When it comes to professional wrestlers making the transition to Hollywood, they tend to follow a familiar script. they get a few iterations with low-cost, low-budget action movies, and if they prove they’re capable actors, the blockbusters may come calling. (The alternative to sticking to the direct-to-video pipeline isn’t too bad, either: Adam Copeland, aka WWE’s Edge, recently starred in the movie; Money planea wonderful piece of pure garbage.) Not all wrestling alums will be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has repeatedly topped the list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, but he has laid the groundwork for a successful crossover between the two entertainment industries. like
While Johnson has transcended his WWE roots to the point where he’s flirting with an honest-to-God presidential run in the future, not every former wrestler aims to emulate his career. Just ask Dave Bautista. “I never wanted to be the next rock,” Bautista explained GQ:. “I just want to be a good actor. respected actor”. Putting aside the fact that his comments about Johnson could be taken as a verbal gag, Bautista’s recent roles, collaborating with the likes of Rian Johnson, Denis Villeneuve and M. Night Shyamalan has emphasized that he practices what he preaches. As a result, Bautista may be the first of its kind. wrestler turned character actor.
Although Bautista originally cut his teeth on the direct-to-video scene, early highlights include: Scorpion King sequel starring Kimbo Slice, it didn’t take long for him to find smaller roles in bigger projects. Prior to the call-up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (more on that later), Bautista’s most famous role was probably: Riddick, the third installment in Vin Diesel’s underrated sci-fi franchise. Richard B. Diesel Riddick is the undisputed star of the show, but Bautista could play second fiddle to Diaz, one of the many mercenaries hoping to take out the notorious outlaw for a big reward. Despite Bautista’s bona fides in the ring, his character never stood a chance against Riddick if it was impossible for Diesel to lose a fight. Fast & Furious in the film, that sentiment certainly extends to his other franchise work.
Meanwhile, his character was purposefully overplayed RiddickThe film showed that Bautista could serve as an imposing physical presence, the perfect asset for wrestlers trying to make it in Hollywood. This quality of an actor may seem one-dimensional, but it paved the way for Bautista to join James Bond privilege for a small but memorable appearance Spectre. Following the tradition of understatement Bond Henchmen like Jaws and Oddjob, Bautista played Mr. Hincks, the top hit man in the film’s eponymous criminal organization. Naturally, Mr. Hinks’ standout moment comes in a fight scene when he ambushes Daniel Craig’s 007 on a train and easily defeats him with brute force. Although Bond is a seasoned veteran of life-threatening scenarios, when he faces off against a human bulldozer while confined to a train, you feel he’s in real danger. Unsurprisingly, Bond inevitably gets the upper hand, but the icing on the cake is that it results in Mr. Hincks uttering his only line of dialogue in the entire film; When it comes to doing more with less, Bautista put on a masterclass in surpassing the relatively small spotlights he was given.
On paper, what raw physicality Bautista brought Spectre It seemed to be the biggest draw for Villeneuve when he cast the actor Blade Runner 2049 as Sapper Morton, a replicant followed by Ryan Gosling’s K at the beginning of the film. But even in his limited screen time, Morton is perhaps the closest the Villeneuve sequel comes to a character like Roy Batty, the weary android from the original film whose haunting aura evokes something far more human. (Bautista’s little glasses were a nice touch.) Blade Runner 2049 it was the film that opened new doors for him in Hollywood. More than any previous project, it proved that there was something for him as an actor beyond his vast scope. “It was the opportunity I was looking for because I don’t get offered many roles like this,” she said. Uproxx: 2021 of the movie “It was hard for people to see past my physicality.”
Of course, Bautista probably wouldn’t have been on Villeneuve’s radar in the first place if he wasn’t; Guardians of the Galaxy, which gave him a legitimately life-changing role as part of the MCU. Playing the warrior Drax, Bautista stands out as one of Marvel’s best (and most unexpected) sources of comic relief; a character whose calling card takes well-known phrases and metaphors very literally. “Nothing goes through my head,” Drax says in the first Guardians after Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon explains that the metaphors are, in fact, going over his head. “My reflexes are super quick, I’d catch it!” Bautista’s deadpan deliveries have made Drax a fan favorite in the MCU, but after starring in five films and a Disney+ holiday special, the actor is ready to leave the character for pastures new. (If it’s any consolation to Marvel fans, we’ll see the last of Drax when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: As for what Bautista’s post-Marvel slate actually entails, the past few years have provided an exciting glimpse into the next phase of his career; is finding more opportunities to collaborate with visionary authors.
In addition to reuniting with Villeneuve for the director’s two installments Sand dune adaptation. Bautista’s Glossu Raban doesn’t have much to do in the first film other than be humbled, so expect more from him in the sequel later this year; the actor had his most famous starring role in a Zack Snyder film. Army of the Dead. As Scott Ward, the leader of a team of mercenaries hired to retrieve $200 million from a casino vault in zombie-infested Las Vegas, Bautista imbues the character with gritty sensitivity as he tries to reconcile with his estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell). , in all the confusion. strangely, Army of the Dead He proved how much Bautista had developed as a performer; he could have played a mercenary in these types of films at any point in his career, but his role as the emotional anchor of the story proved that filmmakers were finally looking beyond his massive frame. .
To that end, when Johnson first conceived the character of Duke Cody Glass onion. knife out mystery, she envisioned some poor woman who overcompensated for her feelings of inadequacy by becoming a men’s rights activist. But in casting Bautista for the role, Johnson opened up something even more compelling: an insecure character in the body of an absolute tank. The contrast between how Cody presents himself to his online followers and his inferior behavior around alpha-like tech billionaire Miles Bronn (Edward Norton) adds an interesting wrinkle to the story, especially when Bautista’s character is fatally poisoned. hit Glass onionmurder mystery in high gear. It’s hard to stand out in a star-studded ensemble that features the likes of Norton, Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson and Janelle Monáe, but Bautista more than holds his own, further cementing his status as the greatest actor ever to come from wrestling. . (Rian Johnson, for his part, wholeheartedly agrees.)
But despite all these highlights, it’s Bautista’s lead role in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Knock in the cabin, it may be the actor’s most significant achievement to date. Paul G. Adaptation of Tremblay’s famous horror novel The cabin at the end of the worldThe film opens with four strangers, led by Bautista’s Leonard, holding a family of three hostage as they explain that one family member must willingly sacrifice himself to prevent the apocalypse. It’s a scary scenario, but before other home invasion movies are pretty clear about the intruders’ evil intentions (cf. Strangers, Quiet), which makes Knock in the cabin It’s so interesting that Leonard and Co. believe wholeheartedly that this sacrifice must be made for the greater good.
Bautista named the role the most difficult about his career and you can see where he’s coming from. Most of the tension Knock in the cabin It stems from the fact that Leonard, despite his nightmarish circumstances, seems so gentle and compassionate; midway through the film it is revealed that he has an education. The character is also a complete 180 from what Bautista used to do in a similar film SpectreLeonard tries to justify his actions with copious dialogue with the hostages, and Shyamalan gives the actor the full movie star treatment in close-ups at key moments. All in all, it’s the toughest test of Bautista’s acting skills, and he passes with flying colors.
Moving forward, Bautista has made it clear that she’s game for anything, already lamenting that she never got the chance to star in a rom-com. (To the movie heads of the world: Put this guy in a rom-com, and not just because you might end up on a Batista bomb.) Bautista’s biggest challenge is one that was never expected of a former professional wrestler. have such an extensive repertoire, even John Cena, another worthy WWE alum who became a successful actor, mostly excels at comedy roles. Ideally, whether he’s acting as a scene-stealer or helming another project as a leading man, Bautista will get more roles that showcase his range. As his past few years of working with big names have shown, Bautista belongs in a category of his own, and he won’t be relinquishing his title as the GOAT wrestler-turned-actor anytime soon.