From the start of his second life as a pro wrestler, CM Punk’s been clear that (aside from cagefighting itself) he’s not giving up his other dreams. He’ll still call mixed martial arts action for CFFC, and he’ll continue to pursue his acting career.
While talking to our Shakiel Mahjouri (who was working his ET Canada gig at the time) about the upcoming season finale of Heels - the Stephen Amell wrestling drama currently airing on STARZ where he plays an indie veteran named Ricky Rabies - Punk explained how that meshes with his work for AEW.
“We’re lining things up and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Obviously, it’s built into my deal with AEW that I have the freedom to explore other opportunities. I have such a great relationship with Tony that all it really is, is a conversation. I think the more visible I am, the bigger roles I get, I think it’ll help AEW internally. That being said, I am being pulled in a couple of different directions, but my heart is 100 per cent behind every project that I do. AEW being one of them. It’s going to be a busy year, but it’s going to be a good one.”
Punk & Shak talked quite a bit about Hollywood’s changing perception of wrestling and wrestlers, which the Best in the World attributes to people like Amell and Heels showrunner Michael Waldon who grew up as fans and now industry power players. He also had praise for a few other former co-workers who are now actors:
“You see a guy like Dave Bautista killing it with this myriad of different roles. Dave can do comedy, Dave can do drama, he can do it all. [John] Cena has always been that funny guy. I always thought behind the scenes, and I think anybody who has worked with him always thought. A lot of the guys at that top-level in WWE may not want to admit it, but alls we are are theatre actors. We’re doing live theatre every Monday, every Friday, Thursday, Tuesday, whatever the hell the schedule is now. All that is, is theatre. It gets you accustomed to improv and working on the fly.
“I read James Gunn said that John Cena was the best improv actor he’s ever worked with. That does not surprise me in the least. We do it every week for decades. When we transition to film, I think people are pleasantly surprised like, ‘Oh wow, I thought you were just going to be this muscled up stiff guy.’ I’m not surprised that John is killing it.”
Check out more of Shak’s conversation with Punk in the video embedded above, and on ET Canada’s site here.