Though Dave Bautista ranks alongside Dwayne Johnson and John Cena as one of the most successful actors ever to make the transition from pro wrestling, the Guardians of the Galaxy star has argued that he’s of a different, more serious mold to the Fast and Furious and Bumblebee leads.
The actor shared his thoughts in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, where he said that he didn’t want anyone to compare him to Cena or The Rock, explaining his reasoning as follows:
“Those guys are wrestlers who became movie stars. I’m … something else. I was a wrestler. Now, I’m an actor.”
The star of Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune remake went on to clarify the distinction between a serious actor and a movie star, arguing with a mixture of praise and criticism that Johnson falls very much into the latter category:
“Rock was, in a way, a movie star before he was even a movie star. There is something about him that’s really special. I’d never take that away from him. Would I consider him a great actor? Fuck no.”
Though Bautista has a fair amount of blockbuster experience under his belt, the Drax actor remarked that he’s on the lookout for more interesting projects than the jobs taken by Johnson and Cena:
“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.”
Sure enough, Bautista performed opposite Jodie Foster in last year’s Hotel Artemis, and under the direction of Sam Mendes in 2015’s Spectre. Granted, these are hardly low-budget arthouse affairs, but it’s still evident that Bautista’s career trajectory has been a little different from that of your average WWE star turned actor. Just try to imagine Dwayne Johnson in Blade Runner 2049 and you’ll get the idea.
On the other hand, Dave Bautista is set to appear in what will likely be the biggest blockbuster of 2019, Avengers: Endgame, which hits theaters on April 26th. As for Johnson, The Rock continues his run as an unabashed movie star with the release of Hobbs & Shaw on August 2nd.