I gotta admit, when I heard Jon was in a film at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival called Mohawk and he was coming for the world premiere of the film, I absolutely couldn’t resist requesting a sit-down interview with him. I don’t make any excuses that if my first love is comics, my second is probably wrestling. And I’ve been wanting the chance to interview a current WWE Superstar for quite some time, so why not start with a former Intercontinental and Tag Team champion, and a performer that I’ve found one of the most underrated athletes on the WWE roster for quite some time?
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in reality, Jon Huber is far from the demented Luke Harper. He’s actually a very soft spoken, nice guy who is just as nervous about his performance as any first-time actor in a movie would be. His movie, Mohawk follows two native Mohawks (Kanietiio Horn and Justin Rain) and one British soldier (Joshua Pinsmail) as three lovers in 1812 who are hunted down in the woods by American soldiers who are bent on revenge. The film also co-stars Ezra Buzzington and Ian Coletti (who plays “Arseface” in AMC’s live action Preacher series).
This was a big deal for me and I thank the Fantasia people for making this happen! Without further ado, here’s what Jon had to say about this film role.
FPB: Great to meet you, man. Been following you for years in WWE and so forth. So how did you get involved with this film?
JH: The film’s director, Ted Geoghegan had reached out to the WWE and the WWE’s talent agent reached out to me and said someone was interested in using me in a film. I said “Oh cool!” So, the WWE needed to approve the role (to protect their investment in me), once that was done it was good to go!
The film is produced independently from the WWE and it just happened to be filmed 20 minutes from my house in Rochester, New York, which worked out nicely. Me and Ted talked on Skype a few times, went over a few lines and I was hooked!
FPB: That’s awesome! I haven’t seen the movie yet, I will be at the premiere tonight. Who do you play in the movie?
JH: I play Lachlan. One of the badguy Americans that is chasing native Mohawks through the woods after a dastardly deed is done to them, or so they think. So throughout the movie it’s just a case of good or bad choices, depending how you look at it. I like to think Lachlan is the moral compass and the “good heart” of the badguys. But I’ll let you decide!
FPB: Not that different from Luke, actually!
JH: YEAH! Well.....Luke’s a little darker.
FPB: ...Lately he’s a little nicer!
JH: (laughs) I’ll give you that one!
FPB: What about your career as a wrestler do you bring to the role?
JH: As a wrestler, you’re out in a crowd of a thousand people and this is very different because you’re out in front of a crew, and you’re not getting instantly judged or instant gratification from a large group of people. So, you do your scene and it’s just...silence. and maybe one odd person will be like “alright, good job!” So, you’re stuck wondering, “was that GOOD?!”
So, good or bad there’s no instant gratification. I’m comfortable inside a wrestling ring. I know I’m good at that. So, I’m not sure if I’m a good actor. So, the next little while will be pretty terrifying. (laughs)
FPB: It must be pretty nerve wracking for you. So, this is your absolute first time in a film role?
JH: First time in a movie or anything theatrical. I haven’t done any TV either, besides wrestling!
FPB: Were you nervous during filming?
JH: Oh, definitely. I’ll tell you a story. The first day we went out to film, I’m waiting in the trailer to get costumed up. I’m just waitin’. And we wait...and we wait...and we wait. About 6 hours go by and I didn’t know what was happening, and I’m not sure what to do. We finally go out and it’s in the woods, and we do rehearsal, and then they go “Okay, wrap!”
I’m thinking, “This is what movie making is?! This can’t be right!” So, I mean, I was still terrified. But through the first few weeks of filming, we were filming scenes with me mostly in the background. So I was able to get a feel for it. Once we got to do the stuff that was more centralized on my character I was more comfortable.
FPB: Do you get physical in the movie and do you do your own stunts?
JH: Yup! I’d be embarrassed if I didn’t do my own stunts. There’s a few physicality parts, not too many. A few fun scenes with me and Justin Rain (playing Calvin Two Rivers) doing a little bit of action.
FPB: What will you bring from this whole experience back with you to the wrestling ring?
JH: I’ve gained so much confidence, just being a presence in front of a camera. And this will give me more confidence in speaking and getting my message across in my words. And that transitions in the WWE for when they want you to get your message across. So I’m going to feel even more comfortable doing that in the ring.
And just the creativity that I felt out there and getting to understand how a whole different industry works was mind blowing!
FPB: Do you intend on continuing to do more acting?
JH: Absolutely. Like I said, I don’t know if I’m good, bad or horrible...so, that all remains to be seen. But I’m very open to hearing people out and doing more.
FPB: Really appreciate talking to you, man!
JH: No problem! Thank you!
It was a blast to talk to Jon and I do look forward to seeing him in more roles. When I finally did get to check out Mohawk a few hours after this interview, I realized he had very little to worry about. He actually is pretty awesome in it and is every bit as intimidating in the film as he is as Luke Harper. The film takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and goes from a historical thriller straight to a revenge horror film in the same breath. It definitely represents the United States’ history of brutality and cruelty in ways very few films do, and at the same time doesn’t fail to show all sides and perspectives of that era in history. I recommend it to anyone that is looking for something a little different in their movie watching diet.
So there you have it, I hope everyone enjoyed that little chat and stay tuned for more of my coverage and interviews from both Fantasia and Montreal Comiccon in the coming weeks! Bleed out!