Big E Talks About His New Short Film 'Bridges'

Big E's Creative Leap into Animated Storytelling Unveiled.

by Atia Mukhtar
Big E Talks About His New Short Film 'Bridges'
© WWE/YouTube

In an inspiring pivot from his celebrated tenure in the wrestling ring, former WWE Champion Big E, known outside the squared circle as Ettore Ewen, is channelling his creative energy into a poignant new endeavour. Despite facing a potentially career-halting neck injury early last year, Ewen is making waves with a deeply personal short film venture, "Bridges," which he discussed in depth on the "UnDrafted AllStarz Podcast Show." Amidst the societal upheaval following George Floyd's death, Ewen found himself in profound conversations with friends about their encounters with law enforcement and the broader challenges faced by the Black community.

Compelled to harness his influence for a more significant cause, Ewen partnered with Jonathan Davenport, the artistic force behind New Day's distinctive ring attire, to craft wrestling gear emblazoned with Black historical icons styled after the educational classic "Schoolhouse Rock." This gear struck a chord, igniting curiosity among fans from all walks of life and spurring Ewen to extend his outreach.

Animating Empowerment: Bridges

Ewen, alongside Davenport—who penned and directed—and collaborator Andreas Hale, has since produced an animated short that he holds in high esteem. "Bridges" aims to celebrate Black history through a refreshing lens, focusing on empowerment and enlightenment rather than sorrow.

A central figure in the narrative is Ruby Bridges, whose courageous steps into an all-white school in 1960 marked a seminal moment in the civil rights movement. Rather than tread the well-worn path of historical trauma, "Bridges" endeavours to captivate and educate, employing elements of hip-hop, science fiction, and animation to recontextualize these stories for a new generation.

Ewen's vision is a future where children are well-versed in the legacies of figures like Ruby Bridges and James Baldwin. This aspiration seems increasingly urgent in places like Florida, where Ewen believes there's a concerning trend to diminish or deny these critical chapters of history.

Ewen's commitment to ensuring these narratives endure is evident in the project's innovative approach, blending the notion of a nine-foot robot and a futuristic museum with the profound impact of historical truth. "Bridges" isn't just a film; it's an educational tool, a beacon of remembrance, and a testament to the enduring spirit of those who have paved the way for progress.

As Big E puts it, the essence of the project is "to teach our kids these stories because they need to know." In doing so, Ewen extends the legacy of "Schoolhouse Rock" into the modern era, promising to make the history of resilience and triumph as engaging as essential.

Big E