Filmmaker Rian Johnson speaks highly of Dave Bautista (Batista).
The former World Heavyweight Champion was one of WWE‘s top stars before he left the company in 2010. He has returned to WWE twice over the years, but he has otherwise focused on building his acting career. “The Animal” landed a breakout role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy and several subsequent films, and his stock has continued to rise ever since. As a result, Bautista followed in the footsteps of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hulk Hogan, and others as a wrestler who has become a successful actor. In recent years, John Cena has also continued this trend. While Johnson and Cena have become huge successes at the box office, Bautista has previously made it clear that he wants to follow his own path and showcase his skills in various ways.
In an interview with David Sims of The Athletic, Johnson praised the former WWE star after they worked together on “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”. Johnson named Bautista as the person who surprised him the most and noted that he was “smitten” by the idea of using him for the role. He also complimented Bautista’s acting chops.
“Dave Bautista,” Johnson said. “When I was writing [his character, a men’s-rights streamer named Duke Cody], I was picturing a scrawny dude who’s trying to overcompensate. When Bautista was brought up, I was instantly so smitten by the idea. I’ve been a very big fan of his dramatic chops as an actor.
Johnson then agreed with the claim that Bautista is the greatest actor-to-wrestler ever. He emphasized the combination of his impressive physical “trappings” and his remarkable sensitivity in his approach to the role.
“I absolutely 100 percent agree. I think somebody like [Paul Thomas Anderson] is going to give him a real part and is gonna look like a genius,” Johnson said. “As a person, Bautista is genuinely, immediately vulnerable when you meet him, and that’s what I was excited about. This is someone who has the physical trappings of someone who would play it big, but he actually brings sensitivity to the role.”
Fans can watch “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” now, as it is currently streaming on Netflix.