It’s no wonder that WWE superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. is a natural in the wrestling ring. His grandparents (yeah, his grandmother fought as well) were feared squared-circle competitors, and his father, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, is a WWE Hall of Famer. The elder Ted’s résumé is legendary. So when Ted Jr. came to prominence as a member of the Legacy faction last year (the trio is led by Randy Orton, son of Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and Cody Rhodes, son of Hall of Famer “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes), it was really no surprise. Ted Jr. won the tag-team titles in his first match for the WWE.
Now Ted DiBiase Jr. is stepping into a whole new arena, and it’s not one of the many venues that house WWE events all year round. The WWE is promoting DiBiase’s acting chops in the film “The Marine 2,” out on DVD Tuesday (December 29). The 27-year-old says the chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon, one of the producers of the film, had every confidence he could carry his own movie despite having no prior acting experience.
“Vince saw something that not even I saw,” Ted explained on a recent visit to MTV News. “I know the WWE is really starting to push this younger generation and crop of new talent. Shawn Michaels and Undertaker and even [John] Cena, these guys have been there for a while. They’ve gotta pass the torch. You’ve got a whole new generation of young kids coming up. Our product has gone PG and you’ve got families coming to the show. This generation of young kids have to have heroes too. It’s gonna be the new guys: myself, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger … all young guys coming up. Very talented individuals. I know that had a lot to do with it. They said I looked the part and I guess I was a natural.”
DiBiase says he didn’t read the script for the film until a day prior to auditioning, and the producers didn’t give him too much insight into his part. He had no idea he’d be reading for the lead — he thought he would be making a cameo appearance in a John Cena film. Ironically, “The Marine 2″ is a sequel of sorts to Cena’s 2006 debut film “The Marine.” DiBiase explains, however, that although his character and Cena’s role from the first film share the same profession, they are two different heroes.
“It’s a totally new Marine,” DiBiase said. “The story is somewhat similar in that it’s a Marine on temporary leave. This guy goes on vacation with his wife. She’s a PR exec. It’s a business vacation. She’s helping open up a five-star resort on this tropical island. It’s a beautiful resort. I got to spend six weeks in Coquet, Thailand. [While we’re] on vacation, I find myself in a situation where I have to use my military expertise and survival skills to go save my wife. Not just my wife, in this movie, I got to save a group of hostages too. I think it told a better story. The last one was action packed. It was action, action, action … a little drama in between. In this new one, we try to tell the story in the beginning in building the relationship between ‘Joe’ and ‘Robin,’ and there’s a real chemistry there.”
DiBiase says he’s also proud of the onscreen rapport he was able to display with his costar Michael Rooker, who plays the Marine’s friend Church. Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” is the film’s villain, Damo. “We had a great cast and a great time doing it,” DiBiase said.
Even in the scenes where he was “blown up.”
The wrestling star has had to nurse injuries such as a torn MCL, torn cartilage in his shoulder, a bruised sternum, broken fingers and a tooth that was pushed through his lip. And during the filming of “Marine 2,” he had to persevere with a broken rib. And that injury occurred on the very first day of shooting.
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