It's official: NBC's Young Rock is a hit. More than five million viewers watched the sitcom premiere, currently "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, loosely based on the life lessons of a young Dwayne Johnson. doubt a big part of the show's success is thanks to the ingenious casting of wrestling legends like Rocky Johnson (played by Joseph Lee Anderson), the Iron Sheik (Brett Azar), Andre The Giant (Matthew Willig) and the Junk Hofhund (Nate Jackson).
In Episode 3, Kevin Makely joins this stellar cast and makes his first appearance as one of the best WWE players of all time. He wears the sunglasses and the headscarf to portray "Macho Man" Randy Savage. It didn't take long to learn that Makely, who also starred on Netflix & # 39; "Badland" and whose #backyardbeast sessions can be found on his Instagram page, has a serious fitness pedigree.
Is it true that your interest in bodybuilding was inspired by seeing Sylvester Stallone on the big screen?
I was raised by a single mother and only had one older brother. My mom worked at least three jobs at a time, so I didn't have any male influences, but the only thing we did every weekend was go to the movies.
As I got older I saw these guys like Rocky and Rambo and they talked to me. So, Sylvester Stallone was my father figure when I was a kid, but he doesn't know (laughs). I wanted to be a hero like Rambo and a fighter like Rocky. I wanted all of this. Arnold Schwarzenegger was bleeding and I got into bodybuilding and martial arts.
You have had great success in bodybuilding and have won several nature events. What do you remember about your first competition in 1997?
It was an NBI (Natural Bodybuilding Incorporated) show. Working out in the gym and eating right has been my lifestyle since I was 14. I didn't even know I had abs until one day I shaved and found them (laughs). At the time, it wasn't just about definition, I just wanted muscle. But one day I was training and my good friend suggested that I compete. So I did my research on the nutritional aspect and decided on it and won the overall competition. I built high quality muscles with a very strict routine and technique.
What is your approach to nutrition these days?
For me, it's all about intermittent fasting. If I had known then what I know now, I would probably have won more bodybuilding awards. The point is to lower those insulin levels. I am a NASM certified personal trainer. I have taught biomechanics and training and am a World Kickboxing Association certified trainer. I was the top trainer at Crunch Fitness and was a spokesperson for Bally Fitness for a long time. I worked with a partner who was fasting and I thought he was crazy so I started doing my own research and trying it out. I have put more weight on one fast than in 10 years. Boy, the results.
Courtesy Kevin Makely
Your physique in "Young Rock" is very close to that of the Macho Man. How did you prepare for it?
A man in his forties who plays "Macho Man" Randy Savage in his thirties. How you do that? We were filming in Brisbane, and while I was in quarantine, I loved resistance bands. I put them in all of my workouts. I always say bruises heal, but the movie is forever so you do your own stunts and take your lumps. I was very strict and super keto. sugar and as few carbohydrates as possible. My only cheater was peanut butter or almond butter. I ate real food and didn't really add protein shakes to it. I love to eat, so when I'm in my fasting window, I just eat. It was nice in Brisbane because we had to train in a gym without a mask.
How familiar were you with the macho man before you took on the role?
He was my all time favorite wrestler. The ultimate warrior was a specimen and he blew me away, but Macho Man was my type. I've been to him many times for Halloween!
It must have been a dream come true to play macho in Young Rock. How did this opportunity come about?
I got an audition and the invitation was very cryptic. I really didn't know anything about it, all the names were changed but they wanted someone to play the macho man. So the first instinct is to do everything with your intensity, but I decided to portray Randall Poffo and what he might have been like when the cameras weren't rolling. I already knew all of his promos like "Cream of the Crop" and "Ooh Yeah" and everything else he ever did, so I came up with a version that I thought was more like him not on camera, but I still wanted it to be recognizable, just a toned down version.
I met with Jeff Chang, one of the creators of the show, and he said, “I just want you to know we saw so many macho man tapes, then we saw your tape and that was it. You were him It was you. "Dwayne Johnson saw the tape and I got the gig. I thought, Wow, Dwayne Johnson just saw my video! You can even do macho's famous flying elbows from the top rope! All wrestlers did their own stunts, it was." fantastic. Chavo Guerrero Jr., a wrestling legend, taught us this, and I have to say that wrestlers take lumps and get hurt. Some of that isn't fake! Anyone who disrespects wrestling has to have their head checked. I fly, I'm weightless, people (in the crowd) are screaming, I'm literally so close to bending the camera. It was a great shot. I'm still excited just to tell you about it.
Did you manage to get feedback from The Rock during the project?
I read that Randy Savage was a huge influence on The Rock. I got feedback that he thought (my portrayal) was great. This is Dwayne Johnson telling his story. Allowing myself to portray one of my idols and trust me to do the job is incredible. It's incredible.