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Conor McGregor eager for more Hollywood opportunities: ‘Think about the movies that you can make around me’

March 24, 20245 Mins Read

Conor McGregor may have been bitten by the acting bug.

The former two-division UFC champion recently made his big-screen debut opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the Hollywood remake of Road House, which released exclusively to Amazon Prime Video streaming on March 21. In the film, McGregor plays an over-exaggerated version of himself as the sneering antagonist Knox. McGregor’s performance has received generally positive reviews and “The Notorious” very much enjoyed the process.

“It was meant to be only five weeks, but when I got there and they were looking what they were seeing, the character started growing legs and arms, and then it just grew and the part grew,” McGregor said this past week on The MMA Hour. “They liked what they got, or what they were getting, and I was just doing what I was told. People think I just was playing myself — they were guiding me and I was giving them what they were asking for. For me, I felt like I gave them loads of versions.

“I was giving them multiple options, and I feel some of them they could probably pick better ones. You get me? I gave them loads of takes and I was probably hoping that maybe they could’ve veered the character a different way, but they wanted the character the way they wanted. They’re very, very happy with what they got. I gave them what they asked and I added my little splash. I am who I am — I’m show business, yeah?”

McGregor, 35, told MMA Fighting that his long-discussed but oft-delayed comeback fight against Michael Chandler is finally set to happen in the summer, but declined to reveal whether his previously declared date of June 29 remains the official target for the bout, stating that he’ll instead allow UFC to make the announcement. McGregor noted that details such as rounds and weight class also have yet to be determined, however he holds out hope that his return serves as the first of what could a two-fight year for him in 2024.

McGregor currently has two bouts remaining on his UFC deal, and hinted at the idea that his interest in pursuing further acting opportunities could create a unique — and challenging — dilemma for the UFC once the time arrives to negotiate a new contract.

“We have to talk,” McGregor said. “That’s what I’m saying — I don’t know and I don’t know whether they know what to come at me with. What can you come at me with? Hollywood now is lined up. I actually can play loads of roles. Think of the amount of movies I could do?

“There’s Arnold Schwarzenegger and then there’s Sylvester Stallone and then all these guys, and they have all these great movies made around them. Think about the movies that you can make around me. You know what I mean? That could be written around me. And don’t think [UFC executives] don’t know that. Don’t think they don’t know that this is all going on as well. So I don’t know what they’re going to come out me with. Like I said, Lorenzo [Fertitta] probably would’ve came after me already.”

“I really actually feel I could play any role,” McGregor later added. “And I almost, when I watch the movie and what way they chose to portray me as the character, and certain ways and takes they used, I knew where they were going — it almost made me [think], because I would’ve probably preferred other ones. You get me? And it probably made me a bit more eager to do another one. I actually felt like, you know what? I’d love to do another one now because we can do better, and I can also do something way different.

“So I was kind of getting excited about that and it’s nice to feel a bit of excitement. And then, a couple of days later, boom, top-10 highest paid actors of 2023 — [Adam] Sandler, Margot Robbie and all them. And I was like, [I better] start cracking away at that one as well. Ari Emanuel was on the phone to me, you know I have a great relationship with Ari, and these guys have big things planned. And I’m excited and we’re all excited, and let’s rock on.”

Despite his excitement revolving around the Road House release and his star turn on the silver screen, McGregor assured that MMA will always remain his primary passion.

The fight game lives within him, he said, and that will never change.

“It’s my life, it’s what I love to do. Look at it. I’m doing this forever,” McGregor said. “I’m going to do this forever. I’ll be recalibrating my competition.

“I actually related with when Mike Tyson fought Roy Jones Jr. — he was retired for so, so long, and he was asked in an interview around the Roy Jones Jr. fight, ‘What do you think Cus D’amato would say to you, Mike, now that you’re coming back after all these years?’ And you know what he said? He said, ‘Cus D’amato would say, what took you so long?’ And that made me f****** — I got goose pimples all over my body.”

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