Not to be hyperbolic, but Maryse and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin are objectively the coolest new parents on the planet; Mike, a reality show Real World transplant who worked his way up to become one of the best WWE villains of all time, and Maryse, a fluent-in-French Montreal native with a storied in-ring career of her own. And now, the couple have their own show to prove it. Miz & Mrs—which debuts on the USA Network July 24—follows the real-life pro wrestling royalty as they manage the birth of their first daughter, Monroe Sky Mizanin, while also living the globe-hopping, hard-hitting lifestyle of a WWE Superstar.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, Miz and Maryse discussed moving to a different state four days after the birth of their daughter, being parents while working within the hectic road schedule of the WWE, and how Miz & Mrs is more like The Office than it is The Real World.
Collider: How was Miz & Mrs presented to you, and what ultimately made you say, “yes”?
Miz: We did the Total Divas, and they saw that amazing chemistry between us. They saw the way we acted with one another. I think this was three years ago, we were asked to do our own spin-off reality show. And I still had kind of a…I wasn’t bitter at reality, it’s where I came from with The Real World. The Real World Challenges were amazing. However, Hollywood, back when I was on reality shows, did not like reality shows. We were always looked at as no talent, as nothing, it was garbage TV, yada yada yada. And that’s sort of where I came from. It was always a bad thing. That’s where I was at three years ago.
And then I started watching and learning and realizing that nowadays everything is a reality show. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. All the social media, I know what everyone is doing at any given part of the day. Then the fact that they came back three years later and said, “Hey, we would really like you to do this show, and not only that but you’ll have a say.” Once I heard we could be producers, that’s when I, as well as my wife, said, “Listen, this is a no-brainer.” We do what we want, when we want, how we want, and we’ll make this show what we want. We didn’t want to do a reality show, we wanted to do sort of a docu-series, where it shows what it’s like to be first time parents in the entertainment industry. We didn’t want it to be called “unscripted” or a “reality show,” because sometimes I feel like when people see that they go, “Oh that’s fake.” They’re judging it. And what I want people to think when they watch the show, and what I think Maryse thinks as well, we want you to watch it like you’d watch Curb Your Enthusiasm or The Office or Modern Family. We want you to watch, enjoy, relax, take a load off and slip out of your reality and enter ours. It’s a 30-minute comedy.
What were some specific things envisioned that separated the show from that idea of “reality TV”?
Maryse: Definitely the pregnancy.
Miz: The pregnancy. We had a move. A lot of the times reality shows don’t like people to break the fourth wall. With a docu-series or a documentary, everyone breaks the fourth wall because you’re talking to the camera quite a bit. The way I looked at it is, we’re in on it. We’re allowing you into our reality and we know there are cameras there. You know there are cameras there. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re just trying to make a shiny new wheel that evolves the genre into something new and better and fun. And we wanted to make it fun for ourselves to be honest.
Did living the hectic, year-round schedule of the WWE prepare you at all for parenthood?
Miz: I don’t think anything can prepare you for parenthood.
Maryse: You just have to live it.
Miz: I think all my friends always told me that you won’t get it until you become a parent. And you always look at that and go, “Okay, whatever, right.” Then when you become a parent you go, “This is what they’re talking about.” You really don’t have any idea. Us becoming parents, there’s a whole new part of my heart that I didn’t even know I had that is filled with love.
Maryse: He’s such a romantic.
Would you say having this show in your life in those first days of parenthood made it harder or added a bit of stability to the routine?
Maryse: We really enjoyed it, generally. I really had a good time, I get to be with my husband, and this is just our lives. It’s just documenting what we do at all times. But I was filming, and I was 39 weeks pregnant…ask any women, they’ll tell you that isn’t easy. And then I had Monroe, and then four days after I left the hospital I was packing up my house because we had to move out to Texas. So it’s the biggest changes in your life, you had a kid and you’re moving, and then the way we did it…everyone moves, everyone has kids, but the way we did it, the fact that ten days after [the birth] I was on a bus moving from LA to Austin? We had a day to do it, because Mike had to be back on the road because he was going to Saudi Arabia [for WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble]. So we had to do it in one particular day and we had just a particular amount of time to make it because he was leaving. Our lives are really hectic, and I think that’s challenging. If i was to do it over again I probably wouldn’t move right after I had a kid and I wouldn’t be packing four days after I left the hospital after having a C section. To be honest, it was the trip from hell, it was the worst trip of my life, and I’ve been on a lot of trips before. But I’m happy people will get to see it. For us, it wasn’t funny, but we watched it back and laughed about it.
Miz: It’s like we sat there and said, “You can’t write this.” The stuff that happened, it’s gonna’ look like it didn’t really happen. But it did.
What’s the biggest crossover between working in professional wrestling and working in quote-unquote reality TV?
Miz: At WWE, we work and we perform in front of a live audience every single day. We tell stories, we have larger than life characters. So when we set out to do this show, we knew the most important thing is story. You have to have a solid foundation story and you have to have great characters. That’s why we brought in Maryse’s mom, we brought in my mom and dad, because our parents…
Maryse: …are ridiculous.
Miz: They’re ridiculous. The relationships that we have are stuff that you can’t make up, you just have to witness it.
What do you want your daughter to take away from this show years into the future?
Maryse: Wow, my parents are frickin’ cool.
Miz: Honestly, I think it’s love. The love that we have and the sacrifice that we’re making to do everything we can to make sure that she has the life we want her to live. The number one thing my wife and I go through is trying to make sure that she’s happy. We want to give her the time. A lot of the time with WWE you’re on the road so much, like right now I’m looking at my schedule and thinking, “Okay, I can’t be doing this much.” I have to start calming down because I need her to know that I am there for her at all times.