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In a new GQ profile, the Glass Onion star talks about his career trajectory from the WWE to the big screen, along with his personal acting ambitions. The actor acknowledges he’s in a transition period, one where he closes the door on the MCU franchise and its comedic character that helped launch his acting career and a future in more dramatic work.
“I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him,” the actor said. “But there’s a relief [that it’s over]. It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role. The makeup process was beating me down. And I just don’t know if I want Drax to be my legacy — it’s a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff.”
Bautista has portrayed the Kylosian alien for nearly a decade, across multiple movies and the latest Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for Disney+. Now, the actor is looking towards his turn in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel, which follows their collaboration on the first film as well as Blade Runner 2049. The actor says working with Villeneuve, particularly in a leading role, is one of his goals for a very specific reason.
“If I could be a number one [on the callsheet] with Denis, I would do it for fucking free,” he said. “I think that’s how I could find out how good I could be. He brings out the best in me. He sees me in a different light, sees the performer that I want to be. That might be how I solve the puzzle.”
Bautista’s Glass Onion director supports his star’s ambitions, telling the magazine that the person in Hollywood that gives “Dave a real dramatic lead role in a movie” will ultimately “look like a genius.”
The Dune star revealed that he has already felt a shift in the way he’s being viewed among his peers, noting that Javier Bardem, his co-star in the sci-fi epic sequel, already shared a “fucking surreal” moment with Bautista that gave the Guardians star a boost in confidence about his more serious screen ambitions.
The moment happened after Bardem — who had previously done some press with Bautista for the first Dune film — attended an early screening of the Netflix whodunnit, which saw Bautista’s co-star “dancing through the aisles,” according to GQ. “Our conversations after that were different. Which, for me, was fucking everything.”
Those are the kinds of moments Bautista says he’s looking for more of. “I never wanted to be the next Rock,” he explained. “I just want to be a good fucking actor. A respected actor.”
“Honestly, I could give a fuck [about being a movie star],” he added. “I don’t live a great big glamorous life. I live here in Tampa. I don’t care about the spotlight, I don’t care about fame. I just want to be a better actor. I want respect from my peers. I don’t need accolades — I really don’t, man. It’s about the experience, about knowing that I accomplished something.”
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