Exclusive: John Hennigan on his new movie "Strange Nature" and future projects
A man of many in-ring names -- including Johnny Impact, John Morrison and Johnny Mundo -- John Hennigan has accomplished more than most professional wrestlers. In terms of his in-ring career, he held multiple championships with the WWE and is currently one of the top performers within Impact Wrestling. Outside of the ring, Hennigan has been part of many television and film projects, including the upcoming season of the hit reality series Survivor.
Hennigan's latest film project is Strange Nature, which first hit theaters on limited release on September 22nd. The horror-thriller film also stars Stephen Tobolowsky (Silicon Valley, Deadwood, Memento), Lisa Sheridan (Invasion) and Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911, The Funhouse Massacre) and marks the directorial debut of directorial debut of FX maestro James Ojala (Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Thor, Tron: Legacy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer).
I had the pleasure of speaking with John Hennigan -- who will be part of the upcoming Chris Jericho Cruise -- by phone while he was on-break during filming of an upcoming project. Hennigan can be followed on social media via @TheRealMorrison, while more on Strange Nature can be found on Facebook via www.facebook.com/strangenaturemovie.
Tell me about filming Strange Nature.
John Hennigan: It was one of those movie projects where it was rewarding. Everyone on-set had to collaborate because there wasn't a ton of money. (laughs) Everyone is tight, the cast and the crew, because they are more involved creatively and collaboratively... I've been talking to [director] Jim [Ojala] and Dave Mattey and Carlos Alazraqui, a lot of the cast, about how much fun we had on this thing. The project's you have fun making are almost always the most fun to watch.
Had you auditioned for the movie? Or was it offered to you directly?
John Hennigan: I had the experience of working with Jim on a couple of other projects, and when we was first starting out with the casting and the fundraising on Kickstarter for Strange Nature, him and I were talking about it. He told me that there was a role I'd be good for.
Your acting career is comparable to your wrestling career is that you're a free agent, regularly working on different sorts of projects. Is that the plan, or are you ultimately hoping to settle down in one place?
John Hennigan: The grass is always greener, isn't it? (laughs) I don't have a ton of time today, because Jim and I are working on another project called The Iron Sheik Massacre. We've been busting our asses on this thing. [Wife] Kira and I wrote it on our honeymoon. It's been ridiculously cool. But similar to most independent projects, I've been getting only three or four hours of sleep a night for the past week. We've got to leave for set in a little bit. That kind of project is so much fun...
What's most important to me about wrestling, filmmaking, is that I feel good about the stories that I'm telling and the work that I'm doing. So it's hard to say whether or not I'm going to end up settling down somewhere because I land a lead on a show... Because if you land a lead on a show on a sh*tty show, then you're stuck on a sh*tty show. For now I'm happy doing projects that I believe and I'm passionate about. Although if I had an opportunity to play a kick-ass role in a blockbuster movie, or a prime-time TV show, that'd be good too.
Speaking of blockbuster movies, do you think we might be seeing a Boone: The Bounty Hunter sequel?
John Hennigan: Oh, I hope so... I've gotten so much positive feedback about it that I feel like the time's almost right for Boone II. I've got the whole thing in my head and it's really just a matter of doing a sh*t-ton of work. I'll put it that way. (laughs) I feel like I'm getting to the point where I'm hoping to jump into something like that again.
When I'd spoken to you briefly last year, you had said that you were considering writing a book. Is that something you are still considering?
John Hennigan: Yeah, I like doing stuff. I'd like a fictional book, an autobiography... I've written a children's book that's been half-finished for a year. But primarily the thing that I'm most passionate about now is two things, storytelling that has to do with TV, and wrestling. It's tough to beat wrestling, it's in the moment with that instant feedback from the crowd. You make something that's out there immediately, that's hard to beat.
So any last words for the kids?
John Hennigan: To the Johntourage out there, thank you for following me. I'm really excited for everybody to see Strange Nature. There's crazy effects, some great storytelling, some action in there that I'm really stoked about. The whole concept written and directed by Jim Ojala, who is somebody that I feel really lucky to be able to call a close friend. Of everybody I've worked with out here in Hollywood, he is one of those rare people that is not only liked by everybody, but also respected by everyone.