Dustin Rhodes spoke with SportsKeeda for a new interview discussing his recent acting work, his role in AEW and more. Highlights are below:
On if he’s always wanted to get into acting: “Ever since I was little, man, I’ve always had a camera in my hand, trying to think of movies and write small scripts from a young age. I’ve always wanted to be in film. It’s another passion that I have that is much like wrestling, you know, so I’m glad that I’m able to do both of those right now with the freedom of AEW and really focus on that part of it, and then whenever I need to go take some time off for a film role or auditioning, a TV series, then that’s what I’m focusing on at that moment and then they bring me back in. So it’s juggling the two but it’s a lot of fun and I love it, man, I’ve got to stay busy, I can’t just sit down, I’ve got to keep moving. In the acting area, I want to be considered a good actor. It’s great to be an action star and things like that, but I want to be known for acting because I really, really have a deep passion for it so I am giving it a shot. I’ve got a few under my belt. Copper Bill is the one that is in post-production right now, fixing to hit the film festivals and the live premieres and things, so I’m looking forward to that.”
On being part of AEW while juggling acting work: “They’re the same but they’re different. One is a physical train wreck every single week. You know what I mean? We put our bodies through an extreme amount of pain, our bodies are just whipped around like crazy. There’s the physical aspect of it and then, on the acting side, you usually have a stunt double that will do that stuff for you and I’m so used to being like, “Oh, I’ll do that.” They’re like, “No, no, Dustin, we got somebody to do that for you,” and I’m like, “S**t, I know how to do that.” They’re like, “No, you’re fine, you’re fine.” And they have these people do that for me and it is easy. There are a lot of similarities, but it’s different at the same time too because of the physical aspect.”
On his decision to leave WWE and join AEW: “With the WWE, I’d had enough. It was time for me to go. It had been such a long, storied career with the Goldust character and, do you know, I really thought that I was going to retire – and then I got pulled in and my passion got reignited when I wrestled my brother, and we had the match of the last decade, probably, if not the last two decades. It was such a story, a great match. The schedule is a lot different, so it takes some getting used to. We were on the road so much up there that you don’t have any time at home with your family and here, with AEW, I love it, man! The scheduling is great. I leave Tuesday to go to the production meeting, Wednesday’s TV, come home Thursday and whatever else I want to do, I’m free to do – which I did not have that freedom to do anything that I wanted to do outside of wrestling up there. They made it very, very difficult and that’s one of the reasons why I left.
“And now here in AEW, I look forward to going to work every single week because I coach the girls, me and Brandi [Rhodes], and Kia [Awesome Kong] and Kenny Omega. I hold this training session every Wednesday with the girls, I’m a backstage producer and coaching for promos, teaching these kids how to talk on camera, and to get them comfortable with a camera in their face – because some of them have never had the television experience so it’s a learning experience for them and also I had to have a little patience with them because this is their first time doing it – and I love to teach so I consider AEW and these kids, they are kind of my kids, man. I love them. And to see them shine, to see and get better, to see them progress in our company, AEW, it’s great, it’s a great feeling for me. I think they like me, I love being there, I love to help and I also have to still say relevant myself – with my character, Dustin Rhodes, coming back full-circle to where it used to be, just a little bit different and giving it my last full attention here for the next few years as far as Dustin Rhodes is concerned in a wrestling ring. I’m not done. I’ve got a few years left and I’m looking forward to it but what I really like doing is teaching these kids, man, because they are a sponge, man, they soak it up and they love it, and they’re all very passionate and hungry about this AEW venture that we are on, man. We’re knocking it out of the park every single week, we’re doing some amazing, compelling compelling TV and it’s fun to watch.”
On who he thinks is the next ‘big thing’ in wrestling: “I like a lot of people. I like just about everybody. We have such a good group of kids, but I mean, if you’re looking around in our locker room in All Elite, you’ve got…Oh, man, a new up-and-comer, who not a lot of people know and they are starting to get to know now is MJF. He is really something special on the mic, and we haven’t seen too much of his ring ability yet but he’s good. He’s really good. I like his style. Unfortunately he stabbed my brother in the back so I take that kind of personal when you’re messing with family – but as far as him being something special and big in this business, I think he’s going to be. ”
On the competition between AEW and NXT: “You know, I don’t look at it as, “Okay, we need to focus on NXT.” I look at it as we need to put out the best weekly television series that we possibly can every single week and we’ve been doing that. We have been doing that, our fan base is there and they are growing. We are an alternative to the WWE programming. We are something very, very special that the fans have commanded and wanted for a long time and we are giving it to them – so me, personally, I’m not looking at NXT saying, “Oh, my God, they done this this week, we need to do this,” and go back and forth. I don’t like that, I’m not focused on that, I’m focused on my kids, our kids here at AEW because they are the future right now to me and our company.”
On what his dream role would be: :Yeah, my dream role would be like a Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs-type character. Just a real dramatic, creepy, heavy acting-actor seen. I love that movie and I look at him and just how he got into this character, and how he acted and portrayed that character in that movie was just incredible, and that’s the kind of thing that I want people to notice about me. I want them to say, “Damn, Dustin is a great actor.” Not, “Dustin is a… Man, he’s a pretty cool action star, I like him in action movies,” which is cool but I want to be an actor. I want to walk the stage and get an Oscar before I die. That is my number one goal in the acting world, is to be known for my acting ability.”