411 Wrestling Interviews: Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 03.03.2013
411mania.com speaks with Mike "The Miz" Mizanin in an exclusive interview. Miz gives his thoughts on what is in store at Wrestlemania, his thoughts on the return of The Rock and other older WWE superstars, and much more.
Mike "The Miz" Mizanin has come a long way from his days as a reality TV star on shows such as The Real World. The Miz would later debut in the WWE in 2006. Since that time he has worked his way on to becoming a WWE Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, Tag Team Champion, and also the WWE World Champion. In 2010, The Miz cashed in his Money in The Bank contract to win the world title against Randy Orton on WWE Raw. From there he went on to eventually compete against global superstar John Cena and defeated him in the main event at Wrestlemania 27 on April 3, 2011.
Currently on WWE programming, The Miz is feuding with reigning United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and also doing announcing work on WWE Main Event. In March, The Miz makes his lead movie role debut with The Marine 3: Homefront in the role of Jake Carter. Miz will also later appear as himself as a co-star in WWE Studios' animated Scooby-Doo co-production with Warner Bros. If The Miz's overall incredible success and rise to the top of the industry doesn't make you envious enough, he also recently got engaged to former WWE Divas Champion and Playboy model Maryse Oullet.
Last week, I got the chance to sit down with The Miz one-on-one to talk about his new movie role and the current goings-on of his WWE career:
Jeffrey Harris: Is this your first actual movie role?
The Miz: Well I actually had a scene in The Campaign. I had like five lines in it. And they ended up cutting the scene. So you only basically see me hand over a microphone to Will Ferrell's character's wife. And I did the Real World movie where I played myself. But big role, leading role; this is the first one.
Jeffrey Harris: Now you have already taken away the taste of winning the main event at Wrestlemania away from John Cena. And now you've taken away his movie franchise away from him as well. Have you said anything to him about that? Like, "Hey! I'm the star of The Marine now!"
The Miz: I didn't even realize that. But that's something I think I have to bring up now that you said it. But The Marine franchise is very successful, and it started with John Cena. Ted DiBiase [Jr.] did a great job with part 2, and I hope to continue that success and hopefully exceed the success of both of them combined.
Jeffrey Harris: How did it come up for you to be in the sequel? Was there time when you had time to make it? And was it difficult fitting this into your schedule?
The Miz: Well obviously the WWE schedule is just insane. I mean we are nonstop all day, every day. I mean tomorrow I'm flying out to Toronto. Then I go to Kingston, Ontario. Then to Buffalo, Albany; it's nonstop all day, every day. So to take a month out to shoot a movie is basically unheard of. But they allowed me to do it, and I can't thank them enough for doing it because it was a true learning experience. I felt like a sponge out there, taking in everything they possibly could give me.
Jeffrey Harris: Whose idea was it to bring you in for the role of Jake Carter in the sequel?
The Miz: I think it was the new president of WWE Studios, Michael Luisi, [it was] his idea to bring me in.
Jeffrey Harris: It's been pretty amazing to see how far WWE Films has come as of late. Not just with this franchise but they have two other big releases like The Call and Dead Man Down coming out soon. What is it like to see WWE Films grow in this way? It's not just pro-wrestling anymore; it's a real multimedia empire.
The Miz: Yeah. You know what I love what Michael Luisi did was that he brought in a movie like The Day that WWE kind of acquired. And there are no WWE superstars in it, but it shows we're more than just WWE superstars. We're great entertainers and we're a great company. And we're going to give you movies that our fans are really going to enjoy. And I think they did that with The Day. Then they brought me into to do The Marine 3: Homefront. And these new movies like The Call. I mean Halle Berry is in them. This is just incredible what Michael Luisi is doing and really just revamping the whole style of what WWE Studios is.
Jeffrey Harris: Do you have a role in the new Scooby-Doo movie?
The Miz: I do. I do have a role in the Scooby-Doo movie. You know it's so cool. When we were doing the voice-overs for it, I went like, "I cannot believe I am going to be in a Scooby-Doo movie." And I get to play myself, but still man, that's my voice. And it's going to be in a cartoon. A legendary cartoon that I used to watch when I was a child. Did ever in my wildest dream did I think I would be in a Scooby-Doo movie? Absolutely not.
Jeffrey Harris: What's it like to grow up as a wrestling fan and dream of one day maybe being a wrestler to ultimately getting there and being in the main event of Wrestlemania, the pinnacle of the entire industry? And getting to play around with Scooby-Doo? What is it like to look back and go, oh my god, how did this happen?
The Miz: Man, growing up I used to put streamers on my arms and paint my face and run around like the Ultimate Warrior, annoying my mother. Then in the Attitude Era I used to cut promos on my friends like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. And now, I'm one of those guys. And kids come up to and imitate me. I'll be walking through the airport and I'll hear a kid go, "AWE-SOME!" And I'll be like, "Wow. Kids are doing what I used to do." I'm a role model. And I embrace that. That's why I do so many things with anti-bullying campaigns for schools. We realized kids look at us and they'll listen to us. So we have no problem doing that.
Jeffrey Harris: Congratulations by the way for you and Maryse.
The Miz: Thank you.
Jeffrey Harris: What was the moment where you knew she was the one?
The Miz: It was probably 2007. We were having a conversation in a parking lot somewhere; a random parking lot. And we were just sitting outside just talking. And I was looking at her going, "God, she is beautiful. She speaks so well. She calls me out on my stuff. No girls do that. And she's so powerful and so smart and funny and witty." And just everything I ever looked for. And I remember telling myself, "If I could only find a girl like this I would be so happy." And then I got her.
Jeffrey Harris: So what's it been like to get to work with and interact with Ric Flair and have him play a mentor role for you? And also adopting the Figure Four? That's been pretty amazing to watch.
The Miz: As a kid I was wooo-ing to my mom as well, putting Figure Four's on my friends. And then to have not only Ric Flair on my talk show and to have a Wooo Off with him, then to hit Antonio Cesaro with the Skull Crushing Finale and then for Ric Flair to go "Hey Miz. Put my move, the move that I've won numerous world titles with, here go ahead and put that on," it was surreal to me. I can't believe this is my life and this is happening to me. It's almost like a movie.
Jeffrey Harris: Has The Miz always been your nickname and did you come up with that?
The Miz: A lot of my friends always called me "Miz." I came up with "The Miz" character on The Real World because I wasn't getting along with my roommates, nobody liked me, and I was like, you know what? I'm going to create a wrestling character and just tell people like it is. And they ended up loving The Miz so much, they kind of wanted The Miz more than they wanted Mike.
Jeffrey Harris: Do you feel slighted at all in that here The Rock is back. He's going after John Cena again. You beat John Cena in the main event at Wrestlemania 27 in 2011. I think you should be going at it with The Rock. Do you feel slighted that The Rock only thinks John Cena has enough box office appeal for him?
The Miz: Listen, I couldn't agree with you more. I would love to face The Rock for the WWE championship in the main event. But Cena earned the right. Cena is a very, very good competitor, a very good WWE superstar, and he's done everything there is to do in the WWE except beat The Rock. So I think this is going to make for a great main event at Wrestlemania 29, April 7. Am I jealous? Am I mad that Cena gets the spot and I don't? Absolutely. Just like every other superstar should be angry that they're not in that spot. And now I have to look at myself and go, "Alright. What do I have to do to prepare for Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans to be in that main event caliber spot?" I don't get jealous. I get even, and I get up there. It's one of those things like some people hate on it. I say, "Congratulations. Kudos to you John Cena. But next year, it's going to be my spot."
Jeffrey Harris: Do you have your sights set on anyone for Wrestlemania this year?
The Miz: I wouldn't mind being with Antonio Cesaro because I'd love to take the United States championship off of him. But will I get the opportunity? I don't know. We still have five weeks out until Wrestlemania. And this card is going to be absolutely insane. And whatever I do, everyone will be talking about what I do at Wrestlemania more than what anybody else does.
Jeffrey Harris: Antonio Cesaro is from Europe yet he claims to respect America. Do you really think he respects America?
The Miz: No. The guy says he loves America, he just hates Americans. The best part about America are the citizens who live in the United States of America. That's what makes up this country and makes it so great.
Jeffrey Harris: Speaking of which, the WWE has been great throughout the years with supporting our military and our fighting men and women. I don't know too many outfits like the WWE who actually go to the Middle East, go to active warzones –
The Miz: We put on shows!
Jeffrey Harris: You put on shows there and talk to the troops and visit the troops. How rewarding is that for you and how much better does it make the job for you?
The Miz: Yeah I've been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, and going out there is one of the best things that we do. We would go out to Afghanistan and Iraq and do a live show. We'll bring a ring and put on a show like what they see on Raw and Smackdown each and every week. And then not only, but we get to go to their camps and see how they prepare for battle. I mean I've heard stories upon stories about just incredible things that these guys do to help protect and serve our country to keep my family safe. So it's a little thing I can do in The Marine 3: Homefront to make it as authentic as possible so those marines and those armed forces can be proud and say, "You know what? This guy did everything he could do to make us look good."
Jeffrey Harris: Did you do any special training for this role?
The Miz: Absolutely. I trained with some marines to show me how they hold guns, how they de-arm a room or how they deconstruct a room. Like if I'm going into this room, how would they go into the room? And so it was just interesting to see and to hear how they do that.
Jeffrey Harris: It's been interesting to see a lot of older superstars are coming back into the fold on WWE TV lately between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. What has it been like backstage with their presence there? Are they inspiring the roster more to step up their game up?
The Miz: Absolutely. You don't – as much as you want people to come back, there's another side of you that says, "Why are they coming back? They're taking my spot." But it also says, "Alright. It needs to light a fire under your butt because you need to do something so they don't need those people to come back anymore." And so that's what it does for me. Some people get jealous. Some people get angry. I say, "You know what? Bring ‘em back. Fine. But soon, I'm going to be at that level where you don't need anyone back because I'm going to be so huge. And I'm going to work hard to do that."
Jeffrey Harris: If you could go in a time machine and could work with any wrestling superstar throughout history, is there one guy you'd always dream of working with?
The Miz: I would have to go with the person that I loved. I had the jacket. I had the wrestling buddy. I had the sippy cups. And I will still watch his matches. And it just brings a smile to my face: the Ultimate Warrior. And I think I'm probably the only one who would say that. But the Ultimate Warrior in his prime, as a kid I loved the Ultimate Warrior. I would run around with streamers, paint on the face, run around annoying my mother. That was cool to me.
Jeffrey Harris: And what is it like when you like you say become a role model, but you get to go into Toys R Us and Target and you get to see—
The Miz: My action figures. My videogames.
Jeffrey Harris: What is it like to go into a store and see that?
The Miz: Every time I go into Target over on La Brea and Santa Monica, I'll go into the toy section and hope that none of my action figures are there because they are sold out. And whenever there is one there, I'm like arrgh! Not sold out yet! But it's surreal man. Like, that's my action figure.
Jeffrey Harris: Have you ever come up behind a kid maybe looking at some and thinking, "Hm, should I get The Miz or Daniel Bryan?" And you go, "You should get The Miz because he's AWE-SOME!"
The Miz: Any chance I get to do that, I will do it because it's just so much fun for the kid to go, (*Whispers*) "Mom. Mom. Mom! It's The Miz! He's going to buy his own action figure!"
Jeffrey Harris: Thank you very much your time Miz. It's been a great honor and pleasure to be speaking with you. Can't wait to see what you do at Wrestlemania this year.
The Miz: Exactly. Me too. And enjoy The Marine 3: Homefront. It's definitely a fantastic movie.
The Marine 3: Homefront hits DVD and Blu-ray on March 5. Thank you to The Miz for taking the time to speak with us.