8 Actors You Didn't Know Were Wrestlers

Those who swapped headlocks for headshots.

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20th Century Fox

Acting. It's a noble profession, but it's a tough one. There're only so many leading man parts dangling from the boughs of Tinseltown's opportunity trees ('opportunitrees', if you will), but oh so many of takers. So it goes without saying, that any starry-eyed hopeful looking to one day achieve that ultimate ambition of squishing their mitts into a slab of Hollywood Boulevard's finest cement needs just that extra edge to get ahead.

Blackmail and bribery are time-honoured traditions, but bullying is even better (and much cheaper than half a dozen knock-off watches. It's supposed to be Rolez, honest). Having a background as a bruiser doesn't harm a budding thesp's cause whatsover - just so long as you don't mind been typecast as a henchman. Why do you think Vinnie Jones has 'starred' in more than one movie? He's not exactly troubling any awards' ballots.

Being a pro-wrestler is the perfect preparation. The sport's illegitimacy hasn't stopped it churning out a bastardload of toughmen ripe to intimidate Hollywood casting directors, and the amateur theatrics picked up along the way simply aid the transition from canvas to celluloid. It's no surprise to learn that cinema history is awash with those who swapped headlocks for headshots.

But believe it or not, some mad lads have went in the other direction, ditching a life of luvvies for one of leotards. You gotta ask why, really. Or in the case of Zeus, "good Lord, why?"

8. Brian Glover

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United Artists/ITV

Brian Glover's key strength as an actor was portraying, in his words, a "bald-headed, rough-looking Yorkshireman" - mostly because he was one.

When he wasn't bellowing imprecations and belting footballs at muddy schoolkids in Ken Loach's 1969 classic falconry flick Kes, Glover was a regular between the ropes under the guise 'Leon Arras, the Man from Paris.'

The name was nabbed from a no-show one evening, and despite his thick Barnsley accent, no one caught on to Glover's ruse. Arras was every bit the archetypal World of Sport bone-bender, relying on comedy and character in lieu of athleticism, skills which would serve him well when he transitioned to the big screen.

A total novice in Kes, Glover's natural proclivity for theatrics soon saw him cast in a multitude of high-profile roles, including - quite bizarrely - that of Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ancient Athens and South Yorkshire: they're not so different.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.