MACON, Ga. — Some Central Georgia wrestlers are taking their skills from the ring to the silver screen.
Georgia Independent Professional Wrestling has only been around since February, but around 10 of their wrestlers have already starred in a movie.
They appeared as extras in 'The Peanut Butter Falcon,' starring Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson. The movie is about a boy with Down syndrome that runs away from a nursing home to follow his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler.
Eric Dees, owner and a wrestler with GIPW, says the movie actually sought them out.
"They saw us on YouTube and they were looking for a wrestling ring, and they were just like, 'These are our guys, we want them," Dees said. "So they contacted us.... We thought it was a joke, but we took the opportunity and it worked out."
The movie was shot in Savannah, and while Dees and other wrestlers were in the background, Tony James, who's been wrestling since 2011, found himself front and center.
"He actually has a scene where he's in the ring wrestling," Dees said. "It's near the end of the movie."
Dees and James say filming was a lot of long days.
"I spent two days in full-blown makeup, fake blood and everything, and didn't do anything on the first two days. I just sat there," James said with a laugh.
But their hard work did pay off. They got to meet some of the stars in the movie like LaBeouf, Johnson, rapper Yelawolf, Mick Foley, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
"It wasn't what I expected, most of them didn't act any different, they were just regular people," James said.
As a company, Dees and James say between media buzz about them and the movie, their shows at the Thirsty Turtle in downtown Macon have been successful.
"Our crowd this past Sunday was twice the size of what we normally have, so it definitely has helped," James said.
As far as the future, they're looking forward to hosting a kid-friendly show at Grubb and Stuff in Macon in October. Their next show at the Thirsty Turtle is Sunday, September 29 at 4 p.m.
GIPW is hosting a meet and greet Sunday at AmStar Macon off Zebulon Road from 1-4 p.m. You'll be able to see the movie, meet the wrestlers, and get your picture taken in the ring used in the movie.
You can find out more about Georgia Independent Professional Wrestling on Facebook.