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Dave Bautista Wants People To Look Past His Size In Movies

by : Cameron Frew on : 10 Jun 2021 16:49
Dave Bautista Wants People To Look Past His Size In MoviesNetflix

The Bautista Bomb era has long been over. The former WWE star-turned-actor is now a cinema devotee, and he wants moviegoers to look past his physicality. 

Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre, Blade Runner 2049, Army of the Dead, and soon Knives Out 2 – we’re officially in Dave Bautista’s Kino era. Is he the most talented thespian of his Hollywood wrestling brethren? Undoubtedly, but it’s still early days for his acting career, and he’s looking to push himself as much as possible.

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Prior to taking on Zack Snyder’s latest film, a zombie heist thriller on Netflix, he wasn’t particularly interested… until he spoke to the director. Now, it’s another great performance under his belt, one on the road to ‘finding himself’ as an actor.

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In the movie, Bautista plays Scott Ward, a mercenary hired to rob a Las Vegas casino surrounded and infested by zombies. When it was first described to him, it sounded fun, but not what he was looking for – then he chatted with Snyder.

‘Scott wasn’t at all what I thought he was going to be,’ he told UNILAD. ‘I thought he was going to be straightforward, kind of military guy, action hero. When I read it, what I saw was all Scott was a guy who wanted to reconnect with a daughter, that’s all it was to me – a redemption story. Zack said he was the only guy to play the part, and let him find a ‘deeper, more emotional side’. They connected on ‘a lot of different levels’.

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Zack Snyder and Dave Bautista on Army of the Dead. (Netflix)Netflix

Of course, Bautista gets the chance to stretch his action chops, beating up the undead and blowing them to bits. ‘I think the physical part of acting – it’s always been a strength of mine, I can play that part,’ he said.

One of the actor’s most powerful moments on-screen so far came in Spectre, and it’s so brief: as he pursues a white-tuxedoed Daniel Craig on a train, he tails behind him and wallops doors open like the Hulk. But it’s not strength for strength’s sake; he’s formidable and frightening, with a charisma distinctly different to the likes of The Rock and John Cena.

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Along with Army of the Dead, he’s had a few other leading roles in Bushwick, Final Score, Stuber and My Spy. ‘I struggle with being in command, with having a commanding performance, because I’m not a big, boisterous person,’ he explained.

Going forward, ‘it’s like the little, emotional scenes that I’m really after’, he said, hoping his fans and others will see the actor underneath the figure.

Army of the Dead. (Netflix)Netflix

‘People sometimes look at someone who looks like me, or is built like me, and they would think I’m not an emotional person. For some reason I lose my heart, because I’m built like a gorilla [laughs]. I lose my humanity,’ Bautista said.

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‘I wanna show people that’s not true, that’s not who I am. I realise I look like a person who just broke out of prison, but I have a heart, and I care about things and I’m passionate about things, so don’t judge me by the way I look. I want people to look past my physicality, so I always look for scenes which will afford me the opportunity to do that,’ he added.

Army of the Dead is available to stream on Netflix now. 

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Interview conducted by Harrison Williams. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Featured, Dave Bautista, Film and TV, Netflix, Now