Ronda Rousey’s next challenge inside the Octagon comes this weekend against Holly Holm at UFC 193, but her biggest test might be filling Patrick Swayze’s shoes when she begins filming the re-imagining of "Road House" in 2016.
When she’s not assassinating her competition in a matter of seconds, Rousey has taken on a second career as an actress with parts in "The Expendables 3", "Entourage" and "Furious 7". Most recently, the dual-threat superstar signed on for the "Road House" remake with Nick Cassavettes on board to write and direct the film.
Rousey’s role in the movie will mirror Swayze from the original, and while the script is still being developed currently, she knows her version of the film will ultimately share some similarities but also a lot of differences.
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The biggest change being that Rousey, as a woman, will play the part once occupied by Swayze. But she says that was almost necessary because honestly there probably wasn’t an actor alive who could fill those shoes in the remake.
"I really think there’s no way that any other man could possibly be the Swayze," Rousey said. "You’d have to re-imagine it in some way because no one’s ever going to live up to him. I thought that rethinking the role as a female character would also be a really cool way to modernize it because before the whole ongoing ‘I thought you’d be bigger’ thing, it really was a theme throughout the movie and I think that’s a way to make it more modern."
As it turns out, "Road House" meant more to Rousey than just landing a leading role in a new film.
She looks back at her childhood and remembers watching movies like "Road House" with her father and that’s a bond that she’ll never forget. Now, Rousey gets to play a part in a movie she knows he would have loved, so there’s no chance she won’t give it everything to make the re-imagined film as good as possible.
"I always loved it because I’ve always been obsessed with martial arts movies and I grew up watching Westerns with my dad and I thought it was the perfect hybrid between a Western and a martial arts film," Rousey said.
"I’m going to do the best that I can do and that’s the best that I can do, but I am really confident that this is a project that everybody that loved the original and Swayze’s whole family could be proud of it and enjoy."
As far as her requests for the movie, Rousey is confident that Cassavettes will return a fantastic script for her to work with in the new version while still paying homage to the original.
While "Road House" wasn’t a commercial success when it was released, the 1989 film starring Swazye as a bouncer in a bar in the middle of a corrupted Missouri town soon became a cult classic on home video as well as syndication on cable.
The moment Rousey heard that there was a new version of the movie being pitched around Hollywood, she was not only interested in the role but according to the UFC champion, she sought it out for quite some time.
"It’s not something I took, it’s something that I pursued for like two years," Rousey revealed recently. "I want to [do] ‘Road House’! There is a lot of pressure because it is such a beloved movie, a cult classic and everybody loves it, but that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do it so much."
There’s still no word on how close the new movie will pair up to the original, but if there’s one part Rousey hopes she gets to emulate, it’s something Swayze was famous for in the movie.
"I think the hair flip," Rousey said with a laugh. "I’ve been training intensely to get it down. The Swayze whip is a skill in itself. I’ve gone into flip camp and I think after some intensive training, I’ll have it down."