I had the privilege and the opportunity to catch up with 'The Ravishing Russian' Lana ahead of WrestleMania 36. Speaking of which, if you live in India, you can certainly catch WrestleMania in all its glory on 5th, and 6th April at 3.30 AM only on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 3.
If you live anywhere else in the world, the action will be streamed on the WWE Network. Here is our entire conversation for you to listen to. If you wish to read certain parts of the interview, they have been transcribed below for your convenience.
How different has RAW become ever since Paul Heyman came on board (as the Executive Director)?
Lana: Paul Heyman is so incredible. Paul Heyman has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember since I was a little girl. He and Stephanie McMahon are the reason why I wanted to become a WWE Superstar because they are such compelling storytellers and entertaining, and they're really able to drive the story by being on the mic and talking and being entertaining, and smart and compelling. I feel he's really able to bring that to the table as well.
When he's a character and when he's on the microphone, he's able to tell those compelling stories, and he brings that as a showrunner. I feel like he's given so many people opportunities, who wouldn't otherwise have opportunities. And the way he tells the story across the show, I feel like everything's very intertwined and threaded.
I feel like that's a very, very, very interesting quality and that's how scripted television goes. Everything is threaded. And I feel like everything is a lot more threaded on RAW, which I really, really like, and I actually thankful that a lot of people are getting opportunities that haven't always had opportunities.
And I'm excited to see what's to come.
Do you think your storyline with Bobby Lashley brought back elements of the Attitude Era?
Lana: I think I push the envelope in everything I do, in all the storyline I've been in, in WWE. I feel like I'm very lucky to do some form of soap opera story. I just feel like soap opera stories, in general, are very relatable and everyone can connect to heartache. Everyone can connect with either being cheated on or know someone that's cheating or know someone that has lied in a relationship or know someone that's gotten a divorce.
Most people have broken up once in their life, at least. I just think that all those stories are relatable and people understand that. And people connect with it. Not everyone understands and connects with winning a championship or winning a title, or being the most athletic person or being genetically superior.
Like, I don't relate to being genetically superior. I've had to work my a** off to get anything in my life. And I know there are a lot of people like that. But most people have experienced heartache or betrayal or breakups at some point, so I think those stories are very compelling. I've been very blessed to be in stories like that, that have to do with issues of the heart.
And those are the stories I like the most on television if it's anything from Game of Thrones or Scandal or Grey's Anatomy. If you take something like Game of Thrones, within the war, within them fighting for their land, they still have the extra element of relationship drama within the drama, and those are my favorite stories on television. So, I'm always very excited to be on those stories on television, on WWE programming.
Do you have any memories of the 'tank' entrance at WrestleMania?
Lana: Oh yeah. The tank and me coming out with the Russian army was such an amazing experience. I mean, I got Rusev a tank. That's how great I am. I literally got Rusev a tank and came out with my army. This year you'll just have to see it. It's very different. I was shooting a movie all the way up to WrestleMania, and I was focused on a lot of other things.
And my Bobby is obviously very important. You'll just have to stay tuned to see what we did this time around. Every time I try to do something very different. This year, there will be something very different. You'll have to watch it on the WWE Network and see.
You were part of a movie with Edge not long ago. He returned at the Royal Rumble. And you were a part of the Royal Rumble. What was it like seeing him come back?
Lana: Oh my god. That was so insane. When he came out, my mind was so blown; I could not believe it. I love Edge. He is so incredible. I mean he was one of my favorite WWE Superstars growing up and to work with him, he's such a phenomenal actor. He's so good. He's so entertaining. Plus, he's so vulnerable as an actor.
I feel like a lot of WWE Superstars are not able to show vulnerability as Edge does, and I just think that the story of Edge and Randy Orton is so, so compelling and one of my favorites, besides, of course, anything I do on television. That's always my favorite. It's such an incredible, incredible, compelling story. And that's what we need on television. Compelling stories.
Do read the rest of the interview right here.