Paul Wight is one intimidating guy. Whether he’s slamming people down left and right as “BIG SHOW” in the WWE, or doing other entertaining projects, the guy is one hell of a juggernaut that you wouldn’t want to cross in a dark alley at night.
Making for one hell of a villain in the now in theaters and VOD film VENDETTA (directed by the wonderful Soska Twins, Jen & Sylvia), Paul shows a darker and completely vicious side of himself that holds his own against the film’s protagonist, a cop hellbent on revenge (played by Dean Cain). Wight commands every scene that he’s in and has one hell of an end fight in the film, one that ‘s for the books.
Wight was nice enough to chat with Icons of Fright about VENDETTA and how the experience with working with who he likes to call his “angels”, as well as other topics. Read on!
Big Show: Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to me today, I appreciate it.
No problem at all, it’s my pleasure, I really loved the film. You’re one hell of a beast in VENDETTA, I’m curious what it was that made you want to take this one on.
Well, all of the things I’ve done in the past, like THE WATERBOY and KNUCKLEHEAD, were kind of funny characters, and MACGRUBER I did just because it was such an insane part. When WWE Studios’ Michael Luisi brought this one to me, it was a real opportunity to do something very different, a very dark kind of role. I remember being a little concerned, thinking, “Wow, this guy is really sadistic”, I’d have to go to some dark places to pull it off. They were nice enough to partner me up with the Soska twins, who directed it and who really knew how to deliver that really menacing guy. Plus, Dean Cain, Michael Eklund, those guys really helped me with it.
It’s crazy because when I watch the film, there really isn’t one redeeming quality about my character at ALL. He’s a sadistic, sick S.O.B. that needs to be put down like a rabid dog.
Yeah, he’s quite vicious. Speaking of Jen and Sylvia Soska, who are not only exceptional filmmakers, but they’re also known to be very hands on directors. How was it working with them?
I love those girls like you can’t imagine. I always like to call them my angels. They work so well together, and they helped me tremendously from little things to bigger ones, like helping me to keep my power in certain scenes. I never once lost my edge with the character I played, which says a lot because I’m new at this and I don’t have any formal kind of training. I was so honored to have those girls alongside me, having that positive, “can do” attitude the entire time. Their energy was infectious, they would talk to you and help you with any questions. I really cannot say enough great things about those girls. I can’t wait to see them grow with every project they take on, and I hope we get to work together again.
I loved how there wasn’t just the physical battles between you and Dean Cain, but almost a psychological one between Michael Eklund and yourself. How was it working with both of them, and the differences between how you dealt with them?
It’s crazy with Dean Cain, because my favorite scene with him is when he first gets to prison and there’s a scene where I’m sitting down across from him and telling him this is pretty much my house. The intensity on Dean Cain’s face when he’s looking at me, with everything I’ve put this guy through and done to him, when he was looking at me, literally in the back of my mind, I was scared that this guy was going to stab me with his fork. You could just FEEL the intensity coming from his.
Working with Michael Eklund, was just SO amazing. I love that guy to death and he’s just SO cool. The way he just fuels the intensity and aggravation, with my character and what he and I were doing, a lot of that physical stuff was just he and I bouncing things off of each other. A lot of that stuff wasn’t written, it was just us getting some freedom from the twins, and the trust that he gave me, it was really cool. So for me, working with both guys was just a really fun experience.
You mentioned your role being darker than what you’ve done in the past, and that’s one of the elements of the film that I loved: how it felt like such a departure for most of the people involved. Before VENDETTA, when I thought of Dean Cain, the first thing that popped into my mind was SUPERMAN, so it was great seeing you and Dean play these characters we wouldn’t typically expect from you guys. With how well known you’ve been in the WWE, how is it to step into these kinds of films and roles during your downtime from that stuff?
It’s good for me, because I haven’t been able to take any real classes having to do with acting, I kind of go off of instinct. What’s been great is how Michael Luisi has given us all in the WWE opportunities to get our feet wet with trying other forms of entertainment, aside from what we’re known for or are successful doing. This is all great for me, because it feels like it’s on the job training and on the job experience.
I’m not going to be able to wrestle forever, I’ve probably got a couple or a few years left, then I’m going to have to find another creative outlet. I’m always going to love entertaining and playing characters. This really helps get me ready for the next evolution and helps me to cut my teeth doing so. Hopefully, studios will take notice, and though I’m a little typecasted because of me size, I’d like to think that because of VENDETTA and the other stuff I’ve done, that it’s shown that I have some range to do other projects as well.