For Dave Bautista, the intention was never to try and emulate Dwayne Johnson's Hollywood career.
Speaking with JoBlo, the former WWE Superstar spoke about his acting career, how his next goal is to do a television series, and to promote his upcoming films, Dune and Army of the Dead. During the conversation, Bautista was asked if his experience in the wrestling industry, and knowing how to tell a story physically and with his body have been an asset to him. He replied by saying the following:
"No, because I’ve tried to go the other route. Like, The Rock is a perfect example of someone who uses that strength, so I wanted to go against that grain and make everything much smaller, very subtle. I make a living off of subtlety. I want that to be my strength. I want that to be what separates us. I don’t want to be that guy who walks in that room, I never wanted to be that guy."
Clarifying his remark, Bautista didn't mean any disrespect towards Johnson, but he wants to make his name as a more dramatic performer. Working with talented directors such as Denis Villeneuve, Sam Mendes, Zack Snyder, and James Gunn has been invaluable in helping him gradually attain the knowledge and skills needed to perform at that level. He added this:
"No, I don’t mean that as a dig on him [The Rock], but you know how he is as a character. He feels very professional wrestling to me. I don’t want to be that guy. I want to be an actor. I want to act, I want people to judge me for my acting, my subtlety. I want to take roles that require that. I don’t want to be a big action guy who just says cool shit and kills a lot of people and gets the girl. I don’t want to be that guy. I want to guy that makes people cry, who makes people think, who inspires people. I want to be a dramatic actor. I just love it. I love acting."
Bautista can next be seen in Zack Snyder's action-horror flick, Army of the Dead. The film, which releases on May 21 on Netflix, is set in Las Vegas, walled off from the rest of the world, six years after a zombie outbreak. Dave Bautista plays Scott Ward, a mercenary tasked with leading a team to half-inch millions of dollars from a casino vault before the area is levelled by a nuclear blast.
Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn recently shared his thoughts on why Dave Bautista is a good actor. You can read his comments here.