Video: Hulk Hogan, family man

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Legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan and his daughter Brooke joined ‘Scarborough Country’ host Joe Scarborough on Friday to talk about their experiences during filming of their new reality show on VH1.

Their new show leaves much of Hulk’s wrestling past behind, concentrating primarily on his family’s inner workings. In this light, even his rippling physique and dominating reputation can’t hide his normal, everyday family problems.

Hulk balances his career with those of both his son and daughter, using his own popularity and television clout to help them gain exposure.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Move over Osbournes, there’s a new reality family in the house, the Hogans, as in Hulk Hogan — one of the forefathers of professional wrestling, and his family has a new show.  It debuted last Sunday on VH1.

HULK HOGAN:  We’re kind of like the anti-Osbournes, even though we do have the love and support like the Osbournes do, we don’t have the rehab and the drugs, but my family’s crazier than the Osbournes. My son is 14.  He’s an actor; he has a second little movie going.  Plus, he wrenches on these import cars and builds motors, and he plays drums. He surfs and does wake-boarding. 

Brooke has a music career going.   She’s been beating the music business up for four-and-a-half years.  We’re still trying to find the bridge.  My wife is kind of like the head boss of the house.  I think I’m the laborer of the house.  I’m still wrestling, messing around, doing a lot of other things like that with TV.

We just have an all-American family with the same problems that everybody else has - with the neighbors, with the city, schoolwork, and just the normal everyday things that happen to us.  When I come home, that red and yellow crap stays outside.  And I’m dad. 

BROOKE HOGAN:  But our family life is still turned up a notch or two.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I was going to ask you, Brooke, how tough is it being raised in the glare of celebrity?  You look at most kids that are going through middle school, the beginning of high school, and things are tough enough for them as it is, but you add celebrity, you add the glare of the spotlight, and it’s got to be a lot tougher.  How did your father operate and get you through those tough times? 

B. HOGAN:  Oh my goodness.  In school, I never really had any friends because I was always taller and blonder, and I was Hulk Hogan’s daughter.  So there was a lot of kids that, you know...   

SCARBOROUGH:  I tell you, I lived in Florida, too; people just hate tall blondes in high school. 

B. HOGAN:  You know, I don’t know, I wasn’t the social butterfly.  My dad would always just re-encourage me - he would just encourage me and say, “You know what, Brooke, it’s going to be OK; they’re just jealous.  You’ll grow into your own skin, in time.”  He’s like my best friend.  He’s good support. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But he’s also, I understand, that he wasn’t growing up interested in being a great friend as much as being a tough disciplinarian.  

B. HOGAN:  That’s true, my parents, both my mom and dad know that parenting comes first.  A lot of parents are very, very scared that their kids won’t want to be their friend.  And that’s really not the point of being a parent.  You have to be a parent and rear your children.  I’m coming to that age now where I kind of understand why they reprimand me and why they are so overprotective.  

H. HOGAN:  You guys are putting all this on me.  The truth is, I’m easy.  My wife, Linda, if you get out of line with her, bam, you’ll get it.  Her dad was an LAPD officer for 30 years.  Everybody in their family were police officers.  My wife made sure these kids grew up nice and tall.  They didn’t grow up crooked.  She’s the tough one of the family.  And I’m kind of like, when they get in trouble they’ll come to me, you know.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, how difficult was it to be a celebrity?  You’ve got your thing going on, your daughter, of course, again, running around with a music career.  Your son also, as a 14-year-old starting his own career.  But unlike the Osbournes, you don’t have drugs, sex and rock and roll.  You don’t have all of this chaos going on.  How difficult is it to remain sane in a fairly insane environment? 

H. HOGAN:  You know, I don’t mean to say we thrive on stress, but we all like to work.  Our family has just a work ethic.  We’re relentless, all of us.  I don’t know where that came from, but it must be in the water or something. 

I mean, you know, the celebrity thing, it wasn’t weird having Hulk Hogan as a father because when Brooke or Nick came home from school, the Macho Man was there, Andre the Giant, Vince McMahon was running around the house, working out with me.  So it was kind of normal to have a wrestler as a father around my house, and in my neighborhood where we live, I’ve lived there my whole life, so people know me as Terry, not so much Hulk Hogan.  So it is kind of normal. 

The one thing that kind of worried me was when I became a famous wrestler and I was doing a lot of TV, and kids movies and stuff, I was worried about my kids.  Sometimes, the world is different than when I grew up.  There are people that are on the edge and a little off their rocker, and I didn’t want anything weird happening with my kids.  But it’s a tradeoff. 

There’s the upside and the downside of being in the spotlight and the public eye.  It’s something that’s in my kids’ spirit.  Like this music isn’t just a phase, like ice skating or soccer was.  My son’s acting, this is something he’s been driving me crazy to do for years. We didn’t push the kids in these directions.  So when it came to Hogan knows best, to put my daughter on an even playing field with Hillary Duff, Lindsay Lohan or the Simpson sisters, in a way, TV is kind of like the new radio, because you need that platform, you need that launching pad to at least have an even start with all these other kids, so it comes with the territory. 

But the thing is, you have to be smart about it.  And most people nowadays are - even if they’re really aggressive they’re just excited. 

SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you this question:  You were asked to do this a few years back after the Osbournes came out and exploded.  You decided not to do it.   Are you doing it now in part — I mean, you obviously don’t need it.  You have all the fame; you have all the notoriety that you’ll ever need. Are you doing it, in part, to help your children’s career? 

H. HOGAN:  Yes. Yes, I am.  The honest truth is, yes, I am.  Three or four years ago, when the Osbournes were red hot, I had all the networks approach me to do a reality show about Hulk Hogan, the wrestler and the dad.  And, you know, when they lay the whole premise on me of having craft services and all the cables running through my house, and 40 and 50 people with grips, and everybody in and out of the  house, 12, 14-hour days, I didn’t want anything to do with  it.  I didn’t want to trade the privacy that I had for the extra notoriety that may come like an overloaded burden on me. 

But then the kids wanted to do this.  When I suggested it after we did a one-hour special called “Inside Out: Hulk Hogan Stage Dad,”—it got great ratings on VH1.  Then they approached us about a little series—I ran it by the family and they wanted to do it.  It’s great having all of us together.  Usually, I’m sitting here by myself.  But it’s great having my family with me.  It’s really cool, because it’s something that they wanted to do.  We loved doing it, and we miss our friends in the crew.  We made friends with the cameramen and everybody. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But how crazy was it, Brooke?  How disrupting was it to your family life—you wake up in the morning, you walk downstairs, there’s a camera there.  You come home from school, there’s a camera... 

B. HOGAN:  Actually, it really was not bad at all.  It was actually a great experience.  I’m not just saying that.  It really was fun.  I had something to look forward to, because at the time I was home schooling.  I’ve graduated now.  But at the time, I was home schooling, and it was kind of for the series you had to stay home.  You couldn’t like travel or do anything.   So I was just home every day.  My room is like right downstairs from the driveway, and I could hear all the camera people coming in the morning.  It was kind of like something to look forward to.   

It’s kind of nice to look forward to something, and it’s like having your friends there every day. 

H. HOGAN:  You know they do catch you off guard though.   Several mornings, I would wake up and they’d already be in the room.  I’d wake up, you know with Bozo hair, walk around drinking my coffee for like a half-hour look in the mirror, and be like, Yikes.  They were filming me, you know.

And a couple of times I went down to my gym, and I’m half asleep.  The first thing I do is train in the morning.  I’ve got my own washing machines down there where I wash my gym clothes.  I went down there and accidentally pulled my pants down one time and went, “Oh my God.”  I didn’t even realize the cameras were there because I forgot about it.  They were there every day, so it does have its downside. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you have next as far as your music career goes?  Obviously, you’ve got a budding music career.  It’s going very well for you.  What are your plans now? 

B. HOGAN:  Well, actually, we just started working with Larry Rudolph, that was working with Brittany for about 10 years.  We have great producers.  He’s hooked me up with great writers like Max Martin, Shelly Piken , Kathy Dennis really great writers, really great people.  We’re just having a lot of fun.  I’m getting to write, and it’s great. 

H. HOGAN:  We’re still trying to break through.  I mean, I thought the wrestling business was tough, but this music business is a tough one.  We still aren’t over the hump yet.  We’re still fighting hard, and things don’t come easy. 

Catch 'Scarborough Country' each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

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