Seth Rollins is used to the instant feedback that comes from a live WWE audience. His music hits and he knows what the fans think. He executes a move and he knows whether the fans like it or not. That is among the things that makes Rollins’ feature film debut so unique in Armed Response, which comes out Friday in theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Phoenix and video-on-demand platforms.
Rollins filmed the movie in late 2016 when he was still sidelined after knee surgery in November 2015. He’s been waiting months to see how the fans will react. “Something like this was a lot different than what I’m used to,” he told For The Win. “There’s no audience watching you with a boo or a yeah whenever something bad or good happens. I’m very curious to see what our fanbase is going to think of it and what the response will be overall to my performance.
Doing something like this where you’re at a location and you’re in the same place every day and you’re doing the same scene three, four, five, six, seven, eight times in a row to get the different camera angles was a very interesting experience for me.”
For Colby Lopez – the man behind the WWE character Seth Rollins – this was a chance to play someone other than Rollins, the persona he took on shortly after signing a developmental contract with WWE in 2010. In the movie, he plays Brett, who is part of a team of special forces soldiers who approach the designer of a high-tech military compound – known as the Temple — to investigate the disappearance of another group that was guarding the facility. After the facility’s artificial intelligence shuts down, the team experiences horrific phenomena.
Before WWE Superstar Seth Rollins heads into SummerSlam on Sunday, August 20th, you can watch him suit up for some spooky action in Armed Response – a new paranormal thriller from WWE and KISS legend Gene Simmons that opens in theaters and On Demand on Friday, August 4th. Starring Wesley Snipes, Anne Heche, Dave Annable, and Simmons himself in a cameo role, Armed Response follows a team of special forces soldiers as they investigate an artificial intelligence gone wrong inside a secret high-tech facility known as The Temple.
Rollins, in his very first movie roll, stars as one of the most brutal members of Snipes’ highly-skilled black ops unit and as the mystery deepens and the danger rises, Rollins’ Bret starts to become more and more unhinged. I had the pleasure of speaking to Rollins about his first foray into film and what it was like to go toe-to-toe with…Anne Heche.
IGN: When did you film Armed Response?
Seth Rollins: It was all shot in April of 2016, I want to say.
IGN: Yeah, you looked pretty mobile and I was wondering how it coincided with your knee injury.
Rollins: I was right at the end of my rehab period. So I got hurt and had surgery in November of 2015 so this was probably five months or so out from that. I was at the very end of my rehab so I was moving around pretty well, though I still had a ways to go before I was ring ready, but I was certainly silver screen ready.
IGN: When I watched the trailer, you’re only shown a few times so I thought “Oh, he’ll die pretty quickly.” But you’re in this until the very end. It’s a pretty prominent role. What was your favorite part about playing this guy?
Rollins: Yeah, Bret’s just a hard dude, man. Clearly a veteran of many battles and conflicts and he’s pretty straight-forward when it comes to what he thinks is true and how he wants things to get done. And he doesn’t like taking orders necessarily. I think he just likes to tell it like it is. Or at least how he sees things from his perspective. He’s not shy when it comes to sharing his opinion. He’s constantly ready to let you know what he feels about everything that’s going on.
No one ever wants to suffer an injury, especially one as big as the one Seth Rollins experienced in November 2015. He was on a roll at the time and arguably the biggest heel in the WWE. Rollins was riding high. Then during an overseas match with Kane, his momentum came to a halt as he tore the ACL, MCL and medial meniscus in his knee. It would be more than seven months before “The Architect” returned to the ring. There was a positive as he was offered a role in the WWE Studios movie “Armed Response” and now had the time to do it.
The movie, which also stars Wesley Snipes and Anne Heche, finds Rollins and a team of highly trained soldiers looking into the disappearance of another team. As they investigate, they find themselves trapped inside a military compound controlled by artificial intelligence and things quickly get out of control. Sporting News spoke with Rollins about being in his first feature film, fighting Anne Heche, recovering from his knee injury during filming, becoming a good guy in WWE, and getting the cover of the upcoming WWE 2K18 video game. “Armed Response” will be available on digital download and limited theatrical release beginning on Friday, August 4.
SPORTING NEWS: How was the movie making experience for “Armed Response” for you overall seeing this is the first feature film you’ve done?
SETH ROLLINS: Yeah, this is the first one. It was cool. Honestly, it was a good experience. I had no idea what it was going to be like going in. I had no preconceptions or anything like that. I was going in with an open mind and it was a lot different than what I’m used to doing live shows all the time. It was super-interesting and a fun experience, a learning experience for me.