Sheamus on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and finding new life in WWE

Sheamus Courtesy of WWE
Sheamus

It takes more than the luck of the Irish to maintain success in WWE. Sheamus’ longevity is proof of that.

Hollywood has even taken note of the multi-time heavyweight champion’s unique look and presence. I mean, it’s not every day you run into a 6-foot-4, 267-pound athlete with piercings, a true Irishman’s (his real name: Stephen Farrelly) red hair and pale complexion, and endearing personality. The Celtic Warrior brings all these attributes to his major motion picture debut in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows as Rocksteady.

“It was a big deal for me. It was a huge deal for me,” Sheamus said. “When they told me I had the part, I was shocked. It was great.”

Looking back on the different auditions, the sports entertainer wasn’t sure he would get the role.

“I had those beads in my beard. I had to take them out because Michael Bay didn’t want to see them,” Sheamus said. “So I took them out and met with them again and again. I met with the producer in New York City. Then he offered me the role. I couldn’t believe it.”

The WWE superstar made a solid impression on the big screen. He has caught the acting bug, recently working on a two-day shoot in Jackson, Miss. for the movie called Atone. Of course, Sheamus isn’t the first pro wrestler to work in film or television. Dave Bautista and The Rock are recent examples of true breakouts. Much like those before him, Sheamus strives to create his own style.

“I feel like I can do anything,” he said. “I can do action. I can do comedy. I can do it all. We’ll see what happens. It’s all fun for me right now. I’m not in stress mode over it right now. I just want to have fun with what I’m doing.”

Sheamus lends the same approach to his WWE career. The 38-year-old is happy to see the recent brand extension with exclusive rosters for Raw and SmackDown.

“It’s been heaven-sent for me. I’m so happy,” he said. “There were times I really wanted it to come. Now I’m working with Cesaro. It’s great. I’m enjoying the opportunity to show what we can do on TV. We are just tearing it up and beating the crap out of each other.”

Sheamus is currently in the midst of a Best-of-Seven-Series with Cesaro. Older fans can draw comparisons between this physical rivalry with another that goes back 20 years in fellow Europeans William Regal and Dave Finlay.

“I’m a huge fan of both of them,” he said. “We wanted it to be better than that. Both of us look up to those guys. But if Fit Finlay and William Regal didn’t want us to go out there and do better than them, they’d be disappointed.”

Given everything the master of the Brogue Kick has accomplished in his time with WWE, the veteran doesn’t take any milestone or accolade for granted. This includes his inclusion in “WWE 2K17,” out Oct. 11.

“It means I’m still here,” he said. “I’m doing what I love to do. I really don’t look at this as another royalty check. It’s a reminder that it has been seven years and the seven years of fun I’ve had. Now with the brand split, I feel reborn. I feel a rebirth. I’m still here. A lot of new guys are here and others who are gone. But I’m still in the mix and having fun.”

  • Watch WWE Raw Mondays at 8/7CT on USA Network.
  • Check out the WWE Clash of the Champions live Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8/7CT on WWE Network and pay-per-view.
  • See Sheamus in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows on Blu-ray and DVD.
  • Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.