Imagine being an unusually tall, skinny kid, dealing with braces, puberty and peer pressure, then top it off with dyslexia. Imagine the fear and panic that would set in during class knowing that your turn is coming and you can’t read the paragraph. You practice reading the paragraph to yourself over and over again so that you could avoid the predictable embarrassment you would feel when the class snickered behind your back only to have the kid in front of you read the paragraph you practiced.
Yes, this is a real person’s story, but wait ‘til you see him now. Oh!, you have seen him - millions have seen him – as Sabretooth in X-Men, Michael Myers, the gruesome lead in Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween and many Santa Clarita residents have seen him as husband, dad and pet lover walking his dog on the paseos around Santa Clarita. Malta, the eight month old, 115-pound English Mastiff “puppy” will probably top out around 180 pounds, but her father tipped the scales at 240, so she’s just the right size pet for Tyler Mane who is 6’ 8” tall and weighs in at 265 pounds. (Down from his high of 348.)
Tyler, with drive and determination, rose above his early childhood challenges to become a professional wrestler and well-known Hollywood actor.
Growing up in Saskatoon, Canada, the eight year-old, tall, skinny kid who was always picked on dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler, so he enrolled in martial arts classes. For the next 10 years, he dedicated himself to karate, kung fu, tae kwan do and judo. At the age of 18, he played semi-pro football but his childhood dream of becoming a wrestler beckoned him. He began his training in Calgary at the age of 19 for a profession in that grueling, but entertaining arena.
He wrestled throughout the world, in the WCW and UWF as the mad, mean Big Sky with tag team partner Kevin Nash and as the evil Nitron. At the same time, Tyler Mane began to fulfill another childhood dream— acting.
“The transition from professional wrestler to actor was a pretty natural one,” says Mane, “Wrestling is performed on the hardest stage in the world—the four sided kind—where you can’t hide anything. It’s all out there for the world to see. As a wrestler, you create a character in the ring.”
Despite Tyler Mane’s size and intimidating persona, he’s really quite a likeable guy and quick to smile, something he doesn’t do much in photographs. Maintaining his intimidating persona is important. His screen roles have always cast him as the villain, but he grins, “I’m not really such a bad guy, I’m just misunderstood.”
In 2000, while at a Wizard World Comic Book convention in Chicago, Tyler met Renae Geerlings. Renae was the editor in chief of Top Cow comic books and Tyler was attending to promote X-Men.
The whole comic book relationship is coming full circle for Tyler and Renae who married in September 2007 and have formed their own production company, Mane Entertainment. They are planning to go into production sometime early next year on a project called “Penance Lane”. Tyler will star in the movie which was written by Munier Sharrieff, famed comic book author.
For you die-hard “Halloween” fans, the 3-CD version will be available this October just in time for the holiday and will include additional footage and alternative endings. Watch for it!
If you like to hang out in gyms, with boxing rings and heavy bags, look around…you just might run into Tyler. He’s preparing for an upcoming role for an undisclosed project that should be announced shortly.
Staying in shape and supporting numerous charitable organizations including The Heart Foundation, Lilli Claire Foundation (for children with neurogenetic diseases) and the American Cancer Society keep Tyler busy in his spare time. He says, “I believe it’s important to be an example and give back to the community. It’s great to get out there and meet the kids you’re helping.”
Tyler’s advice to kids, “follow your dreams and ignore your doubts ‘never give up, never surrender’ and they (your dreams) will come true.” A philosophy that he is instilling in his own two children.
Truth is, Tyler Mane couldn’t be more different than the characters he portrays. He has truly risen above it all…not just in stature, but in life.
For more information, visit www.tylermane.com.
photo by grins 2 go - on location photography/movie photos courtesy tyler mane