The movie that tried to make Triple H a movie star

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  • Was the escort failure Triple H’s fault?

The Chaperone was a family film made by WWE Studios starring Triple H in his first film role. The film was a total flop, earning $14,000 on a whopping $3 million budget. So what was wrong? Triple H is certainly a popular wrestler, how could his film marketed directly to wrestling fans fail so badly?

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the chaperone

Let’s read the synopsis of the film:


Talented getaway driver Ray Bradstone (Triple H) is determined to get right, be a better parent to his daughter Sally (Ariel Winter), and make amends with his ex-wife, Lynne (Annabeth Gish). As Ray struggles to find honest work, he agrees to take one last job with his old team of bank robbers, led by Phillip Larue (Kevin Corrigan). Ray changes his mind at the last second, opting to chaperone a field trip with Sally’s class and leaving the thieves with no valid means of escape. The robbery is a disaster and now Ray has to deal with an enraged Larue as he drives a school bus full of kids.

The movie was pushed hard on WWE TV with multiple trailers on every episode of Raw and Smackdown for what felt like months. Upon its release, the film was panned by WWE critics and fans. CM Punk mocked the film several times on WWE TV during the Summer of Punk angle. In fact, almost everyone laughed at it, here are some criticisms:

“The Greatest Movie Triple H Has Ever Made – It’s Like Being the Smartest Kardashian”Adam Blampied

“Presumably there’s an audience out there for old-fashioned, poorly written, unevenly themed, family-friendly redemption stories featuring burly wrestlers and a bunch of kids, but it’s hard to imagine who”Ronnie Scheib

“The Chaperone is presented as a comedy, although no one seems to have told anyone”Nathan Rabin

The movie basically blew up WWE studios for a long time, with the studio becoming a laughing stock by casting their performers in ill-fitting lead roles. Who watches Triple H and sees the lead role in a family comedy?

The tone of the film was all over the place, judging by the poster and trailers, the film was pushed as a comedy filled with goofy jokes and hijinks. Although the movie itself doesn’t deliver on this, as the real-life story of Triple H’s team of bank robbers is played relatively straight forward with very few jokes to offer. There are no jokes, no madness, nothing at all. The film’s tone was pushed as light-hearted and family-friendly, though this contrasted greatly with the solemn plot of Triple H’s former inmate.

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Was the escort failure Triple H’s fault?

Movie failure is not at Triple H’s doorstep. Triple H said on To speak is Jericho that he hadn’t even read the script before signing on for the film. Around this time, Triple H made two consecutive films for WWE Studios, The Chaperone and Inside Out (Inside Out also failed), Batista was originally the lead for The Chaperone until he retires late in the game. On To speak is JerichoTriple H told how Vince McMahon came to his house and told Triple H, “I need you to leave tomorrow and go make this movie for Dave.” When Triple H replied, “Come on! I haven’t even read the script! Is that okay?!” Vince replied “I don’t know, I haven’t read it!”

So Triple H only committed to making the movie the day before shooting without even reading the script. The film was doomed from the start.

Triple H is definitely not a bad actor, his performance in this film is actually quite good, and he and Ariel Winter are able to rise above bad material. Triple H offers a better performance here than John Cena in his first film role, The Marine. Considering John Cena’s success as an actor these days, it’s certainly not impossible that Triple H could have had equal success had he stuck with acting. At the time there was rumors that Triple H was being considered for the role of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Chris Hemsworth (who eventually got the role), Daniel Craig and Kevin McKidd.

Playing Thor would certainly have been a boon to Triple H’s acting career, he certainly has the look for the role. While Triple H’s dedication to WWE is clear, it’s hard to imagine Triple H stepping away from WWE to continue performing full-time even though The Chaperone was a huge hit.

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