“I’m the bad guy in WWE, which I find hilarious,” The Miz said.
The Miz is the best heel in WWE, but now he’s playing a total babyface as the protagonist on his reality show, Miz & Mrs.
The show, which premiered last week after SmackDown on the USA Network and has its second episode drop Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET, captures the personality, spirit, and perseverance of Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and his wife, Maryse.
“When I first got to WWE, people thought I was going to be fired within three months,” said The Miz. “No one liked me, no one wanted me there, whether it was the fans or the people backstage. I had to fight and fight and fight to earn my spot. Through hard work and dedication, I proved everyone wrong.
“And I’m the bad guy in WWE, which I find hilarious.”
His odyssey, with himself as Odysseus and Maryse playing the role of Penelope, is an underdog story against the many forces of nature in the WWE.
“This show is really a ‘feel good’ kind of story,” said The Miz. “I started off on the The Real World, and no one thought I would amount to anything. Then, all of a sudden, coming into this and pursuing my dream of becoming a WWE superstar, and also doing movies, hosting, and now my own show with my wife.”
An integral part of Miz & Mrs is the relationship between The Miz and Maryse, who are real-life partners, as well as their first foray into parenthood. The show filmed while Maryse was pregnant, and the couple now has a beautiful baby daughter, Monroe Sky Mizanin, who was born in March.
“She’s the best, most beautiful baby,” said the Montreal-born Maryse. “She’s already fluent in two languages so far.”
“She speaks more French than I do,” added a happy Miz. “She smiles every time Maryse speaks French to her, it’s really sweet.”
Even as a first-time mother, Maryse noted that she was not intimidated by the constant sight of cameras. Almost eight years of work with the WWE fully prepared for the stresses and strains of reality television.
“You never know what to expect when you get pregnant, but my pregnancy went really well,” said Maryse. “Hopefully, if I get pregnant again, which I would love to, it goes it as well as this did.
“The hardest part was working on the show when I was nine months pregnant. I didn’t realize how tiring the pregnancy would make me, but that was the beauty of it. Everyone watching the show sees exactly how it is. I was so extra pregnant, but it’s pretty funny to look back.”
The opportunity to document becoming parents is a part of the show that The Miz is extremely eager to show the television world.
“This was an opportunity to document what it’s like to be first-time parents in the entertainment industry,” said The Miz. “We actually get to see our baby getting born on television, and we’ll have this for the rest of our lives. It’s really cool to see people enjoying the show. We love the show, but to hear such great feedback, I’ve never had so many positive reviews.”
“I’ve been playing a villain for the past 12 years, but it’s really nice to work on a project and have everyone love it,” added Maryse. “That makes us want to do more.”
Like with any popular television show, the supporting cast plays a critical role in whether the show is a hit. The Miz is confident that his supporting actor—George Mizanin, better known as “The Miz’s dad”—will shine on screen.
“My dad is a character,” said The Miz. “You’ll meet him on this week’s episode Miz & Mrs. His name is George Mizanin. Everyone else in the family pronounces the ‘Miz-anin,’ but my dad pronounces it ‘Mi-zanin.’ No one knows why.”
Maryse’s mother, Marjo, also plays an important role in the show.
“There is no one more ‘rock-n-roll’ than my mom,” said Maryse. “She’s another real life-character.”
The Miz added that his father and Maryse’s mom have stirred something of a debate in the family.
“We’re trying to figure out if Marjo or my dad will get the first spin-off,” said The Miz. “That’s what we’re spending time figuring out.”
The Miz has had an eventful summer, building to a match with Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam this August, winning the MVP of MLB’s Celebrity Softball All Star Game in July, and premiering his new television show.
“I surprised the hell out of myself when I got MVP for the 2018 All Star Legends Celebrity game,” said The Miz. “I had no idea I was going to get that. I was also surprised by the reviews of our show. I know we put a lot into the show, but I didn’t know what people were going to think.
“Watching other shows, I compare everything, and I just can’t look at other reality shows like ours. This show is more like a sitcom, more like a comedy than just another show in the reality series realm. The goal was to look completely different and look different.
“Before we started, Maryse and I both said that we did not want to be sitting at a table for 20-minutes while people are watching us talk at a dinner table. That’s what all reality shows are now, with interviews in-between. We wanted to get rid of the drama and have more fun.”
The show still offers a healthy portion of wrestling-related content, while also shows the couple’s personalities away from the universe of WWE programming.
“We did a mix between both, but we wanted to give you more of an inside scoop and twist than Total Divas or Total Bellas,” said The Miz. “We wanted to put our own spin on it, and I think we did a good job with it.”
In a television world overflowing with options, both The Miz and Maryse believe that Miz & Mrs will resonate with audiences because of its compelling content.
“Every other reality show is so freakin’ dramatic, I feel like they bring me down,” said Maryse. “Miz & Mrs makes people laugh.”
“You can get out of your reality, enter ours, and just laugh at it,” said The Miz. “That’s what we set out to do: laugh and enjoy. This is the perfect show for that.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.