Movies & TV / News

James Gunn Explains Why Batista Is a Great Actor and Takes His Craft Seriously

January 5, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Dave Bautista Batista Drax Guardians of the Galaxy

– In response to a question from Chance The Rapper on Twitter, filmmaker James Gunn explained why he thinks WWE Hall of Famer Dave Bautista (aka Batista) is such a great actor. It was Gunn who really gave Batista his big break in the role of Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a breakout role for Batista. Here’s what Gunn had to say on Batista’s acting:

Bc @DaveBautista takes the craft seriously. He’s grounded in real emotion & not showy. The difference between Dave & many wrestler-actors is when you look in his eyes on set he’s in the place he’s supposed to be, not thinking about what he’s going to do next. Cc @chancetherapper

One of the things I deal with a lot with actors who have been a part of other performing arts (ie wrestling or comedy) is to get them to STOP JUGGLING and JUST BE. It’s not your job to entertain us – it’s simply your job to be present to the moment in front of you –

And to treat it honestly. I never really had to teach that to @DaveBautista. His rawness set him apart from the first moment I met him. It was merely a matter of creating a space where he could come and share himself with all of us.

I hate falseness in an actor’s eyes. There are many big time movie stars who hurt movies for me because I can see the lying in their eyes – replacing acting with boasting, or thinking about themselves & what they’re going to do next.

I’d much rather work with @DaveBautista or Michael Rooker or @Dastmalchian or @MelchiorDaniela or @violadavis or @seangunn or @PomKlementieff or @cosio_joaquin or many others who seem to always be present as a baseline: actors who have stopped seeking & started being.

Gunn is set to return to the MCU later with the upcoming The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for Disney+. This will be followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Batista is expected to reprise his role once again as Drax for both shows.

Meanwhile, Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is currently due out for an August 6 release.