James Gunn Explains Why Dave Bautista’s The Best Wrestler Turned Actor

Dave Bautista

There’ve been countless professional wrestlers over the years that have tried to parlay their in-ring success into an acting career, which is completely understandable. After all, the grappling industry is essentially live performance theater, with the talents required to be just as adept at remembering and delivering lines during their scripted segments as they are at hitting their signature moves in the squared circle.

Then, of course, there’s the much lighter schedule that comes with being a movie star, which is more comfortable and easier on the body than traveling the world for 300 days a year. Not everyone that tries to make the jump has succeeded, but there are three major ex-WWE stars who’ve now firmly established themselves as big names in Hollywood.

Dwayne Johnson is obviously the first one that comes to mind, with John Cena also steadily rising up the ranks. However, you can make the well-informed argument that Dave Bautista is the most talented in terms of nothing but acting ability. The 51 year-old may have been a relatively late starter in the business, but he’s delivered a series of highly accomplished performances in a variety of genres, while the other two tend to stick more rigidly to either action or comedy.

Having cast him as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn recently took to social media and lavished praise on Bautista‘s natural ability as an actor, explaining why he’s better than his peers.

That’s high praise indeed, though you’ve got to wonder what John Cena makes of all this. He’ll show up as Peacemaker in Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, but now he knows full well that he’s most definitely not the filmmaker’s favorite wrestler turned actor.