Dave Bautista sat down for an interview with Cinemabuzz.com this week and discussed, amongst other topics, overcoming the stereotype of being a pro wrestler to succeed as an actor in Hollywood.
“When I left wrestling, I really left to pursue acting. I knew it was going to be a long route because I passed up on a lot of the roles that you would think I would be after, the action roles, the typical ‘big ex-wrestler’ roles. I passed on those because I wanted to really prove myself as an actor, prove to people that I didn’t want to be a movie star, that I actually wanted to be an actor. I just fell in love with it. So it was kind of a long route. It’s weird because these last couple years I feel like it’s finally starting to pay off. People are finally starting to accept me as an actor, and I’m actually getting recognized more and more for my acting and some people don’t even realize that I was wrestling at one point, but that’s why I wrestled for ten years.
“I think initially my biggest challenge was to get people to see past that persona I put on in WWE, to realize I wasn’t going to come into a room and try to intimidate everyone, and start barking and screaming and growling at everyone and hitting people with chairs (laughs). Just to get past that stereotype, because when I first started I had a hard time even getting auditions. It’s still something I face from job to job, it’s just getting people to look past this because I realize that there’s only so much I can pull off when I look like this; I’m built like this. When you look like you’re kinda built like a gorilla, it’s hard to get people to kind of empathize with you and see past that. This is the way I am, this is the way I look, this is the way I’ve always looked, and it’s just who I am.”
The interview, done in promotion of Blade Runner 2049, can be found at Cinemabuzz.com
For more from Dave Bautista, and to put these comments into a deeper context, check out his two-part interview on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia, conducted this past summer.