Rian Johnson says Dave Bautista is the greatest wrestler-turned-actor ever
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Fans have been delighted to see Dave Bautista once again proving his acting chops and taking on an entirely new kind of role in the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion.
And it looks like the film's director Rian Johnson completely agrees, as he says Bautista is the greatest wrester-turned-actor ever.
High praise indeed.
If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet, Glass Onion is available to stream on Netflix now.
The synopsis for the anticipated sequel reads: "If Knives Out was about the murderous ties of flesh and blood, Glass Onion makes a good case for being just as wary of one’s closest friends.
"When tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites some of his nearest and dearest for a getaway on his private Greek island, it soon becomes clear that all is not perfect in paradise.
"And when someone turns up dead, well, who better than Blanc (Daniel Craig) to peel back the layers of intrigue?"
Bautista, the 53-year-old former WWE star and Guardians of the Galaxy legend, appears in the movie as Duke Cody, a men's rights streamer who some have compared to Joe Rogan.
But when it came to writing the character, Johnson had a completely different picture in his head.
Speaking to The Atlantic about the film, he said: "I was picturing a scrawny dude who’s trying to overcompensate.
"When Bautista was brought up, I was instantly so smitten by the idea. I’ve been a very big fan of his dramatic chops as an actor."
At this point, writer David Sims described Bautista as 'low-key the greatest wrestler-to-actor ever', to which Johnson replied: "I absolutely 100 percent agree.
"And I think somebody like [Paul Thomas Anderson] is going to give him a real part and is gonna look like a genius.
"As a person, Bautista is genuinely, immediately vulnerable when you meet him, and that’s what I was excited about.
"This is someone who has the physical trappings of someone who would play it big, but he actually brings sensitivity to the role."
The actor received similar praise from James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films in which Bautista portrays Drax.
Speaking to UNILAD earlier this year upon the release of Peacemaker, which sees fellow former wrestler John Cena take on the leading role, the filmmaker explained the similarities between the two stars.
"There are a lot of wrestlers that have tried to turn to acting and they don’t have that emotional reality in their eyes," Gunn explained. "They may be great performers, but they look like they’re thinking about themselves."
But this couldn't have been further from the truth when it came to casting both Bautista and Cena, with the filmmaker adding: "The thing about Dave is he was so raw and real and in the moment, and John is the same."