Professional wrestler and creator of the world’s least imaginative portmanteaus Hulk Hogan has finally broken his silence on why he didn’t agree to star in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler—a silence that he has maintained for nearly four years because, as far as we know, Hulk Hogan was never asked to be in The Wrestler, and thus had no reason to comment on it. But Hogan remembers things a little differently in this interview with Digital Spy, saying that no, the producers actually sent him the script “three times” in an effort to convince him to take on the lead role of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, only to have Hogan selflessly turn it down again and again out of respect for the material. “When the script for The Wrestler kept coming to me, I said, 'This movie is so good, if you put me in the film as a wrestler people are going to say, ‘No credibility, Hulk Hogan isn't a good actor’—whatever Hollywood thinks of me,” Hogan said of that time he let down the Hollywood that simply couldn’t get Hulk Hogan off its mind in 2008.
But it was a far, far better thing that Hulk Hogan did, as Hogan diplomatically admits, “As soon as they put Mickey Rourke in there, I knew it had a chance, and he did such a great, great job, it relit his career.” And in fact, Hulk Hogan’s prescience paid off once Aronofsky did take a chance on Mickey Rourke—who is, by the way, the only name besides Nicolas Cage that the director has ever named when discussing which actors he considered for The Wrestler. In fact, Aronofsky has even gone so far as to say things in interviews like, “We never mention Hulk Hogan, nor any of the other [real-life] wrestlers. We just wanted to keep the fiction alive, and not pull people out of it.”
But now we can see that, most likely, this was a decision that Aronofsky made, possibly out of spite, only after he realized he would never convince Hulk Hogan to take the role. Not when, as Hulk Hogan says, he’s turned down so many movie offers over the years that simply didn’t seem "right" for him, including starring in The Highlander, playing Little John in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights, and taking the lead in a crime drama he describes as “where I play this cop with a young partner like Brad Pitt who is in love with Pamela Anderson, and he gets killed in the line of duty and she falls in love with me and it gets really crazy.”
Again, that is not the Magic Marker scribbling of a bored and horny junior high boy circa 1996, but rather a real movie—much like The Wrestler—that Hulk Hogan was offered and turned down, as opposed to the movies that he actually made because they felt right, such as Mr. Nanny and Santa With Muscles. And while we're talking about things Hulk Hogan totally could have done but didn't, Hulk Hogan would also like to remind you that he was once such an accomplished bass player, and such close pals with Lars Ulrich, that Ulrich once "asked me if I wanted to play bass with Metallica in their early days but it didn't work out." Which is a slightly different version of the same story Hogan told in 2009, where he said he called Metallica and—as with his attempt to join the Rolling Stones—"never heard back either," but of course, back then that was probably just a diplomatic way of avoiding reminding Metallica of what he had denied them. And alas, such is the burden of a nation in the unyielding grips of Hulkamania, and only so much Hulk to parcel out.