HIGH HEAT: Check Out Our Exclusive Interview With Star And WWE Hall Of Famer Diamond Dallas Page

Wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page stars in new action High Heat, and talks us through his approach to the role, why he enjoys playing villains, a possible pro wrestling return, and DDP Yoga's benefits!

Starring Don Johnson (Knives Out) and Olga Kurylenko (Black Widow), High Heat follows an ex-KGB operative turned chef, Ana (Kurylenko) who is targeted by the local mafia in a hit on her new restaurant to collect on her husband's (Johnson) debt.

Now, Ana must rely upon her lethal skills as she goes on a deadly rampage to take out the entire crime syndicate one-by-one, to save her restaurant and survive the night in this action-packed crime thriller from Saban Films and Paramount Pictures. 

The big bad Ana needs to take down? That's WWE Hall of Famer, WCW Legend, and DDP Yoga mastermind, Diamond Dallas Page. The iconic pro wrestler and actor plays Dom, a sinister ganger who takes no sh*t and proves himself a more than formidable opponent for the ex-spy.

Talking to us earlier this week, Page goes into detail about his scene-stealing role in High Heat, explaining how he approached playing the intimidating mobster, the character's sense of style, and why he loves being a bad guy.

The legendary pro wrestler also weighs in on possibly returning to WWE for a match with Randy Orton and shares how DDP Yoga has changed his life and career. 

Check out our full conversation in the player below!

When it comes to your acting career, do you look for movies that are similar to the ones you enjoy watching or are the characters what really speak to you? 

I literally don’t really look for anything. Occasionally, someone will hit me up, and this was one of those scenarios. I met Jordan Yale Levine, the producer, along with Jesse [Korman], 12 or 13 years ago. We just clicked. They had thought of me for other projects and, one day, they found me through my website - DiamondDallasPage.com - and put up a thing there saying they were interested in me for this part. I’ve probably turned down more parts than I’ve actually done in the last 3-5 years because I didn’t really like them. Time is my greatest commodity, so if I did it, it’s because I want to do it. When I go to a role like High Heat to be a character like Dom, I create a whole backstory for this individual. I become this character. It’s a lot of work [Laughs]. I’ve got to really want to do it, and I tell people all the time, ‘Find something you love to do and figure out how to get someone to pay you to do it.’ I’ve been doing it all my life, so I know it works. 

In this scenario, I really liked the script; I thought it was fun. I love a lot of the characters and it wasn’t one-dimensional and just focused on the star. It was a whole ensemble and everybody I thought really brought it and had fun with it. Zach [Golden], the director, was a really big fan of mine as a kid growing up. We talked before I even got to set and he was like, ‘Man, I love what you’ve done. I’ve seen Rejects and a couple of other films and I love them. You’re gonna kill this.’ As someone who grew up as a fan of mine, it was so much easier walking into it, but I really wanted to deliver. What I was really excited about is he took a lot of my original choices. If I’m going to play something, I’ll play it how I want to play it, and if you want me to change it and get bigger or mellow that out or say it quicker…I’ll do it that way for you, but I am going to do it my way first because I know who this guy is. As a director, I’m sure Zach did too, but we’d get it in one take and try a couple more. He used a lot of the first takes. 

I can go back and watch interviews I did with Randy Savage when we were in that feud that put me on the map. I can watch them over and over and over again. If I see something I didn’t like, I’ll never watch it again and will say, ‘Oh man, I should have done it like this, this, or that.’ It’s part of the past, I don’t hold on to it, and just think, ‘Ah, it’s not worth my time.’ This movie, High Heat, I encourage everyone to go and check it out, especially anyone who has followed me in anything. Don [Johnson] and Olga [Kurylenko] too. There’s a whole ensemble and we’re gonna make you laugh and, people who are around me, like stuff that can be violent - because I come from the wrestling world - and you’re gonna get plenty of that [Laughs]. Olga did a hell of a job kicking ass, so I’m glad to sit on the outskirts and not be part of that [Laughs]. 

Something that struck me about Dom when he arrives on the scene is that this guy has a sense of style and the suit really makes him stand out as the don of this family; did having a costume like that help a lot when it came to finding who this guy is? 

You know, it’s so funny you say that because that’s a $5000 suit [Laughs]. I have a guy, his name is Dietrich, and he makes my suits for me. I don’t spend that kind of money that often, but occasionally I will go down there because I want something and I want it to fit me so that it’s made for me. I brought two suits: one that was a regular black suit so anything where you see me on the ground, I’m wearing that one! That suit…Dietrich, his company is Hideoki in Atlanta, and he outfits everyone from T.I. to all the basketball players. Anybody who is anybody in Atlanta, he pretty much makes their stuff for them. When you put that suit on, you feel special. I didn’t want to wear the other suit, just that one. It’s funny you picked up on that, but it obviously worked! [Laughs]

You’ve been a babyface and a heel many times in your career, but when it comes to acting, what do you enjoy most about playing a villain and finding who someone like Dom is as a character? 

Oh, 100%, that’s why I’ve turned down a bunch of stuff that didn’t hit me. Time is my most valuable commodity because I’m going to be 67 in three more months. It’s how much time I’m going to take away from my wife, so it’s how much I like the character and role, and I did with Dom. I spent the time, and wrote the backstory because I grew up in Jersey and there were friends of mine who were wise guys! I could have been working with them as I did have so many friends in that world. I knew the way they acted, but I’ll tell you what: some of the guys who were the biggest, baddest sonsabitches were the most easygoing cats! It took them a lot to get really pissed off. That, for me, was Dom.

The scenes with the son…he’s a screwup. But he still loves him. He wants him to be the best he can be, but the guy who played Mick, Ivan Martin, was amazing. He left it all out there and was a lot of fun to be with. He would be cracking me up when I was there. He’d say, ‘What you want to do is good; you can’t offend me. Don’t worry about it, I’m good!’ He was really fun to work with. Looking at the movie, I love the scenes with Gary [Jackie Long]. There’s only one of those I played differently that sticks out to me, and it’s when I think Gary is dead. The way I said it, it was so sympathetic because I love him, and it was kind of funny…maybe that’s why it was cut. It’s not my movie, but I’m gonna give you a couple of different ways to play it and you pick whatever you think works. 

Overall, Zach did one helluva job because that’s the hardest thing when you’re directing and you’ve got to foresee all the issues that will come up like making sure you have everything before you piece it together. That’s the magic, man. It’s all down to the edit because you can come out looking really good or really bad [Laughs]. I can’t watch stuff that I don’t think is at least good, and I really enjoyed it. My wife, Paige, she loved it, and she’s a real barometer because she’s really honest, so for her to really like it is important to me. 


Ric Flair received a lot of attention for his last match this year, and as much as I loved what you did in AEW, is that it for you, or is there a dream opponent you still have in mind for one final singles match?

You know, Cody [Rhodes] asked me right after we got done, because it was such a huge success and big for the ratings - everything came off perfect, you know? - ‘Would you consider one more time?’ I said, ‘How do you top that?’ You have to understand, I was managing Badd Company in the AWA and we had a feud with the Guerreros, and there’s a picture out there somewhere of Mondo Guerrero running at the turnbuckle, and I’d never seen this before, run up the turnbuckle and eject. I don’t know he’s coming down on us, and Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka were saying ‘Catch him, catch him, catch him!’ I had no idea! Oh my God! That was one of my first days in professional wrestling as a manager, and if that was the last thing that I do and it becomes part of my reel…I don’t know if I could top it. 

At Flair’s thing, I did something with Matt Cardona, the Broski, and hit a Diamond Cutter. It got a huge pop, but what was really cool was I got a DM from Randy Orton. Randy has always been my guy. To me, he’s one of the greatest of all time, especially the career he’s had from 22 to his 40s today. He’s had a fairytale dream career and he should be on a Mount Rushmore because he’s that good. I’ve said that, and he told me, ‘I’ve heard you said some things about me. Thank you so much for the accolades. I saw that Diamond Cutter at Flair’s final match and immediately Googled your age and thought to myself ‘Bravo’ that you can still look as good as you do and be able to do what you do and be healthy. That’s number one when all is said and done.’ Then he added, ‘The money is number one’ and I just started laughing. He asked, ‘How is your body now?’ Because of DDP Yoga and my lifestyle…I still drink, I still eat meat. I just don’t abuse myself and go out of my way to ice baths to infrared saunas to hyperbaric chambers. 

WWE just did an A&E biography on me and they wanted to know what it’s like being DDP and getting out of bed in the morning. The first shot of me they’ve got is me getting out of a hyperbaric chamber, getting on this bike which is oxygen deprivation so it’s like I’m training at 22,000 feet! Then, I get on the mat, and do DDPY, then I’ve come up with this whole new workout around power cuffs. I used to have Jacked Straps, but this is the new and improved next level of training. I’m telling you right now, I’m going to change the face of fitness. People love my DDP Yoga programme, but there are certain guys who just have to lift weights no matter what. This training programme is going not just take you to a different level with weights, but with one-third the weight and half the time. I’ve been working on it for the last nine months, so that will change everything.

I will be in England with my wife Paige for an autograph signing on the 29th and 30th of April, but I’m also going to hold a DDP Yoga tour in the UK. I’ve done numerous tours there, and everybody always comes out. We’re going to be in Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow…it’s going to be fun. I love coming to the UK and would have done it two years ago, but with COVID and everything, we couldn’t. I love coming there, I love the food, I love the people. Everytime I do a DDP Yoga workshop, we get over 100 people. I’ve had as many as 191 people in the States working out with me at one time. I call it inspiration meets perspiration. In the UK, I think our top one was in London and we had 127 people there. I haven’t mentioned London because they want five times the rent that Manchester does! Numbers have gone through the roof, so I’m looking for a place just outside that people can take the train to. 

I know you don’t see a huge amount of action in this movie, but how much does DDP Yoga help when it comes to approaching projects like this one? I can imagine a long day on set is just as gruelling as a 30-minute match in the ring. 

This was cold, man, This was shot at night. Between takes, I’m doing a lot of the same moves I would do on the mat to open up my back. During the last five years of my career, every one of my matches would be the equivalent of having 4-5 car accidents so imagine how much wear and tear is there and scar tissue. I’m literally doing my programme right before I get to set, and when I’m there, I’m doing pieces to help me stay mobile even though I’m not doing any action scenes. I don’t want to become the Tin Man! I call DDPY oil for the Tin Man because you stay lubricated and mobile. So many of my friends can’t bring my arms up to their head. I can grab my foot and hold it over my head.

I did a Christmas party here last week and 200 people in my home saw me, at one point, hold my foot over my head [Laughs]. I’m more than halfway through a bottle of tequila by that time. It was a lot of fun. I do it every year, but this one got too big. It was like the meet and greet from hell because it was nonstop pictures and hugging and seeing people…I do a Positively Unstoppable Challenge every year in January and it goes on for nine months and you pick your best six months. Of my Champions, I probably had thirty of them here over the last five years all here. Only six of them didn’t show up, but everyone else was here! [Laughs] 

Again, I want to encourage everybody: if you like a good time, you want to laugh, you want to be caught up in it, check out High Heat. Everybody in there delivers a really great performance and it’s something you’ll have a lot of fun watching. 

High Heat arrives in theaters, on Digital, and On Demand on December 16, 2022.

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