Former UFC champion Conor McGregor explains why he rejected multiple movie offers before Road House

Conor McGregor in Road House (2024).
(Image credit: Prime Video/Amazon MGM Studios)

One of the biggest draws of the Road House reimagining is the acting debut of MMA fighter and former UFC champion Conor McGregor. However, as he tells Total Film in our new issue, which features Road House on the cover, this is by no means the first film offer he's received. 

"I had turned down a good few roles in my time on the climb," he tells us in our cover feature on the movie, out this Friday. "I’ve had directors show up at fight camp, really beautiful directors doing really top-end movies… And over and over, they’d come to me, and I always turned them down… I’d leave people a little high and dry. I probably have a few enemies out there that I don’t really know of because I had said, 'I might do it.'"

The Road House reimagining, helmed by Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, is different, he says. McGregor plays a new character Knox, who is brought in to clean house and take out Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal). The character introduces chaos to the story, while his very real fighting skills add a sense of danger to the film.

"I was just in awe of it all, to be honest with you, the whole process," McGregor adds of making his film debut. "I didn’t know how I was going to take to it. I didn’t know whether I was going to like it, to be honest. I’m a fighting man – that’s my bread and butter. It’s where I come from… I’m not an actor, but I’m show business. That was my vibe to it. I felt that. I enjoyed every second of it."

Road House premieres on Prime Video on March 21. For exclusive interviews with Gyllenhaal, McGregor and many more, including the team behind the film’s groundbreaking new fighting style, check out the new issue of Total Film when it hits stands on March 1 (landing on a Friday, rather than a Thursday for a change).

Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Road House covers

(Image credit: Prime Video/Amazon MGM Studios/Total Film)

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(Image credit: Universal/Warner Bros./Prime Video/Amazon MGM Studios/Focus Features)
Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.

With contributions from