A Mick Foley biopic, eh? We think we’ve got the PERFECT casting…
The news that professional wrestler Mick Foley is gearing up for a biopic of his life wasn’t too surprising. Mick is a larger than life character, and his first book, Have A Nice Day, was a #1 bestseller in 1999.
Kim and I talked about what kind of person would be able to play the young, goofy, and hungry version of Foley. After all, if you are or have been a fan of pro wrestling over the past 20 or so years, you know
Mick’s backstory. You’ve seen the footage from Mick’s teenage years jumping off a toolshed doing an elbow drop. That kind of crazy move is what became Mick’s
trademark. And whether it was as Cactus Jack, as Mankind, or as the irrepressibly goofy Dude Love, Mick has been a crowd pleaser for years, and he needs someone special to play him.
But I have to be honest – I was surprised that Kim and I came to the same conclusion: that it would be best to cast an unknown or little known actor in the role. And I was even more surprised to find we both picked the same young man for the role – an irrepressibly goofy and talented young ham named Jim Wakefield.
Who is Jim Wakefield? Well, to most people, probably nobody. But if you’re an internet fan, or into YouTube on a more or less regular basis, you might know his name. Wakefield first shot to semi-prominence in the summer of 2008, when at 19, he was (and remains) the youngest competitor to win an episode of the hilariously funny and extremely grueling
ABC game show Wipeout. During the show he listed his profession as “professional
skateboarder”, but it quickly became obvious to everyone watching that he was
also an actor, a ham, and someone who was genuinely funny to watch. His little
“Wipeout Song And Dance” was so popular among the fans of the show that it was
later used in promos for the show, and he was invited back to do it again as
part of the Wipeout Wrap Party at the end of the summer.
Jim also has done quite a bit of amateur acting – he has a YouTube page that features clips of his Wipeout appearance as well as a collection of a few short films that he and his roommate have put together, several of which are truly hysterical.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…THAT GUY? THAT SKINNY GUY?
But remember, this is a MOVIE. And until you saw it, did you ever think Mickey Rourke could pull it off either? I would have never known he had a Randy “The Ram” Robinson in him before “The Wrestler”. And Sean Penn doesn’t look ANYTHING like the real Harvey Milk, and yet he won an Oscar for the role.
Granted, Wakefield would have to add at least 50 pounds to his skinny frame. And he’s a little too tall. But then again, Elijah Wood isn’t a 4 foot Hobbit and Wolverine isn’t supposed to be 6 foot tall either. It’s his personality that makes it work –and both Kim
and I brought it up when we first saw him on Wipeout – “OMG, he’s like a
teenage Mick Foley!” So in retrospect, I guess it’s not so surprising that
Wakefield was the first person that entered our minds as the right person to
play the Mick.
Part of the key to playing a real-life role like Foley will
be getting to know Foley the man and his unique mindset, his off-kilter way of
thinking. And in that respect, Wakefield has a 500 yard head start on any
other possible competitor. And lets face it – Foley himself, even back in
the day, would have been hard pressed to win a punishing show like
Wipeout. Wakefield ALREADY HAS. He’s obviously got the physical
stamina for the role. He’s got the personality. He’s got the drive to be a
star; his publicity efforts over the last couple of years show that. And
Hollywood could easily give him the look – that’s what they DO.
So don’t pooh-pooh us so quickly. And, hey,
Mick? You and Jeff Katz should take a meeting with Wakefield…I have the
distinct feeling you’ll like the idea once you talk to the guy…because we think
he’s EXACTLY what you’re looking for….