Marine 6: Close Quarters recently hit DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD, and this one is even more exciting than the previous installments. Marine 6 stars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, and it is his fourth starring role in the franchise. In Close Quarters, two other WWE superstars join The Miz: Becky Lynch and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.
Directed by James Nunn, The Marine 6 finds Jake Carter (Mizanin) joining forces with Luke Trapper (Michaels) to rescue a kidnapped girl (Sarah Dillon portrayed by Louisa Connolly-Burnham) from a gang of international criminals, headed by Maddy Hayes (Lynch). The film has a great balance of humor, action, and suspense, and also a twist at the end that most fans won’t see coming. If you’re into action movies with some clever one-liners, then The Marine 6 is for you.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Shawn Michaels about the new film, and we discussed the great on-screen chemistry between him and The Miz, what it was like working on his first-ever action movie, and some advice that he recently gave WWE SmackDown Women’s champion Becky Lynch.
Carter Lee: Hey, Shawn. I really appreciate your time today.
Shawn Michaels: You bet! My pleasure.
CL: Well, I know you are short on time with a tight schedule, so let’s get into the movie. I really enjoyed The Marine 6.What was your feeling going into this movie, taking on an action role? I think I’ve seen all the films you’ve done, and I believe this is the first action part that you have taken. How did it feel going into this?
SM: Good, but it was a challenge. As you mentioned, it was my first experience doing action films. I was curious about it. It’s one thing in the fantasy of your mind to envision what it must be like, but it didn’t compare to actually doing it. This was a heck of a lot more difficult, more demanding physically than I knew that it was. From that standpoint, I was thrilled with the experience. Certainly, if I have the opportunity to do another one, I’ll be better prepared.
I think I will find myself training differently. I have a great deal of respect for the guys that do these on a regular basis because it really is pretty darn physically demanding. That was something, I have to admit, that surprised me. I was thrilled to learn that aspect of it. Like I said, I’ll certainly be better prepared if the opportunity comes up again.
CL: I think you did a great job. You seem to have really good on-screen chemistry with The Miz. You wrestled a couple of times together in 2008 in tag matches, and it was cool to see the two of you reunite for a film. You played off each other well with humor and all that. What was it like working with Mike on this?
SM: It was phenomenal and that was something he and I noticed right away. I have to give him a ton of credit for that because he’s the guy that’s been leading the franchise for the longest time, they’re his babies, and he’s the one who sets the tempo with his work ethic, attention to detail, and things of that nature. It felt good and it felt natural. To me, that’s 100 percent due to the lead actor making you feel comfortable on their films, and that’s what Mike certainly did. It was so important to have Mike be as giving and understanding as he was, as that made everything a lot easier for me and just allowed me to do the best work that I could. Can’t disagree with you, I felt the chemistry was phenomenal.
CL: Absolutely. Was any of that humor ad-libbed between you guys? It felt so natural. At certain points in the film, I just felt like I was watching a real conversation between two friends. Was all of that scripted and you were sticking to the script, or were you able to cut loose a little bit?
SM: Like almost everything, we start with the script, and then we get a little looser as takes go on. Certainly, a lot of the humorous scenes in there were in there, and some, as we continue to improvise on them, got left in and others went so far that it got a little [laughs], maybe too amusing sometimes. Even though everybody liked it, the director felt like that might be a little too far. Just the idea that you’re allowed to have that kind of range and openness with the director and be able to mess with it, which James was just great about. He was the one who decided what worked and what didn’t, but he gave us a lot of free range in a lot of areas, which makes it really easy to do when the director is helping you out like that.
CL: Very cool. There’s one scene I really want to ask you about, and it’s probably my favorite scene in the movie. It’s when the three of you are going down that long grain shoot in the building.
CL: I love that scene because it’s filled with both humor and suspense when they’re dropping sandbags on you and trying to make you fall down the shoot, and the way you were selling it was great. What can you tell me about that scene?
SM: They had this whole separate shoot set up and trying to control your weight when you’re completely vertical is a little tough. It was a real grain shoot, and thankfully the sandbags are not real. It’s one of those things that allows you a lot of range because it is an amusing scene, and I think that’s what kind of separates this Marine move apart from all the other ones. It’s just as an action film as all the other ones, but there’s a little more humor in this one than any of the others. I think that’s a nice change and, for me, I’m far more comfortable doing. You know, it’s more in my wheelhouse than being the Billy Badass, so to speak.
CL: Not to give anything away, the ending has a great twist. I could definitely see your character returning. Are you open to doing more Marine movies?
SM: Definitely. It was a blast to do, for sure. I don’t know what that would entail. One of the things I’ve learned about acting is if you don’t decide how much you want to act, other people do that for you. So, if those opportunities come up, I’m certainly going to jump on them if I have the time and opportunity to do it. As you know, those are not my calls.
CL: Right. I want to make sure we touch on this, as I found it heartwarming and interesting. Recently in interviews, Becky Lynch spoke very highly of you. She told TV Insider that you gave her advice that when you go back to the WWE [from filming The Marine 6], go in as a different person, hold your head a little bit higher, and have the attitude that you’re a top star. In my opinion, she’s now doing the best she ever has in the WWE. For someone like you with all your credentials, what did you see in her to give her such strong advice like that?
SM: Well, first of all, when you have the opportunity to travel to different sets, especially if you’re doing them in London, you spend a lot of time in traffic, and you get a lot of time with one another to talk and get to know each other. Honestly, it was her passion and her desire to do better, continue to grow, and continue to progress in the WWE.
A lot of times, it’s very easy in that job when you’re doing it every day, a lot of it feels like groundhog day. A lot of grumbling, a lot of complaining, a lot of things can happen where it affects your demeanor, your mood, and even your outlook for the future. It’s very easy to get into a glass-is-half-empty mentality, and the only person that can really change that is you. You cannot change the way the world works. You can’t change the WWE. You can’t change life. What you can do is change your outlook on it. That’s one of the things that sounds very simple, but you know as well as I do, it’s very tough for people to do on a day-to-day basis.
I also got the opportunity to hear her story because one of the things working with the PC [WWE Performance Center], I’ve come to learn and really appreciate that everybody’s got a story about why or how they wanted to do this. Essentially, there’s a boyhood dream, a girlhood dream in every WWE superstar, and I’m just really curious as to what those are. You want that to turn out well for them. You want them to at least make the most of the opportunity that they have.
This may be your one shot, who knows if you get another one. You can’t rely on that. A lot of that is due to us and our outlook on that. Every day can suck if you want it to. That’s just an overall concept that I wanted her to get, which is a lot of this spins and starts with you and your outlook on your career. If you don’t change that, it doesn’t matter how much changes around you, you’re not going to be able to enjoy it and appreciate it, and then give your best.
That’s just something I was hoping I could convey to her for her return after the movie, and she did such a great job in this. You know, you just don’t jump into a movie for your first time and do as well as she did if you aren’t talented. You don’t make it to the WWE where she’s made it if you’re not talented, and you can’t let anyone rob you of that, and if you do, that’s on you not on them. You’re the one that makes those decisions in your life. Every day you wake up you’ve got a choice to see that as the greatest day or the worst day. I just wanted her to make sure that she took care of her mental outlook from that day forward, and I figured everything else would follow. At least, up until this point, it certainly has. I’m thrilled for her.
CL: I know you’ve got to run. Thank you so much for your time, I appreciate it.
SM: Thank you!