This Dave Bautista interview on the Talk Is Jericho podcast reminded me of how much I enjoyed his performance in Hotel Artemis (2018). He appeared in other films, but this was the first time I noticed something other than his size (6’ 6” according to IMDB).
Instead of playing a big man with a heart of gold, like Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, Bautista revealed Everest’s personality (his character in Hotel) before his might. Bautista admitted to Chris Jericho that it was his favorite role.
In other movies, he played characters whose primary features were power, strength, and size. But in Hotel Artemis, he embodied care and vulnerability as a protective orderly. Working with award-winning Jodie Foster may have been the challenge he needed.
Not to be intimidated by the Marvel movie franchise celebrity, Foster said to Bautista during an early table reading, “You’re not as big as I thought you’d be,” and “You know, Liam Neeson is taller than you.”
On Talk Is Jericho, Bautista said he was eager to try a variety of roles, especially in independent films, and is enjoying his (50 years old!) life. Of course, he also talked about retiring from professional wrestling, Vince McMahon, and preferring straight-up whaling over fancy moves and tumbling.
Enjoy listening to his stories in his low, rumbling, timbre.
Featured image from IMDB.