Hornswoggle has been a fixture on WWE television for over 8 years, and he is now diving into acting with his new film Leprechaun: Origins. In this exclusive interview with AlternativeNation.net, Hornswoggle discusses his new film, acting, working with Vince McMahon, being the final Cruiserweight Champion, and why Finlay is like a father to him in real life. He also recounts a hilarious backstage encounter he had with The Rock in 2012, word for word, and tells hilarious stories about traveling with The Great Khali.
Can you compare acting in film and wrestling, were you able to get shots in less takes with you live performance experience?
It is so completely different, I say it in a lot of interviews. The main difference for me is when you’re in the ring you get that automatic reaction. You gett that automatic cheer or boo when you punch somebody in the face. In film you do your scene, wait until it’s over, then you hear cut, and okay let’s do it again. Okay, well was that good? Was that bad? You don’t get that automatic reaction you get that automatic reaction you do when you’re in the ring. It’s [very] different. Was I better off because I’m used to the live performance? I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to judge for ourselves when we see the film.
Have you been checking the early feedback to Leprechaun: Origins on Twitter and some of the reviews like IGN, what is your message to some of cult fans of the originals, who might be having emotional responses, one way or the other.
Twitter brings out the best in the keyboard bullies. Much like WWE, when they think they know what’s going to happen, and we don’t give them that as a company, they get angry, fans get angry. With the movie people were expecting the original, and this movie is nothing like the original, I will [even] say it’s better. The old films had a cult following, they had their place in history for what they were, and they were great for what they were. But this one is so different from the originals, it’s much more of a horror film and I don’t think people are expecting that, they’re expecting the old films. We didn’t give them that, and like I said with fans in general, and critics, they want to think they know everything going into it. When you don’t give them that, usually they’re just like, ‘Oh man, they fooled me. Oh I’m not looking to look like the idiot, they just did it wrong, because it’s not what I wanted.’ I think that’s what’s happened a few times. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews as well, a lot of people from the horror side of it, who really view it as a great horror film.
What have been your thoughts on some of your character changes this year? You turned heel, joined 3MB, feuded with Los Matadores, then Jinder and Drew were released, and now you’ve joined Los Matadores as both La Vaquita and La Vaca. What has been your reaction to all of these turns with your character this year?
I don’t know what you’re talking about with La Vaquita and La Vaca – I’m totally kidding. That was against my will, I was tricked into that. I’ve never been his friend, I’ve never been his buddy or partner, I got tricked into that. That’s all I will say about me dressing in a cow costume. When it comes to me playing the villainous role, I love it. It’s much more fun to make people hate you, than to make people like you. To make people like you, you shake hands and kiss babies. Making people be against you is much more challenging at times, especially for a person of my stature who is usually jovial, happy go lucky, and this kid friendly character. It’s much more of a challenge for me, and I like challenges. It makes work and your job more enjoyable.
Yeah I thought the 3 Man Band stuff was pretty cool, because I hadn’t watched for a couple of weeks, and I was like, wait a minute, Hornswoggle’s heel now?
It was leading up to WeeLC, then our second hair vs. mask match, the WeeLC had been the biggest match of my career, easily by far. I say it in every interview I do, we stole that show. They put it on the pre show as sort of a, ‘Shut them up, give them this match.’ On Twitter, in the locker room, in the meetings, no match on that card was talked about more. It gets me heat for saying it, but it’s true. Look at Twitter activity that night, nobody talked more about any other match, including the titles matches and the big six man, nobody talked about any match more than our match because we gave these people a show. We took them on a ride that they weren’t expecting, and for once, they weren’t expecting something, and they enjoyed it. It was easily the match of my career.
I talked to Dean Ambrose last month and he mentioned Joey Mercury being an agent who has really helped him. For your types of segments and matches, who generally produces you, and gives you advice?
My old buddy, my ‘Dad’ Dave Finlay. He’s still working backstage as an agent and producer, and he has helped me more than anybody else in this company. He has gone to bat for me more times that he probably wanted to, and that’s because he literally cares about me as a son. I have always been his son, in and out of the ring. He’s really helped me, him and I as the Matadores put that WeeLC matches together and made it what it was. I have him to thank pretty much for every stage of my career.
You’ve done a lot of memorable skits with Vince McMahon, including the reveal as his son and later the JR parody, do you have any interesting stories from working with Vince, and what kind of direction he’s given you?
I did that for about 3 months, where I was his son, maybe longer, and there were days in the beginning where I would go, ‘Oh my god, I’m working with the most powerful man in wrestling.’ Then I realized that he’s joking around, he’s playing ribs on guys more than I am. You just realize that he is this billionaire, but still just loves this business. When it comes to wrestling, I use that word instead of sports entertainment, I use wrestling all the time, because I am a wrestling fan. CM Punk once said this is still wrestling to us, this isn’t sports entertainment to us, because we grew up on wrestling.
To see someone who is a billionaire, who still runs and owns this company, still be as much of a fan as I am, who loves it and has as much of a heart for it as I do, is always good to see. Because those days that you think, ‘Oh he’s worried about the stock, or the buy rates,’ but he just loves the product. He wants to make it the best product he can. It was just amazing working with him every week, 2 or 3 times a week, it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in my life.
The most successful crossover actor/wrestler is obviously The Rock and he -
Do we still consider him a wrestler? David Arquette probably had more matches lately, like in the last 20 years.
Arquette was at SummerSlam, I saw him there (Laughs).
I think in the last few years Arquette probably had more matches than Dwayne.
(Laughs) My question though is about something from Twitter a couple years ago, an issue you had with The Rock, and you claimed you talked it out.
Oh yeah. He called me out about this. What was the tweet? It was the scripted lines right?
I think the wrist [notes] bit that was going on [Editor's note: It may have actually been a promo, and not The Rock Concert III].
Oh yeah, I called him out on having his notes on his wrist tape. His song that night, he had it on his wrist tape, and Cena went out there and free styled, and I called [Rock] out. I will fully admit, I went out on a limb, and probably said something I shouldn’t have, when going into WrestleMania Rock vs. Cena was the biggest match we’d had in a long time. Maybe I shouldn’t have tweeted that, but I meant it. I have been known a lot to keep my mouth shut, but there are certain things that I really take heart to, and that’s one of them. If you were to come out here and say you are free styling and you sing this song when you have everything written down, then you’re going to try to punk out one of my friends, John Cena, who is free styling and still killing you. Then he approached me about it about 2 weeks later. First off, I don’t think this story has ever gotten out there, so you’ve got an exclusive:
The Rock: Why you got to call me out like that?
Hornswoggle: The first time I met you, you thought I was a Make a Wish kid.
The Rock: What!?
Hornswoggle: Yeah, I met you backstage the night you came back in [Anaheim], when you were revealed as the guest host for WrestleMania, and you thought I was a Make a Wish kid. You tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Did you have a good time tonight buddy?’ Then you walked off and you realized it, then you said to Big Show, ‘Hornswoggle thinks I thought he was a Make a Wish kid, and I did think he was.’
Hornswoggle: So I don’t pull any punches now when I say things about you. Because you are so out of the loop, I’ve been on TV for 8 years now, and you thought I was a visitor?
The Rock: Yeah, yeah I did. Not gonna lie.
But we hashed everything out, and everything’s good now.
That’s hilarious. Kind of a random question, but do you still have physical possession of the Cruiserweight Title since you were the last champion, or did you have to give it back?
(Sighs) That saddens me to have to even have to answer, I had to give it back, they gave me a replica. I still want to make a visit to the warehouse, and something might be missing after I make a visit, so I think that’s why they never let me visit there, because they know that title will be gone (Laughs). Especially with the new logo, with all of that, I would love to have the actual title. I’ve asked them for it 3 to 4 times. Maybe someday, like a 10 year anniversary gift I’ll get the actual title, knock on wood.
That’s lame, because guys like Ric Flair have kept their title belts.
Well, I’m not saying I’m on Ric Flair’s level.
A lot of guys get to keep belts though.
But, I didn’t see Ric Flair doing two movies in one year, I’m just saying.
Hornswoggle, Daivari, The Great Khali, and Mark Henry
I heard something somewhere about you traveling with The Great Khali and a few other guys.
Let me tell you, I got hired in 2006. A young, 20 year old, Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postl, living his dream getting hired by WWE. My first traveling car was The Great Khali, Daivari, and Mark Henry. Picture this car, I can say this because I am, you have: a midget, the world’s strongest man, a guy that probably gets kicked off of every airplane he gets on in Daivari, and you have The Great Khali. Traveling down the road, go into waffle houses – actually no, going in IHOPS, because that’s all Khali will eat. Man, we were a traveling circus, every week we laughed, this lasted about 6 months.
We just laughed about it, because it was just the craziest mix of guys. I love traveling with Khali, but the only thing I don’t like is he doesn’t wait in lines. I don’t yell at him, and I’m the biggest bully when it comes to him. Everyone laughs about it, because I would bully him til the cows come home. And he’d bully me right back, [it's crazy to see] a little guy bully this 8 foot tall giant, and just giving him the run around. He doesn’t wait in line, and I don’t know why, I’ve called him out on this many times:
Hornswoggle: Khali, there’s a line.
The Great Khali: No brother, no.
Hornswoggle: You got to wait!
The Great Khali: No man, no, maybe I go in the front.
Hornswoggle: You can’t just go in the front, that’s not how lines work Khali.
The Great Khali: Mmmm no, maybe I do this time.
Hornswoggle: Okay whatever.
I’m not going to pull him to the back of the line, physically. But yeah, I’ve traveled with Khali, I’ve done it a few times, it’s always a sight to see, I’ll tell you that.
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