Ventura book signing in Huntington
Jesse Ventura's career arc has included being a feather-boa-draped professional wrestler (aka "The Body"), battling an invisible alien with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 movie "Predator" and serving as governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. And now there's even talk of President Ventura -- not surprisingly from Ventura himself.
"In the 2016 election, if you can get me in the debates, I'll be your next president," says Ventura, 62, who says he's been urged to run as an independent candidate. (He's reportedly considered shock jock Howard Stern as a running mate.)
But before his hat officially gets thrown into the ring (no, not that ring), Ventura will be at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington tomorrow talking up his new nonfiction book, "They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK" (Skyhorse, $24.95). In a telephone interview from his Minnesota home, Ventura told us what he has in store for the audience.
Reading your book about the Kennedy assassination, it's hard not to get angry.
Good. A coup d'etat took place that day. They replaced our president not with a vote but with a bullet. So you should get angry.
But what's the point of digging this up again? We already went through it with the Oliver Stone movie "JFK."
It's high time for the truth. I'm big enough, I can take it. But I wanna know it. People say, well, why do you keep dredging up something that happened 50 years ago? Because it's still relevant today. If they can kill our president and get away with it, then what can't they do?
What will you present at the Cinema Arts Centre?
It'll be typical Jesse Ventura. I'm not going to plan anything. When I ran for governor of Minnesota, I never used a prepared speech. . . . You're gonna get me unscripted. I'll probably do mostly a Q&A because that way you talk about what people wanna talk about. If they have a question, I'll answer it or do the best I can. I may be giving a little of my background and tell them how the Kennedy killing intrigued me because that's kind of fun to know.
Do you think we'll ever know the truth about what happened to Kennedy?
Never. Because mainstream media won't allow it.
Is this your first visit to Long Island?
I was out on Long Island doing my "Conspiracy Theory" show for truTV . . . when we investigated Plum Island. [And] I wrestled at Nassau Coliseum a couple of different times way back in the mid-'80s.
You've been a professional wrestler, a governor, a visiting fellow at Harvard, bestselling author, TV show host. How do you manage to make all these successful transitions?
I have all the respect in the world for people that can do one job for 30 or 35 years and retire . . . but that isn't for me. I do something and after about four or five years I lose interest and look to do something else. Maybe it's simply the fact that I don't want to get -- I'm 62 now -- I don't want to get to, say, age 75, if I'm lucky enough to be here that long, and say "woulda, coulda, shoulda." So, I try everything. Because to me that's what life is about. Life is about going out and experiencing things and doing things and becoming what you're not supposed to be and challenging the status quo and being a vigilant citizen. About every four years or so I'm looking to do something new.
Were you brought up as a free thinker?
I don't know if that was by design, but all I know is my father was. . . . I remember times at the dinner table when my mom would actually send my dad in the basement for being too vocal with his opinion. I probably inherited a lot of that. I've had people tell me I'm very much like my father.
You made a film, "The Drunk," in which you play a governor. Have you thought about going back to movies like Arnold Schwarzenegger?
If I get an offer. I'm still an upstanding member of the Screen Actors Guild. I'm a card-carrying union member. They thought I was the perfect one to play the role of an independent governor leaving office. I guess I had some experience at it.
WHERE | WHEN Saturday at 2 p.m., Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington
INFO $20; 800-838-3006, cinemaartscentre.org