Dave Bautista says he doesn't think Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is a 'great actor'
When he was in the WWF - I mean, WWE - The Rock was "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment." Now he's one of the most electrifying men in all entertainment.
Sure, other wrestlers made the jump to the big screen before him, like Hulk Hogan in Mr. Nanny, but none conquered Hollywood like The Rock. From the Jumanji reboot to Disney's Moana to The Fast & The Furious franchise, he's proven to be a huge box office draw. Now The Rock is known as Dwayne Johnson, one of the most likable actors in the world, who seems to release a new movie every week.
On the surface, Dave Bautista has a lot in common with Dwayne Johnson. They're both big, muscular, charismatic wrestlers who found a new career in acting. Like The Rock, Bautista's the star of a major studio franchise, playing the hilarious Drax in Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Avengers. (But you might not have seen him. He's very good at acting invisible.) He also just booked the role of Beast Rabban in the epic, star-studded new adaptation of Dune, handled by acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049).
However, Bautista's not interested in following The Rock's career path, according to an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. Although he stands 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, he doesn't want to be a movie star. He wants to be a character actor. Over the past few years, Bautista's jumped at the chance to work with Oscar-winning directors, like Jodie Foster (Hotel Artemis) and Sam Mendes (Spectre). He also got a chance to flex his skills in Denis Villeneuve's brilliant Blade Runner 2049, where he played a Replicant posing as an aging protein farmer.
"Do not compare me to The Rock or John Cena. Everyone does it," he told the Tampa Bay Times, adding that he "hates" it. "Those guys are wrestlers who became movie stars," he explained. "I’m...something else. I was a wrestler. Now, I’m an actor. ... 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? F*ck no."
“I want good roles," the 50-year-old continued. "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."
On last Monday's WWE Raw, Bautista - I mean, Batista - returned to wrestling to attack Ric Flair during his 70th birthday celebration. The cameo might lead to a match with Triple H in Wrestlemania, where he hopes to finish his wrestling career "the right way." (But after reading this interview, wouldn't you rather see Dave Bautista take on The Rock?)