Not long ago, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson finally gave entertainers outside of music a path to follow as the original Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. His continuous string of roles proved that he could bring in audiences and had what it took to last in the industry.
But ever since The Rock, what evidence can the sporting world really hold up to prove its stars have the acting chops? Just look at the state of The Rock’s career right now, with flop after flop and bizarre roles like Tooth Fairy. Somebody is at least looking out for him, considering Superhero Hype‘s report about The Rock possibly doing a superhero movie in the near future.
After The Rock, other wrestlers like John Cena (The Marine), ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (Condemned), and Kane (See No Evil) were given shots at movie stardom, with little success. If anything, this should be proof that ready-made stars don’t automatically equal crossover success.
Movie stardom isn’t about niche audiences, it’s about mass appeal, and The Rock has the looks and charm to get women in theaters. Frankly, most films with male-specific audiences just don’t do well. I know some have, but it’s not a trend studios should be banking on (pun intended).
Maybe putting the burden on The Rock is a little rough, when Hulk Hogan (Rocky III), ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (They Live), and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura (Predator) preceded him with some embarrassing work. I mean, come on, Mr. Nanny!? Lest we forget this gem from Roddy Piper:
In the end, it’s really not the performers’ collective fault. A lot of them broke into wrestling or fighting as a stepping-stone to bigger things. So, in a sense, they have been successful and they deserve praise for working hard. But we have yet to find a ‘real actor’ in the bunch. Will the day ever come when a former wrestler or martial arts athlete wins an Oscar? I find it hard to believe.
Ultimately, I blame the studios. Those businessmen with no creativity and a lazy attitude who choose hard-working athletes with no shame to fill in roles that shouldn’t exist in the first place. The blame can be spread equally to all, but somebody needs to step up and be held accountable for the wasted time of viewers whenever filmmakers stop caring about quality.
I’m sure some of you want to put Arnold Schwarzenegger in this discussion. The man went from body-builder to highly successful actor to governator. Total anomaly. I’ll leave it to you guys to hash-out”The Schwarzenegger Conumdrum” out in the comments section…
Does the growing number of fighters-turned-actors bother you? Who do you think is to blame? Sound off in the comments section below.