Conor McGregor: Meryl Streep’s MMA Comment Gave Me a ‘Chip on My Shoulder’ During ‘Road House’ Shoot

Conor McGregor’s villainous performance in “Road House” is one of the most successful acting debuts from a professional athlete in recent memory, but the UFC star doesn’t want his Hollywood career to overshadow what he sees as the artistry of his mixed martial arts fighting.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor mentioned a comment made by Meryl Streep as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2017 Golden Globes, in which she drew a contrast between arts and combat sports.

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“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said in 2017. “And if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

McGregor explained that the comment stuck with him over the years and fueled him to pour his heart into his “Road House” role when he got the opportunity to try acting.

“Fighting is the most beautiful form of art, and you know, it’s a great thing to come into this game, which is also art,” McGregor said when asked about Streep’s comment. “I was really taken aback because fighting is an art. It’s brutal also, so I can understand. It’s not for somebody to make a mistake; it’s real artistry for those who do what we do, so I came in with maybe a little chip on my shoulder and wanting to represent my sport and my art, give my best in this arena.”

While the UFC icon was new to acting, he recently told IndieWire that the pedigree of the cast and crew surrounding him on “Road House” made for a very natural transition to Hollywood.

“Jake taught me many things about acting,” he said. “He was just so helpful, so patient. Liman, who I was taking my direction from, guided me on how he wanted the character. I made sure I gave a few different variations. I feel like I gave a few different versions of Knox. I, of course, was going to be unsure with which one they went with in the end, but when I saw the [final] movie and saw the choices, I understood what they wanted with the character. They are very happy with how Knox came out.”

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