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Pro Wrestler Kurt Angle Discusses Fitness Secrets For Movies & Life At 40!

In the following interview Kurt discusses how he got into amazing shape for his latest roles, and what audiences can expect to see from him within the acting arena. Learn more.

Article Summary:
  • End Game is an Indie film shot by Kurt and a few of his friends.
  • He has been studying acting alongside his wrestling career.
  • Kurt also has 2 other films in the works: "Warrior" and "Dead of Night".
  • From taking and, in most cases, inflicting damage within the confines of the ultra-crazy, high octane world of professional wrestling to making his widely anticipated screen debut in the similarly action packed, no-holds-barred thriller End Game, mat legend Kurt Angle has shown diversity of performance within, one might say, two different genres of acting.

    Being one of the more reviled men in professional wrestling, Angle - a long time 'heel' within both the WWE and TNA federations - partly through his ability to elicit fear in his opponents and condemnation from spectators, has become accustomed to roles demanding a level of viciousness and psychopathic behavior of which is ideally suited to his current screen manifestation as, among other things, an 'intense Russian MMA killing machine' and a 'serial killer with a taste for seducing and killing beautiful women'.

    What has made Angle an ideal candidate for the action genre is his formidable physique, cloaked in muscle and naturally intimidating - prerequisites for making ones living through professionally pummelling their opponents into submission - and his love of, and feel for, the physical.

    Kurt Angle Has Shown Diversity Of Performance Within, One Might Say, Two Different Genres Of Acting.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Kurt Angle Has Shown Diversity Of Performance Within,
    One Might Say, Two Different Genres Of Acting.

    Serving a lengthy tenure as a search-and-destroy wrestling villain has, it seems, given him an ability to adopt, almost to perfection, the trait's ruthless stand over men and psychopathic killers need to get their message across. In "End Game" there is no mistaking his character Brad Mayfield's sinister objectives as he hunts down and kills for the sheer delight of it.

    Though his current screen roles typically have him throttling the life out of weaker subjects and portraying cold-blooded killing machines, Angle, based on his emerging acting abilities, household name as an elite athlete, impressive physique and long-time involvement as a sporting legend with equal parts acting talent and attitude, will undoubtedly continue to progress as an actor. And with this elevation should come fewer stereotyped roles for the 210-pound man of action.

    In the following interview Kurt discusses how he got into amazing shape for his latest roles, and what audiences can expect to see from him within the acting arena.


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    [ Q ] The last time we spoke you said you were hoping to begin an acting career. You have since done this with your role in the film "End Game." Tell me a little about this film and how did your role in it come about?

      " End Game" is an Indie film and collaboration between a couple of my buddies and myself in Pittsburgh. I played the main character Brad Mayfield, a serial killer with a taste for seducing and killing beautiful women.

      It's a gritty low-budget picture shot entirely on location in my hometown of Pittsburgh with some other local actors. The Brad Mayfield character becomes involved with exotic dancer Carol Peterlake - played by Jenna Morasca of "Survivor" fame. The story soon turns into a twisted game of cat and mouse as police detective Dan Burke inches closer to Mayfield's apprehension.

      End Game also features my friend and manager Dave Hawk, former Mr. USA and Mr. World, as a SWAT Team leader, and Clayton Hill of "Dawn Of The Dead" as the affable priest father Clayton. My buddy Bruce Kohler of Northshore Pictures directed and did about everything else. Although this is a very low budget picture it really helped me to diversify as an entertainer.

    Former Mr. USA And Mr. World, Dave Hawk.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Former Mr. USA And
    Mr. World, Dave Hawk.

      My manger Dave sent a copy of End Game to Mark Cuban for his review. Mark was extremely encouraging to my partners and I. He thought we invested much more than we had. Participating in "End Game" was a nice experience, not only to work in front of the camera but also behind the camera.

    [ Q ] Were you still able to maintain your TNA wrestling schedule while filming? And if so how were you able to work wrestling around your new acting career?

      Because this was a personal side project with my friends, we shot "End Game" on my days off from wresting over a 2-month period. Since we didn't have a lot of time, and there was no budget, many of the scenes were shots on the first take before we moved on.

      Though with the new major movies Warrior and Dead of Night that I'm now shooting, TNA was very supportive to give me some time off my schedule to shoot these two major films.

    TNA Was Very Supportive To Give Me Some Time Off My Schedule To Shoot These Two Major Films.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    TNA Was Very Supportive To Give Me Some Time
    Off My Schedule To Shoot These Two Major Films.

    [ Q ] What special training requirements were necessary to get ready for your role in End Game? Was there a specific body shape the producers wanted you to achieve?

      The Mayfield character really didn't require any special training. As you know, I always stay in pretty decent shape year 'round. With "Warrior" and "Dead of Night", though, it was completely different. In these two major action films I needed to be in my top physical condition to play the characters.

    I Needed To Be In My Top Physical Condition To Play The Characters.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Needed To Be In My Top Physical
    Condition To Play The Characters.

    [ Q ] What was it that first attracted you to the "End Game" role?

      Up until recently I've been studying and practicing my acting while wrestling. For years I've been playing a heel in wrestling and have developed a few unique skills for getting under people's skin.

      So playing the role of Mayfield, a uniquely smart and intellectual serial killer, wasn't a huge stretch for me. But again, with any character I portray I read and study the character in and out and imagine myself as that character.

      The sports entertainment business has helped me with my acting, but, again, I have a couple acting coaches I visit from time to time to improve my skills.

    The Sports Entertainment Business Has Helped Me With My Acting.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Sports Entertainment Business
    Has Helped Me With My Acting.

    [ Q ] What roles will you have and what can the audiences expect when they go to watch your two new major Hollywood films "Dead of Night" and "Warrior"?

      "Dead of Night" and "Warrior" are both multi-million dollar films slated for theaters in early 2010.

      Dead of Night (DON) is an exciting Horror/Mystery/Thriller that shows the adventures of supernatural private eye, Dylan Dog played by Brandon Routh (Superman Returns 2006), who seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana Bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket and blue jeans.

      This film is directed by Kevin Munroe and also cast Sam Huntington, Taye Diggs, Anita Briem and Peter Stormare. I play a leader of a werewolf pack in the film that, in his own unique way, tries to protect the heart of "Belial" from these monsters that could wipe out all existence.

      Warrior is an Action/Drama with Rocknrolla star Tom Hardy who plays Nick Nolte's son in this year's version of The Wrestler. Like Mickey Rourke, Nolte plays a washed-up fighter, but, in Warrior, his heroics are in mixed martial arts, not wrestling.

      Nolte's character is also a Vietnam vet and recovering alcoholic in this Gavin O'Connor film. I play KOBA an intense Russian MMA killing machine similar to captain Ivan Drago in the Rocky IV film played by Dolph Lungren. Jennifer Morrison from the popular TV show House is also staring in this film.

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    [ Q ] Can you describe the current training program and nutrition plan you used to train for these films?

      With my training for "Warrior" and "Dead of Night" I did a lot of explosive workouts where I perform many supersets with both free weight and cables. I also did a lot of MMA fighting and cardio training for the "Warrior" role, but it also helped me with the "Dead of Night" role.

      My diet is normally pretty healthy but to get into better condition I counted my calories and stayed with a high protein, moderate carbohydrates and low fat diet.

    [ Q ] How old are you now and how hard, or easy, is it for you to train with high intensity compared to early in your wrestling career?

      I'm 40, and honestly I can train just as hard today as I did 20 years ago, give or take a few aches and pains.

    I Can Train Just As Hard Today As I Did 20 Years Ago.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Can Train Just As Hard Today
    As I Did 20 Years Ago.

    [ Q ] What is your current bodyweight and body fat percentage?

      I'm around 210 and at about 5-to-6 percent body fat.

    [ Q ] What special supplements do you take to get into the kind of shape you are in?

    Kurt does not represent any supplement companies, but rather he uses several different brands.

    [ Q ] What training tips do you use to get into peak condition?

      In addition to my cardio, I still find fast explosive weight training best. When you keep your intensity up and do supersets with good weight, high volume and high reps while hitting a few different body parts at a time seems to work well for me.

      I do some sort of physical exercise every day. I usually do an every other day strength training routine and every other day cardio program. For strength and lean muscle building/maintenance I use both free weights and cable machines. I begin with my larger muscle groups like legs and work my way to smaller muscle groups like arms.

      I train my whole body over one day using moderate weights and perform a high intensity explosive workout with primarily supersets. This means I take little to no rest between each set.

      The Kurt Angle Superset Training Program:

      A Typical Cardio Day:

        Interval training on treadmill: run intensely for 4-to-5 miles (interspersed with lower intensity work on the same machine).

        Stretch whole body. Schedule permitting, I will try to get in a few hours a week of MMA training working on the mat or on the heavy bag.

    [ Q ] What is next for Kurt Angle?

      I plan to continue my TNA wrestling career while building the (TNA) business with Spike TV. I will also continue to build my movie career.

      Thankfully, I have a great boss and partner in Dixie Carter, owner of TNA. She's is a wonderful person to work with and is 100% behind me, and my dreams of being an actor. Now it's only a matter of time, luck and networking until I find that one great lead role in a film that can put me over the top.