The Rock may have once been hailed the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, but Dave Bautista thinks his acting skills aren’t exactly great.
Both men enjoyed successful wrestling careers before turning their sights to Tinsel Town and the silver screen.
Likewise, Dwayne Johnson, 46, and Bautista, 50, both defied the expectations of WWE fans with a series of well-received stints on various sets.
But they’ve earned their acting chops on different paths into the spotlight – and Bautista, who is probably best recognised for playing Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy franchise, knows it.
Drax is an exception on Bautista’s roll call of characters, he explains to The Tampa Bay Times.
He prefers to hone his craft in supporting roles and earn ‘respect and credibility and education’ without resorting to starring roles in summer blockbusters. Remind you of anyone? Ouch.
Conversely, Dwyane Johnson is now the second highest paid actor in Hollywood, has starred in a number of franchises, box office reboot hits, and lent his voice to the ever-popular Disney world of animation.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with being mainstream – but he does seem to get a little typecast.
For example, his latest role is playing himself in the wrestling-themed biopic Fighting with My Family. But Bautista warned not to confuse being a huge star with being a great actor.
Pulling no punches, Bautista reasoned:
The 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.
Bautista, on the other hand, has worked with great directors like Denis Villeneuve in Blade Runner 2049 and Sam Mendes in Spectre.
He more recently worked closely with Oscar winner Jodie Foster in Hotel Artemis, adding he prefers this kind of low-key success while he learns the craft.
Even as Drax he lent a real maturity to the comic timing and emotional backstory.
It’s hard to criticise Johnson for his ability to entertain – he just seems like such a good guy if his regular PR stunts are to be believed – but admittedly most of his roles have had the depth of a puddle.
Who can forget Baywatch? What of Hobbs and Shaw?
Equally, if Bautista wants to take the path less trodden and learn a less sensationalist type of acting than that which they both learned in the ring, so be it.
All the same, he’s really determined not to be compared to The Rock – or John Cena, while we’re on the topic of wrestlers.
He said he ‘hates’ that:
Do not compare me to The Rock or John Cena. Everyone does it. Those guys are wrestlers who became movie stars. I’m … something else. I was a wrestler. Now, I’m an actor.
Dave Bautista will next be seen in Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas worldwide on April 26.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.