Dave Bautista has become a bonafide movie star. You may feel like you’ve seen him everywhere. In fact, it probably even feels like Bautista has been on your screens forever. But that’s just not the case.
Bautista was a few months shy of 31 when he made his professional wrestling debut and well into his 40’s when he decided to pursue his Hollywood dreams full-time.
In 2010, Bautista quit the WWE. Bautista was one of the biggest and most popular stars in the company. However, it was nearly 3 years until he would break out on the big screen. In March 2013, Bautista was announced to be playing Drax the Destroyer in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Drax would be the role that kick started his career and open doors to many new opportunities.
Prior to that, Bautista was only appearing in lower level films such as Wrong Side of Town, House of the Rising Sun and The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption. The inability to find consistent work after his WWE departure had Buatista struggling financially:
“For people to really understand how much my life has changed, they would have to understand where I came from, what I went through when I was in wrestling, what I left behind to take a chance on going into acting. And when I got the role of Drax in Guardians, I barely worked in three years. So I’d really left wrestling behind and I could have gone back with my tail between my legs, but I still would have been just stuck in a place that I never would have gone any further, but I just took a chance. And then when I got cast, not only because I was broke, everything changed. When I say broke, my house was foreclosed, I had nothing, man. I sold all my stuff. I sold everything that I made from when I was wrestling. I had issues with the IRS. I was just lost in everything.”
Bautista is now a well-known face for audiences, having shown up in a number of critically and commercially successful projects outside Guardians of the Galaxy, including Denis Villenueve duo Blade Runner 2049 and Dune. Bautista has also played a James Bond villain in the blockbuster, Spectre, and recently was the leading man in Netflix’s Army of the Dead, while he’s just wrapped shooting on Netflix’s other anticipated sequel to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest