James Gunn has nothing but praise for Dave Bautista.
While holding a Q&A on Twitter, the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker was asked by Chance The Rapper, "is there a specific reason why Dave Bautista is such a good actor?" Gunn gave a long answer that lauded the WWE legend's dedication to whichever role he's inhabiting, as well as his ability to be in the moment and to create genuine emotion. Here are his full remarks:
Bc @DaveBautista takes the craft seriously. He’s grounded in real emotion & not showy. The difference between Dave & many wrestler-actors is when you look in his eyes on set he’s in the place he’s supposed to be, not thinking about what he’s going to do next. Cc @chancetherapper
One of the things I deal with a lot with actors who have been a part of other performing arts (ie wrestling or comedy) is to get them to STOP JUGGLING and JUST BE. It’s not your job to entertain us - it’s simply your job to be present to the moment in front of you -
And to treat it honestly. I never really had to teach that to @DaveBautista. His rawness set him apart from the first moment I met him. It was merely a matter of creating a space where he could come and share himself with all of us.
I hate falseness in an actor’s eyes. There are many big time movie stars who hurt movies for me because I can see the lying in their eyes - replacing acting with boasting, or thinking about themselves & what they’re going to do next.
I’d much rather work with @DaveBautista or Michael Rooker or @Dastmalchian or @MelchiorDaniela or @violadavis or @seangunn or @PomKlementieff or @cosio_joaquin or many others who seem to always be present as a baseline: actors who have stopped seeking & started being.
Bautista's growth as an actor has been evident, and it has allowed him to work with and continue learning from many widely acclaimed directors (Gunn, Denis Villeneuve, Sam Mendes, Zack Snyder, Joe and Anthony Russo).
Among other projects, Bautista's next major release will be the feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's iconic science fiction novel Dune, where he will be portraying the Beast.
Bautista was set to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2020, but due to health and safety measures during the pandemic, a ceremony was not held. Being inducted alongside the former Evolution member, whenever WWE can hold the event, are John Bradshaw Layfield, The British Bulldog, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, The New World Order, and The Bella Twins.