Graphic from Hirsute History.
At age 15, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper 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. Wherever he goes, somebody asks Piper if he has any bubblegum. He wrote an autobiography called "In the Pit with Piper," and has a one-man show called "An Evening With Roddy Piper" where he relates "stories of Bear wrestling, Andre The Giant's drinking and Ric Flair's enormous schlong."
On June 7, Roddy Piper has his very first voiceover role for animation as the barbaric Bolphunga in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights weaves six legendary stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. 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, the largest Green Lantern, in hopes of engaging the famed warrior in a battle worthy of the villain. The role serves as a perfect vehicle to showcase Piper’s strength and sense of humor.
So, how was your first voice-over experience?
Roddy Piper: That was about as much fun as I could ever hope to have. You can really lose yourself in an animated role. There’s so much freedom, so much room for creativity. It’s a blast.
(Henry Rollins co-stars in Emerald Knights as Kilowog.)(Courtesy of Gary Miereanu.)
Professional wrestling gave you plenty of experience being both the villain and the hero. How does the public perceive you today?
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.
Is wrestling like acting?
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.