Actor and Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista says he doesn’t want to be compared to fellow grapplers-turned-actors John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After gaining fame as the wrestler Batista in the WWE, where he claimed the World Heavyweight Championship belt no fewer than four times, Bautista has gone on to establish himself as a movie star in films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049. Later this year, he will appear with his fellow MCU superheroes in the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame.
Having proven himself in the wrestling ring, Bautista first turned to acting in 2006, later scoring lead roles in B-grade action movies with names like Wrong Side of Town and House of the Rising Sun. Bautista’s big break of course came when James Gunn cast him as the hilariously literal-minded Drax the Destroyer in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, a role he would reprise in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as well as Avengers: Infinity War. Last year saw Bautista taking his career to another level with roles in the dystopian sci-fi drama Hotel Artemis, the prison break movie Escape Plan 2: Hades and the action vehicle Final Score. Next up, Bautista will tackle the role of Rabban in Denis Villeneuve’s new version of Frank Herbert’s Dune.
Like John Cena and Dwayne Johnson before him, Bautista has now left his wrestling career behind and established himself as an actor. However, Bautista makes it clear that he doesn’t appreciate comparisons between himself and his fellow former grapplers who have become international movie stars. Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Bautista explained that he actually “hates” it when people lump him in with Cena and Johnson. As Bautista explained, “Those guys are wrestlers who became movie stars. I’m ... something else. I was a wrestler. Now, I’m an actor.”
Though Bautista acknowledges that box office giant Johnson has "something special," he also made it plain he's not impressed with Johnson's acting ability, saying, "Would I consider him a great actor? F--- no." Bautista then elaborated on what makes him different from his fellow former wrestlers, explaining that he is more about digging into roles and working with real filmmakers than being the center of huge action vehicles:
“I want good roles. I don’t care about Fast and Furious or Bumblebee. ... That’s not the kind of stardom I want. ... I want to be in Dune. I want to work with Denis Villeneuve. I want to work with Sam Mendes and Jodie Foster. I want to work with Academy Award winners. I’m proud to be a character actor. I want that respect and credibility and education.”
From Bautista’s perspective, Johnson and Cena haven’t yet paid their dues as actors, but are merely wrestlers who segued from being personalities in the ring to being personalities on screen. Bautista on the other hand believes that he has legitimately pursued the art of acting and it definitely seems to bother him when his work is compared to that of his former wrestling colleagues. It’s certainly true that a role like Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy requires more of a transformation than your standard Johnson or Cena performance, so perhaps Bautista has a point. On the other hand, Bautista has done his fair share of regular action roles as well, and there’s no question that his wrestlers’ physicality is still one of the main factors in his favor as a performer. Though he clearly considers himself a serious thespian, it may take some time before Bautista convinces the rest of the world that he's something more than a wrestler who turned to movies.
Source: Tampa Bay Times