Randy Couture

The UFC Hall of Famer steps out of the Octagon and in front of the camera

UFC legend Randy Couture made a name for himself by throwing down with some of the top fighters in the world. Now, "The Natural" is trying his hand at acting with his role as an evil villain in The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior.

MF: What can u tell us about your character?
RC: Sargon's a bad guy, that's what made it fun and intriguing and interesting. I got to do some crazy stuff.

Do you have an acting coach?
I'm still trying to learn and get my feet wet. The last two years I've been trying to take some classes. I had a great time working on Scorpion King - it was a Universal big-budget deal, and being down in South Africa for the filming was a great chance to expand, to put more tools in the tool belt. I also had the chance to work with David Mamet [on the acclaimed writer/director's Redbelt] - that was a huge learning experience for me.

Did you ever dream about being an actor when you were a kid?
As a kid, I used to go to the daily matinees, so it's something I've always been interested in but never pictured myself doing. I did a Christmas carol in the 6th grade and played Tiny Tim - that's the only acting I ever did.

Could you see yourself going outside the box and doing, say, a comedy?
Actually, I'd love to do it. I have another film coming out with Rob Schneider [Big Stan]. I enjoy comedy, because I like to be challenged. I don't want to just play thugs. I think Scorpion King was a step up. It wasn't just a fighting role.

How did you get into the character of Sargon?
I think we've all had people in our lives that have had the gruff, growly persona. I've certainly had coaches and people in my life who've been like that, so you try to find those characters and relate to that. Sargon has a twisted sense of humor, and that's something that I could relate to.

Difference between fight scenes and real fighting?
The illusion of fighting is much different than actual fighting. I did hit Michael [who plays the future Scorpion King] in a big fight scene. He laughed - you kind of have to sell the punch. They kept the take.

What was harder: your first fight or your first time on camera?
My first time fighting on camera was more difficult. I was more nervous and unsure of myself.

Did you have to wield any heavy weaponry?
Definitely. My [character's] weapon of choice was a big double-headed bat. That was a challenge for me going in. I had broken my arm but I couldn't have a cast on, or I wouldn't have been able to do my part, so I had to wear a splint between takes.

Did you have to gain muscle for the role?
Well, in the beginning I was walking around with a broken arm, so physically I don't change much. I couldn't do much.

I'm sure a lot of our readers are interested in getting involved with mixed martial arts training. What advice do you have for them?
The key is finding a good training center. Obviously, you see the difference between guys walking around with egos and attitudes to prove they're a badass fighter, and those who are really training. Ultimately, just go out there and have fun.

The Scorpion King 2, out on DVD August 19

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