Big John Studd gladly wrestles with film career

On movies

September 06, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

The producers of ''Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man'' were not paid by either corporation to promote their products, according to Big John Studd, who plays a role in the film.

''Actually, the producers had to work hard to get permission to use those names,'' he said. ''Neither [company wanted to] endorse or sanction the film, particularly Harley Davidson, because the movies have given motorcycles a bad image,'' he said. ''They were very cautious.''

The film, which is set five years in the future, has Don Johnson -- as the Marlboro man -- shoot his Kawasaki motorcycle to death.

''Well, the film is futuristic,'' said Studd, adding that he knew the anti-Japanese sentiment was in the script when he accepted the role. ''It's the future, the Japanese are taking over everything, and these two guys rebel against that.''

In person, Big John is not as big as he is in the movie. ''I was 370 in the movie. I'm now down to 330,'' he said.

As a wrestler, he knows Baltimore. ''It's a good wrestling town,'' he said. ''I've never had less than a sellout when I've wrestled here.''

He won't tell his exact age. ''Say I'm somewhere between 30 and 40,'' he said.

He is proud to say that he's sincerely monogamous. ''I've had the same wife for 14 years,'' he said. ''We have three children, 11, 8 and 10 months.''

He says he intends to see that his marriage lasts forever. ''I don't do things that would lead to a divorce,'' he said. ''I don't drink, and my first thoughts are of my family. Mostly, I just train.''

Studd hasn't done any professional wrestling in two years. ''I'm lying low,'' he said. ''I think the fans need a break.''

Meanwhile, he keeps busy as an actor. He's done a lot of television and before ''Harley Davidson'' did ''Marrying Man'' for the big screen.

''That's how I got this job. They saw me in that and asked me to do this one,'' he said.

In the new film, Studd is a giant who hangs around a bar and is browbeaten by his wife, played by Vanessa Williams. ''She's great,'' said Studd, ''and when she sings in the film, that's her own voice.''

OC Studd rides a bike in the film, and all this was new to him. He

wishes he had been better prepared. ''They asked me if I could ride. I said sure I could, took off and hit a truck,'' he recalled. ''It shook me up pretty good. They took me to the hospital, but I was back on the set the next day.''

During a recent interview, Studd had his 11-year-old son with him.

Is he interested in wrestling?

K? ''No,'' said his father. ''He doesn't care for it at all.''

*

Good news for fans of the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Their Barton Fink,'' which is gathering enthusiastic reviews in other parts of the country, will open here Sept. 20 at a group of theaters.

You can't tell about these films. This is the kind that might easily have gone to the Charles for a limited stay, but apparently Twentieth Century Fox thinks it has a commercial property here, so it is giving a broader showing.

The Coen brothers did the script for ''Barton Fink.'' Ethan produced, and Joel directed. The Coen boys are responsible for rTC ''Raising Arizona'' and ''Miller's Crossing.'' Before that, they did ''Blood Simple,'' a piece of film noir.

John Turturro is ''Barton Fink,'' a New York playwright who is offered a contract by a movie studio. The time is the early '40s, and when Fink moves to Hollywood, he takes a room in a cheap hotel where the man across the hall is a friendly salesman, played by John Goodman.

*

Opening here Oct. 18 is ''Homicide,'' the film David Mamet wrote, directed and shot in Baltimore earlier this year.

Joseph Mantegna stars. He plays a plainclothes cop working on the murder of a shopkeeper who discovers that a local underground Jewish group has declared war on a hate `f organization.

*

When ''Freddy's Dead'' opens here Friday, Sept. 13, those who see the film will be given 3-D glasses when they enter the theater. That's because the last 10 minutes of the film are in 3-D.

''Freddy's Dead'' is being promoted as the sixth and ''absolutely'' last in the ''Nightmare on Elm Street'' series. Sure.

''Freddy's Dead'' was written and directed of Rachel Talaway, 32, a former Baltimorean who began her career as a producer for local director-writer John Waters.

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