WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley and RAW Superstar Rhea Ripley were in Mumbai recently to shoot a WWE campaign with John Abraham for Sony Sports Network. Over a fun Zoom call, Bobby and Rhea chatted with TT on their experience of shooting with John and how best to channelise your inner strength.
An acting assignment sounds so cool. What was it like shooting with John Abraham?
Bobby Lashley: Working with John was really cool. He was very helpful and easy to work with and had a good attitude. He was humble. It was a good time working with him.
What has been your relationship with the camera like?
Bobby: I love the camera and the camera loves me. Every time I see a camera, I got to get in front of it (laughs).
Rhea, is this your first acting assignment?
Rhea: I had done something similar to this before, the WWE 2K shoots and they have been a lot of fun.
We read that you were taking acting classes...
Rhea: Yeah, I was doing acting classes for two years and they were a lot of fun. I learnt a lot about myself and acting. It’s just wild to know how they unlock so many different emotions and how they do it... it made me stronger and better. Overall, when I step out in front of the camera for Monday Night Raw, I feel more at ease and confident. That was the whole goal of the acting lessons.
What can we expect from the campaign?
Bobby: I did some very almighty feats! There was a really cool moment when I got to show actually how strong I am... pick up a vehicle and tip it over. Rhea: I mean you will see me just be me, be the menace that I am, the eradicator that I am, the brutality that I always bring... like Bobby, I got to show my strength as well and I had a lot of fun doing it. We got to do some cool little bits and pieces, but I won’t share them just yet.
Did the three of you talk about fitness?
Bobby: Yeah, he told me he wanted to get me into Bollywood! (Laughs) Rhea: I got to talk to him briefly a couple of times. Most of the time, we were shooting, trying to remember lines or just working out camera shots. He was telling us a little bit about his fitness journey and where he wants to go, but I didn’t get to speak to him a whole bunch.
Bobby, what have been your tips for Rhea?
Bobby: I think Rhea has been doing amazing. Actually my compliments to her and on the few things she has done. There were some iconic moments (looks at Rhea) that you had on social media. I was like whoa! You could tell the evolution... her facials and some of the movements... when she stepped to Becky (Lynch) that one time, that was a very big deal. Then, just last Monday when you stepped Solo (Sikoa).... (laughs). What she has been doing is everybody wants to know what’s next. When we talked about the Royal Rumble, I was like, you are almost like a hands-down favourite to win that Royal Rumble. There are so many different roles that you are in right now, I think the sky’s the limit.
What is the ratio between physical fitness and mental fitness and is it more mental in current times?
Rhea: Yeah, I feel mental is definitely more than physical for me, especially in the job that I do, I am far away from my home and family and I don’t get to see them often at all. With the physical aspect, yeah, I might get bumps and bruises here and there and I am going to the gym and I’ll be sore and I’ll overcome that stuff, but the mental strength that I have to have to be here, doing this job successfully and not driving myself insane by not seeing my family... I’d definitely push it to the limit and see how far I can take my mental strength and I have powered through and gotten stronger and stronger every year that has gone. Bobby: Gym is therapy for me. I go to the gym because it is my getaway. That’s what I have done for a long time. I believe in order to be competitive and stay competitive, I challenge myself in the gym, every day. It’s completely mental for me. I am just not going there to lift heavy weights... I will lift heavy weights but it’s more of a challenge for me.
How to channelise all the strength that you have and take it forward in the right direction with what you want to do in life?
Rhea: My main bit of advice that I can give children out there, especially the ones who have big dreams and want to accomplish everything, is just run for them, just dedicate yourself to what you want to do and don’t stop and stay motivated anyway you can. People who doubt you, prove them wrong. A lot of people have doubted me in the past and I have used that to fuel myself and push myself every single day. I ended up here, working for WWE and that was my dream. Stay focused, but also ask people for advice, but the right people.
Bobby: I am a firm believer in doing something to make yourself better every day. You have to set it in your schedule and then know that it’s making you better. Think ‘I am going to read because this reading is going to make me better’, then it is going to make you better. Speak things into existence. Say it aloud so that people hear you. ‘I will be a world champion again’, ‘I will win the Tag Team Titles before I retire and that would make it a Grand Slam’. There are certain things I am saying that I am going to do and will do it.
RHEA: I am a big fan of Jensen Ackles. I love the TV show Supernatural. Everything he does, he knocks out of the park. He seems like a lovely bloke as well, loves his family... he is my favourite!
BOBBY: I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know too much. I just started watching a series... Manifest... and I liked the concept. I think the hard part of watching movies for me is because we are behind the camera so much and in front of the camera so much, I think about movies in a different way. Then I stay so busy with all kinds of things, so most of the things I am watching are instructional and educational. So, I am not really the biggest movie buff. When I was in the flight, I watched Avatar for the first time. I am getting there!