Kurt Angle is 43, and now well known for his role as a pro wrestler. This guy has been around for years, both for WWF, WWE and now TNA.
He is currently attempting to make the U.S. Olympic wrestling team for the 2012 games in London. He already won gold in Atlanta in 1996. He is also in the new movie, Warrior.
He'll also be appearing in this movie titled Beyond The Mat that is scheduled for a release date later this year.
Spoke with him today on a variety of subjects.
The Big Mac Blog: What was it about the acting bug that bit you?
Kurt Angle: I’ve always wanted to do it. The problem is when you’re an athlete in the Olympics your chance to be an actor are slim to none. I took acting classes. I went to LA. I had a good friend who ran Mosiac talent and he had power and he took me to talent agencies and production meetings. No one wanted an Olympic athlete to be an actor. If anything you get a cameo. I just didn’t know I was going to fall in love with pro wrestling. I was told I was offered a lot of movies in the WWF or WWE but I never heard about it until I was out that. That meant the upper tier didn’t want me to hear about that.
For me, I went to TNA for many reasons. I was burned out. I wanted an easier schedule. They said I could do anything outside of wrestling. I did some independent films. That’s when I fell in love with it. I did three movies a few years ago that were supposed to be released this year.
The Big Mac Blog: What was your role like in 'Warrior'?
Kurt Angle: I had a decent part in Warrior. I had speaking parts in the movie but they took them out because they wanted him to remain silent. I took three months of Russian dialect to learn it and they took it out. Warrior is one of the best movies I’ve seen in 15 to 20 years. It’s very true to MMA as far as the fight scenes. It’s a dark horse that can be a top movie of the year.
The Big Mac Blog: You are a wrestler, but do you think you could fight in mixed martial arts?
Kurt Angle: Yeah. Yeah. I had every opportunity that came my way. I don’t want to comment on what has occureed. I took the UFC physical and passed it. The terms were something that we could have agreed on. I don’t plan on doing it. The only way I’d plan to do it is if I fare well in the trials. I would have made doing more MMA than wrestling. I’m at the point in my life where I’m OK that I didn’t do it. It hurts to know that I could have done really well. To see Randy Couture, who was my teammate in 1996, is doing well and that’s great.
The Big Mac Blog: You've already won an Olympic gold medal, so why try to return to the games?
Kurt Angle: I can’t train like I did now in the mid ‘90s. I’m making smarter decisions in my training. I’m thinking about having a game plan in my matches. Looking back at those matches, I made a lot of mistakes. Will I be a better wrestler? I can’t say that. I won an Olympic medal. At the age of 43 in the trials, God willing if I do win, I will be the oldest wrestler to make the Olympics.
It's not just about me it’s about proving that being in your 40s is not old. I feel like I’m peaking pretty well right now with my training. I know I have to remain injury free and I pray I do. I don’t have any time to rehab and take off from wrestling.
The Big Mac Blog: OK, tough question – your sport gets heavily criticized for Performance Enhancing Drugs; is this a fair observation and or criticism?
Kurt Angle: No. I’d say pro wrestling 10 years ago, yeah. Now we have wellness policies. Have I taken them before? Yeah. It was in Sports Illustrated. I didn’t get prosecuted but the doctor did because he was prescribing them to me but picking them up illegally. It was after my neck surgery. I’ve taken them before but I am not now.
You can’t even take a lot of the supplements, as far as the USOC testing, that are in supplement stores. It’s now just protein or weight gainers. The things that are on the market that are legal I can’t take them. The supplements are a very, very, very thin line with the USOC. You have to be 100 percent completely clean. I am well aware of that. That’s what I’ve been cleaning up over the last six months whatever supplements I’ve taken. I want to be able to compete and don't want that to be a reason why I don't make it.
The Big Mac Blog: Do you even think fans care if the athletes are taking this or that?
Kurt Angle: No, no they don’t. These athletes are put under so much scrutiny and pressure not just by the owners or fans but by society. They want to see records get broken or the impossible. When you see Mark McGwire break records it was awesome. Or Barry Bonds, it was awesome. The good thing about it was they didn’t have a policy and they didn’t do anything wrong they were going to a doctor and getting meds prescribed and doing it privately.
To me I’m not going to bash the commissioner or the athletes, today people want to see great things and see miracles. It’s the American way. I’m not one to cast stones. I don’t think the fans care. If they do, for whatever reason, I can tell you they were on the Bonds band wagon. I don’t think an athlete should go to jail if they want to keep it private they were taking a steroid. Now you have Congress involved. I’m not bashing Congress or the athletes. When baseball started it’s policy, that’s when it should have started. Not beforehand.
I think there are a lot of athletes today taking something. It's hard in this day and age to get on the field and perform at a five-star level without having something to recuperate and get through it. I know as a wrestler, wrestling 200 some days a year it’s almost impossible. I do (stay clean) and there is a policy, but I can tell you I get more run down, more beat up and I have more problems recuperating. That’s why I signed a part-time deal; I can’t be on the road, perform, travel and fly and it’s just really hard.
I don’t have any issue with having a drug policy, I believe everyone should, and I think doctors should keep a close look at the athletes. As long as we have a good wellness doctor taking care of you, you are going to be healthier.
It’s not about stronger, faster or quicker, it’s about being healthy and your body is working properly and your heart is ticking properly.
The Big Mac Blog: You are in still in good shape and continue to wrestle, but are there are any injuries that are beginning to catch up and make your day to day life hard?
Kurt Angle: I had six knee injuries in college and they weren’t really serious. The pounding in the ring, and your knee become shock absorbers. My knees. My hamstrings. The two things that you have to look out for are your Achilles tendon and your Patella tendon.
The Big Mac Blog: Ideally, if you could draw up a dream scenario for your life, what are you doing in five years?
Kurt Angle: What I’d love to do, I’m a busy guy, I’d love to be able to spend more time with my family. I'd like to be a youth motivational speaker. Talk to them about my good and bad, so they have someone that this guy who wasn’t perfect. A guy like, 'This is what he went through; there is a lot of success he’s has had. Let’s take the good with the bad and go with the good.' I’d love to be a part of impact wrestling. I’d love to be a mutli-millionaire with my food company, Angle Foods. And I’d love to be in more movies.
But for now, this run to the Olympics a lot of people think I’m crazy and don’t have a chance I can tell you I have a chance.
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