Dave Bautista, who wasn’t kicked out of a James Gunn superhero franchise, fires a shot at Dwayne Johnson

dave bautista james gunn
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Even though they both followed the same career path from the squared circle to the silver screen, the best way to sum up the difference between Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista is fairly simple. One is a movie star, and the other is an actor.

Johnson’s bread and butter has almost exclusively been $100+ million blockbusters for well over a decade, where he isn’t asked to do much more than play himself. Meanwhile, Bautista has been juggling the action-heavy roles a man of his dimensions is virtually obligated to play, while also winning acclaim as perhaps one of the most underrated character actors in the business.

It would have been easy for the Guardians of the Galaxy alum to stick to running and gunning, but he’s never been particularly interested in chasing projects designed to do nothing but amplify his own star power. He’s hardly been shy in blasting The Rock before, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it all over again in an interview with GQ.

“I never wanted to be the next Rock. I just want to be a good fucking actor. A respected actor. I’m afraid of things, I’m nervous about things. But I can force myself to do things that make me uncomfortable, because I know I’m not gonna get anywhere if I don’t. I may cringe after the fact, but I’m not going to let that fear hold me back.” 

You’ve got to admire Bautista’s determination to keep pushing himself, when it could be all too easy to leverage his visibility from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a string of paycheck gigs. He may not be abandoning action entirely, but there’s going to be a lot more surprises in the years to come.