Not many professional wrestlers or mixed martial artists can successfully transition into the movie business. Unless you’re Dwayne Johnson, who’s charisma level is over 9000, you’ll need some decent acting chops and a smart business agent to get far. For Johnson, it took him nearly a decade before becoming the franchise saver (Fast & Furious, G.I. Joe) that he known as today.
But not everyone has a career path similar to him. Former WWE stars Stone Cold Steve Austin (The Longest Yard), Hulk Hogan (Rocky III), and former UFC champion Quentin Rampage Jackson (The A-Team), are just a few example of athletes (or entertainers) who have enjoyed brief amounts of success in Hollywood before disappearing. Even today, athletes like Ronda Rousey are trying to find their place in Hollywood, and as difficult as it is for many, there are a few who finds themselves in the right place at the right time.
This brings me to the latest casting news for the upcoming Blade Runner 2 movie. Former WWE star turned actor Dave Bautista has been officially cast. Production begins this summer, with Harrison Ford returning and Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) directing. Bautista’s will like be a supporting one, yet the bigger news for me is him earning another solid role.
Since his breakout performance in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a number of roles have come to his way. Last year, Bautista starred as the memorable villain Mr. Hinx in the less memorable 007 film Spectre. Right now, he’s set to appear in the upcoming Kickboxer: Vengeance alongside Jean Claude Van Damme, and is currently reprising his role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. You might consider his role to be typecasting, to which you would be correct, but I see it as taking advantage of the opportunity.
Originally, Jason Momoa (Aquaman) was offered the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. However Momoa declined the role, probably in favor of an even bigger superhero role in the future. This opened the door for Bautista to attach himself to a major Marvel film, and we’ve seen what these films can do for an actor’s career. Thanks to the excellent directing from James Gunn, Bautista gave a very good performance for a character that for many became a fan favorite.
Will Dave Bautista ever achieve success on the level that Dwayne Johnson has? Probably not, but who says Bautista ever had to? If you’ve ever seen him during an interview, the actor talks about being humble through all his new found success. He doesn’t have an ego, or allows his success get into his head, and understands that every role in Hollywood comes his way is a blessing (see the interview below). I have mad respect for someone like that, and seeing him get more work in Hollywood is just awesome.