Ryan Thomason

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is Bolphunga in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

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That’s right folks, the Hall of Famer wrestler is making his animated debut in Emerald Knights! (Releasing on June 7th on Blu-Ray, DVD)d

The more I hear about this movie, and after watching that first clip Yesterday where we got to hear Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, and Elisabeth Moss as Arisia I’ve been getting more excited for the straight to DVD/Blu Ray release next month from Warner Brothers Animation.

If you live under some kind of parental oppressorship and couldn’t watch WWF as a kid, Roddy Piper At age 15, was the youngest professional wrestler to ever enter the squared circle – and he would proceed to hold more than 38 titles while eclipsing 7,000 victories in professional matches. It was the main event at the very first Wrestlemania – pitting Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. I LOVED Roddy Piper watching him wrestle, the guy was just damn awesome. Plus he’s got the most famous line of all time about chewing bubblegum, which if you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m just going to shake my head at you really quick. I’ll be honest, I’d completely forgotten about the guy, so I was pretty shocked to learn he continues to entertain and educate, via his one-man show and he even put out an autobiography called “In the Pit with Piper”

He had this to say when he was interviewed right after doing some work for his character:

QUESTION: Professional wrestling gave you plenty of experience being both the
villain and the hero. How does the public perceive you today?

RODDY PIPER: I guess a lot of folks have grown up with me and, in an awkward way, for people who really have seen the good sides of me, I’m like a father figure. It’s remarkable – every place I go, there’s somebody that has an inspiring tale to tell. At one of my shows, there was a
policeman named Paul who had been awarded a Congressional citation for saving someone’s life. He came up and gave me his citation. He said that when he was a little boy, he had troubles – but he would watch me and that’s where he found inspiration and direction. So when he goes into a tough situation, he relates to (my actions), and he says it saved his life.

The profession that I took upon is a lawless, tough piece of work, and so many of my friends are dead now. So in my one-man show, I tell the folks about people that they grew up with, people that they may have related to in different ways. My profession is very renegade. But as
crazy as it seems, it’s as real as it gets.

QUESTION: You seem like a natural for animation. What’s your attraction to
playing an animated character?

RODDY PIPER: I like the fact that I can go away and lose myself so I don’t have to
live in the world of courage that everyone else does. I like creating, it’s what I do, and acting allows me to stretch all those different muscles in all kinds of ways. That’s pretty cool.

QUESTION: There are those that would claim wrestling is acting. What are the key
differences in those two performances?

RODDY PIPER: Wrestling and acting couldn’t be anymore different in terms of what it takes to entertain. Wrestling is explosion, acting is implosion. One really screws up the other. That’s why Hogan sucks. If I came out on camera like I do in Madison Square Garden, it would look crazy. Clint Eastwood just shakes his head and raises his eye and it works. But when you’ve got 96,000 people at Wrestlemania, I need to get through to the back row. Fighting is not internal, but it can be very spiritual. Everything acting is internal. One of my problems in making the transition is pulling back, but I’m working on it.

Piper’s character – Bolphunga the Unrelenting – is the central antagonist in the episodic segment entitled “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize.” Based on the 1985 story created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the story centers on Bolphunga’s search for Mogo (look it up on wiki kids, Mogo is CRAZY), the largest Green Lantern, in hopes of engaging the famed warrior in a battle worthy of the villain. So it’ll be interesting to see how the role tested someone who could obviously engage an audience with his movies and acting in the WWF, and hopefully he executes it just as well with an animated character.

Here is a quick Synopsis of the movie:

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights weaves six legendary stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. As the battle approaches, Hal Jordan mentors new recruit Arisia in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, telling tales of Avra (the first Green Lantern) and several of Hal’s comrades – including Abin Sur, Kilowog, Laira and Mogo. In the end, Arisia must rise to the occasion to help Hal, Sinestro and the entire Green Lantern Corps save the universe from the destructive forces of Krona.

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