I have to know that.
Not only do you have The Mummy Returns under your belt, you also have the upcoming Scorpion King movie. Tell me about that. How did it come about and what does it focus on?
I got a phone call when I was in Morocco, actually, when I got a call saying that they were watching the dailies and that, it was just a thought, but they were possibly thinking about making a movie about the life of the Scorpion King and how he became the Scorpion King. It deals on how he is an assassin and comes from a family of assassins. The film is dated ten years back form the prologue viewers see in The Mummy Returns, and within the first couple of scenes his brother, who is the last of his family, is killed in front of him. So the motive is immediately there. Not only has he just seen his brother being murdered, the last of his family, but he’s also taken an oath to kill the sorcerer, the lead villain’s right hand man, because the sorcerer sees the outcome of every battle which allows this villain to completely sweep across the land. So it’s almost like a WWF show. It’s like hey, I’m gonna beat that guy and then that guy. It’s a wonderful story and has Michæl Clark Duncan in it.
Want to smell more of what the Rock is cooking? Read the rest of the interview in SOLID: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ROCK>>>