The Undertaker, whose real name is Mark William Callaway, has admittedly lived his life close to the character he played in WWE. Undertaker’s gimmick has been well played by Callaway, influencing wrestling fans around the world.
The Undertaker opened up about his upbringing during an interview with Ryan Satin of the Out of Character Podcast. He spoke about how his interests as a child gave shape to the legendary WWE character he played.
“I was always into scary stuff, I liked scary movies and I was always enthralled by mystery and scares,” Undertaker said. “When I was a kid, it was more theater of the mind. Later on, the movies went into full gore and they didn’t leave anything for you to think about, they showed you everything.”
The Deadman shared that he had family members who worked at a funeral home, which led to him spending time around caskets and in embalming rooms (the room in a funeral home where they prepare the body before the service and burial).
“Early on they would cut things off and just kind of let your mind figure it out so I was always fascinated, even with death. There was a time where I had family members that actually worked in a funeral home so I was around caskets and in embalming rooms. Little did I know at that point where my career and future was going to go but it’s funny how things work out. The Undertaker is a lot of things blown up to the 100th degree for sure.”
Callaway’s childhood experiences certainly helped him make the incredible Undertaker character into an icon. The Deadman reminisced about a funny incident that happened with his first peek into a casket. and shared the following story,
“Kindergarten probably,” Taker said, regarding the earliest memories he has of being in an embalming room. “It’s nuts, it’s crazy how things work out. I remember as a little kid they were going to have a service and they had already brought out the casket, the deceased was in the casket but the service wasn’t going to start for a couple of hours.
“There was nobody in the chapel and my little morbid self decided to go up and see up close. I worked my courage up, worked my way up to this casket, peaked in, and could’ve sworn the corps inside moved and I took off like a scalded rabbit. It’s just funny, it’s funny what life prepares you for.”
Most of the Undertaker’s career, if not entire, revolved around casket matches, funeral references, tombstones and urns, and several more references to the otherworldly things. Taker also talked about the times when he used caskets backstage.
“On more than one occasion, I may or may not have pulled out a casket and taken a nap in there and didn’t think anything about it,” Undertaker said. “I had some big caskets, some big opponents early on so I had some big caskets that they had around so they served a dual purpose at times.”
Undertaker is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. For his contributions to sports entertainment, he is set to be inducted into the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame at this year’s WrestleMania in Dallas, Texas. The Deadman will be inducted by the boss Vince McMahon himself.
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