This Interview Originally Appeared In Rudo Can’t Fail Issue 21
Interview by Wayne Utterback
Wayne Utterback: First, I’d like to congratulate you on the success of your latest film “Boone: The Bounty Hunter!” With your film roles and your prominent role on Lucha Underground and in AAA, I imagine it would be easy to guess that you are incredibly busy.
So, what’s it like seeing all of your hard work really pay off with all of these projects you’ve been working on?
John Hennigan: This last year has been a really great time for me. I’ve put so much of myself into Boone, training and the entertainment business hustle that I can’t even quantify. I believe that you get out of things what you put into them.
WU: I’ve heard that “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” wasn’t a project that happened overnight and that it required a real persistence by you to get it made. What was it about this film that made you commit to seeing it become reality?
JH: I started in 2012 with the idea that I wanted to make a movie that I would have loved when I was a kid. I grew up on pro wrestling and action movies, and I’d watch my favorite wrestling PPVs (back when you could rent them at Blockbuster) and movies over and over again, Rumble in the Bronx, Blood Sport, Predator, the Rocky movies, Big Trouble in Little China, Point Break, The Leathal Weapon movies, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, DrunkenMaster 2, GhostBusters, Once Upon a Time in China… etc
As we got deeper into the writing process, after several rewrites; I started really believing in Boone. I wanted to make something epic and I believed “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” was it. Believing in the movie is what motivated me.
WU: What makes the action in Boone different from other action movies?
JH: Through my career in Pro Wrestling, I’ve become increasingly fascinated with movement, and after the success I had with integrating parkour into my pro wrestling career, I wanted to do the same with an action film. Parkour is so often used in movies for the protagonist to get away, it seemed like a fun idea to use parkour to chase people instead. We started with that premise, then layered pro wrestling and some traditional stunt choreo into the action design and ended up with what you see in the movie. Boone’s unique action characteristic is that he uses his body as a weapon to BOONE people - a concept more prevalent in pro wrestling than other martial arts and fighting systems – …dive! tope con hilo, corkscrew moonsaults, spiral taps, a cross body, a spear – all examples from wrestling- using your body to knock the shit out of your opponent. I like watching that in pro wrestling, and think it works great in the movie.
WU: How would you rank your role as Boone compared to your other film roles?
JH: Boone is the role I’m most proud of.
WU: Describe who Boone is in one sentence.
JH: Boone is an over the top, modern day vigilante with fighting skills that exceed his common sense.
WU: We’ve been hearing about “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” selling out in stores. How does it make you feel knowing that something you created is receiving that kind of attention and praise?
JH: Boone sold out in dozens of Walmart store locations and Walmart online in days. It’s amazing that the movie is doing so well; it feels like all the time, energy, and resources I put into Boone were worth it.
WU: Obviously, professional wrestling carries with it an element of performance that translates into acting. Was there something about acting that really drew you in?
JH: Professional Wrestling and acting, are really about story telling- affecting people emotionally. I loved movies and WWF as a kid- I’d get stoked to watch with my friends, and we’d talk about our favorite movies all the time. I wanted to create something that gets people stoked.
WU: How do you go about splitting up your time between appearing at wrestling shows, Lucha Underground, film and other projects? Do you feel you split your time evenly or does one aspect of your career take precedence over the other?
JH: Usually things naturally take precedence, when I’m filming Lucha Underground, I spend most of my time doing that, if I’m shooting a show then I’m occupied with the show.
WU: You’ve been gone from WWE for more than five years now. How great does it feel to have more control of your career while also still remaining extremely prominent in professional wrestling outside of WWE?
JH: Creative autonomy is the reason I left WWE, and yes, I feel like I have more control over my time than I did while I was there, but I think the thing that’s had the biggest impact on my happiness is enjoying the time that I spend on things. I know myself better now than I did while I was on the road full time. I’m excited to see where my career goes in the next few years. I like creating cool shit, I love training. My best years in pro wrestling are still ahead of me.
WU: Where can people find you on social media to follow all of the latest news on what you are working on?
Facebook: John Morrison