Trish Stratus is known to most as a WWE Superstar. Among her list of accomplishments; she was voted Internet Babe of the Year for three consecutive years in 2001, 2002 and 2003, along with winning the “Diva of the Decade” award for the WWE Raw 10th Anniversary Special, she has also graced the cover of the annual WWE Divas Magazine four times in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2006. Finally, she holds the record for being the only woman in WWE history to win the WWE Women’s Championship seven times. On September 17, 2006, she made her official retirement from professional wrestling. After an amazing Seven-year career, she will be remembered for the legacy she left behind during her time with the WWE.
In 2007, after starring in a number of television shows, including CBS’s Armed and Famous and The Second City’s Next Comedy Legend, Stratus focused her attention on building her own brand, Stratusphere. First she took on a new role and went behind the scenes to co-produce a travel adventure show, which she also appeared as host. The show which was called Stratusphere, aired on CTV in 2008, the same year she announced that she was opening a yoga studio in Vaughan, Ontario. In the four years since, Stratus has taken her brand nationwide, launching a line of yoga fitness products, including her first workout DVD, featuring her own unique fitness approach to yoga, called Stratusphere Yoga. Last year, Stratus made a surprise return to WWE television, appearing at the 2011 Elimination Chamber pay per view to announce that she would be a one of the trainers on WWE’s newest show, Tough Enough.
Straus’ latest venture has her starring in the Canadian independent action movie Bounty Hunters, playing bounty hunter Jules Taylor which is scheduled for release on February 28th, 2012.
Trish Stratus you certainly don’t need any introductions…
BFM: Let’s go back to September 17, 2006. Walk us through that day! And the emotions you went through!
Trish: Well taking my final bow at the Air Canada Center in front of my hometown crowd, with my family and friends in the audience, and as Champion to boot – it was a perfect conclusion to my career, a perfect way to close that chapter of my life.
BFM: Why did you decide to end your career after 7 years? Did you feel you let your fans down?
Trish: I was just ready to move on. The wear and tear on my body had caught up with me and I had personally checked off much of my list of things I wanted to accomplish as a WWE performer.
BFM: You made couple of appearances in the WWE in 2011, any chance of you coming back?
Trish: I never say never! The thing with the wrestling world is every new opponent you face in the ring is a chance to create a new moment in the ring and deliver something new to the crowd. When I retired, at that point, I had faced every woman in the ring I had wanted to face and had great matches and feuds with them. Today the landscape of the Women’s division is completely different. There are a lot of extremely talented women currently wrestling, and many I haven’t had the opportunity to work with, it’s reasons like this that I always keep the door open – even if it’s just a crack!
BFM: After leaving the WWE you started “Stratusphere Yoga Studio”, was that always a dream you had?
Trish: I fell in love with the practice of yoga while I was still wresting. I began to incorporate yoga into my daily practice after using it to rehabilitate a herniated disk and then found it was something that allowed me to perform at my best, both inside the ring and out. I started practicing all over the world while on tour with WWE and I always found it a wonderful thing to be somewhere so far from home, in a foreign country and you could visit any yoga studio and find a sense of community with like-minded people. That’s when I thought this was something I would like to create one day.
BFM: What does Yoga mean to you? And what type of Yoga do you practice?
Trish: To me yoga is this simple thing that is accessible to every and anybody and if incorporated into your daily regime, by applying even the principles of yoga, it can have such a positive impact and potentially change one’s whole outlook and approach to life.
I am Ashtanga certified, but over the years by practicing with different teachers and styles, I tend to try not to label the ‘type’ of yoga that I do. Yoga is a 5000 year old practice that consists of thousands of poses; the beauty of yoga is that you can adapt your practice to give your body exactly what it needs.
For me as an athlete I found my body needed more than just yoga alone, which I what lead to me take my practice in a totally new direction. I ended up creating a specific series which blends traditional yoga poses with strength training. I found this combination to be very effective for me, it is what allows me to maintain my flexibility while keeping the strength and tone of my muscles. The response I was getting from my students and instructors at my studio was so positive I realized this seemed to be a desirable combination. This was the series I ended up filming for my DVD – Stratusphere Yoga which is the nucleus of my yoga fitness product line.
BFM: Being a Yogi, really demands of you to be healthy and fit! What is your diet like?
Trish: My diet principles are pretty simple; I stick with whole, natural and mostly plant-based foods.
BFM: What edge do you think “Stratusphere Yoga Studio” have over other studios?
Trish: Well, I can’t think of any other studio that offers Stratusfaction?
BFM: “Bounty Hunters”, I saw the trailer, plenty of action scenes, and the story line is pretty exciting. Tell us about the character you play “Jules”.
Trish: I have to say if you’ve seen Trish Stratus in the WWE ring, you’ve met Jules Taylor! She’s just your normal, typical butt kicking bad ass.
BFM: Can you recall your experience when you first read this script? What particularly impressed you and moved you about it?
Trish:: First of all, I was familiar with and could relate to the vibe of Jules Taylor and to be honest what really sealed the deal for me was the fight scenes. The director wanted to create an action film centered around a strong female lead who could deliver believable action. I looked at this film as an opportunity to showcase the beauty of well choreographed fight scene. As a sports entertainer, we’ve always viewed our work in the ring as somewhat of a dance, where we are physically telling story. I also think we need more movies where the lead is an empowering female – Bounty Hunters gave me a change to represent a strong, confident and powerful woman.
BFM: Tell us about the fight scene in the ambulance with (Andrea James Lui)!
Trish: It’s such a great scene – one of my favourites! It was actually one of the first scenes we filmed. We had mapped out the scene weeks before with a little sketched out area that represented the ambulance. The day we got there we were surprised to find we had about 50% less space as we didn’t account for an actual real ambulance with stretchers and equipment, etc. So basically everything we had mapped out had to be thrown out the window. So, this was fun actually because we ended up just improvising the entire scene. This was apropos considering Andrea’s background with an improvisational sketch comedy troupe and mine from the wrestling world. A lot of the times that is exactly how we end up putting the matches you see on TV together, so it was cool for both of us to draw form our past experiences as performers. Oh and the bruises you see on Jules Taylor throughout movie are all real and are all from this scene!
BFM: What was your experience like filming Bounty Hunters,Hunters; make any friends on the set?
Trish: Lots of friends! Andrea and I are convinced we are fighting soul sisters. Boomer Phillips, who is filled with a constant stream of hilarious one-liners was great to have on set, especially with the night shoots he managed to keep the cast entertained. And my other co-star Frank, the veteran actor on-set gave me a lot of support which I was very appreciative of as I came into this project as a newbie to the movie-making world. There are even a few projects I currently have in development that are with people who were a part of this production.
BFM: Did you ever get into a dangerous situation on the set or did you have a stunt double?
Trish: Of course not… you should know that danger is my middle name.
BFM: Bounty Hunters is an amazingly full of action film, was it as fun to shoot as it looks?
Trish: Absolutely! That is why I am confident the audience is sure to have an enjoyable experience, because the actors, myself included truly enjoyed the experience of making it and really just had a lot of fun with it!
BFM: Did the film turn out how you envisioned going into it? As you know a lot can change from script to shooting, so were you pleased with the experience?
Trish: Actually this is interesting because even according to the director, this film ended up taking on a whole new feel once he (Patrick) gave his actors creative freedom with our roles. Between Andrea and I approaching our action scenes as fighters not as stunt women and Boomer Phillips’s improvised comedy gold, what Patrick was left with was a totally different movie than the script offered. I know that after looking at what he got as a whole, Patrick had to decide if he was going to keep it a straight up action film as the script intended or go with it and make it into an action comedy. I take my hat off to him for trusting his actors and his gut and I think he made a really fun movie that I am proud to have been a part of.
BFM: How different is shooting a movie than being on live shows infront of thousands of people?
Trish: The initial instant gratification I get when I fight in front of thousands is certainly missing when shooting a movie. I’m used to an audience reacting to every move I make while in the ring, when you do it on set – not so much! So that was different, but watching my fighting on the big screen and with sound effects – that was certainly a cool moment. I would say as a performer, both are equally satisfying.
BFM: Trish, You’ve been immortalized plenty of times now from the many covers on WWE magazine to being The Diva of the Decade and an icon. Does it ever seem surreal?
Trish: It always seems surreal.
BFM: Any new projects working on you would like to share with your fans?!
Trish: Of course, there is always something cooking in the Stratusphere, stay tuned…
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