He's built a body, now he's building a career

Wrestler Triple H goes from ring to books to new movie

Conversations

December 12, 2004|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SUN STAFF

Professional wrestler Triple H, known as "The Game" on World Wrestling Entertainment programming, recently raised his game to another level.

Triple H (aka Paul Levesque) is the latest WWE wrestler to cross over into the mainstream. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound New Hampshire native has a supporting role as a villainous vampire in the new film Blade: Trinity, and just released a fitness book titled Making The Game: Triple H's Approach to a Better Body.

Along with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mick "Mankind" Foley, Triple H was one of WWE's top stars during the wrestling boom of the late 1990s. With the others no longer wrestling, he's become the face of the company.

Whatever happens outside the ring, though, Triple H, 35, says he doesn't plan to stop wrestling. That's probably a relief to his father-in-law, WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

In an interview, Triple H spoke with The Sun about his acting career, his role in WWE and his thoughts about steroids.

How did your participation in Blade: Trinity come about?

Vince had approached The Rock and myself about possibly making a break into Hollywood. I met with different people, and one of the guys I met with at New Line [Cinema] was just looking the whole time for something for me to do. Blade came up, he sent me the script and we went from there.

Do you think acting eventually will take the majority of your time?

No. The top of my resume is always going to say pro wrestler. That's what I do and it's what I love doing. I don't believe you have to do three movies a year. You can go and do one for a few months and be back [in wrestling] for 10 months, a year, whatever, and then make another movie. I don't intend on doing what Rock has done - leaving the business.

Speaking of The Rock, the two of you were rivals in the ring. Do you think that rivalry will spill over into Hollywood?

I don't know. When it comes to playing particular characters, there are a lot of roles that he and I would be absolute opposites for. At this point, I've only done one movie, so me putting myself on the same level as him is not realistic. It's always been a good, competitive rivalry with me and him, and it would be cool with me if it continues.

It's been reported that your first starring role will be in a WWE-produced film titled Jornada del Muerte (Journey of the Deadman), and that you will play Conan the Barbarian in a revival of that franchise. What is the status of those projects?

Jornada del Muerte is a project that John Milius, who has written Apocalypse Now and Conan, among other things, has written specifically for me. We're just kind of waiting to see what the right time is to do it. I met John a few years ago and he is very interested in me playing Conan when the time comes.

A number of wrestlers have written best-selling autobiographies. Why did you decide to do a fitness book?

Simon & Schuster has been on me for about three years to do an autobiography, but I just don't feel like it's something you do in the middle of your career. I resisted for a long time, and finally they came to me and said, "If you could do another type of book, what would it be?" ... I started bodybuilding at 14, and I really credit a lot of the success in my life to the things that I learned in the gym - the discipline and the goal-setting and all those things. If I could help some other kid achieve that, then I've accomplished something.

Steroids are a big issue these days. Have you ever used them?

Just for injury. And that was from a doctor who gave them to me for a particular purpose, to recover from an injury.

Part of my problem with the whole thing is I feel like it's a two-way street of blame. I just saw something in the media the other day where they were showing the cycles of the things that athletes who went to [steroid supplier] BALCO did. God, if you don't think that's encouraging a kid to do that. ... I do believe now the athletes and the media have created a Catch-22 situation. [Baseball] has improved, whether it's because of steroids or not. Fans can tell you, "Oh, it's terrible that Barry Bonds takes steroids." But they'll also say, "I'm going to pay $40 to go see Barry Bonds break Babe Ruth's record."

Because you're married to your boss' daughter, Stephanie McMahon, a lot has been made about your influence behind the scenes in WWE. How much input do you have?

Vince is very open to suggestions from everybody. The one thing I think people don't understand is that he's more apt to not do something I suggest because he doesn't want it to look like he's favoring me. People have to understand that Vince McMahon runs a business. He's not going to do anything that is not right for his business. ... People also seem to forget that I was a top guy before I ever met [Stephanie].

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