Dave Bautista Was Told He Was Too Young for 'Blade Runner 2049' Role

"Throughout my experience in Hollywood, I was either too big or too old. I had never been told I was too young," said the actor.
Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Dave Bautista in 'Blade Runner 2049'

Dave Bautista was almost not in Blade Runner 2049 for a very strange reason — he was too young.

On the Blade Runner 2049 Blu-ray special features, Bautista and director Denis Villeneuve recalled the story of how the 48-year-old actor almost missed out on the role of Sapper Morton.

"The vulnerability that Dave brought to the character was essential for the movie to be a success," Villeneuve said of the importance of casting the right farmer replicant.

Bautista, known also for playing Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, said the experience of playing Sapper was a first for him.

"This was something completely different from anything I'd ever done, actually playing a character who was older than myself," Bautista said.

But that also meant he almost didn't get the role.

"Dave was such a charismatic and strong presence, but there was only one problem — he was too young to play that part," Villeneuve said.

Bautista was stunned, he said.

"Throughout my experience in Hollywood, I was either too big or too old," he said. "I had never been told I was too young, and I just didn't know what to say. And then they got in touch with me and asked if I would go through some makeup tests to try and age me. I said, 'Of course.'"

Makeup artist Donald Mowat was able to transform Bautista for the role and Villeneuve realized they were home free, he said.

"People were walking in thinking, 'Oh, I didn't know he was that old,'" the helmer said. "And I knew it was a success because people were not seeing the effect of the makeup. They were just seeing an old Dave Bautista."

Blade Runner 2049 comes out Tuesday on Blu-ray.

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