Dave Bautista turned down action roles to gain respect as an actor
Dave Bautista has turned down action roles so he can be taken seriously as an actor.
The 51-year-old star swapped the wrestling ring of the WWE for Hollywood and he has explained how he deliberately snubbed easier projects to prove to audiences and acting colleagues that he was serious about his new profession.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bautista explained: "I didn't leave wrestling to become a movie star, I left to be an actor. I've worked really hard to prove myself and earn the respect of my peers and audiences.
"This has not been the path of least resistance, it's been a tough route. I've really pursued roles that are the actor's pieces, and I've turned down a lot of roles that would have been better suited for me as an ex-wrestler.
"Those are the roles most people expected me to take, but I've chosen to go the unexpected route to prove myself as an actor. I feel like people expect less from a wrestler-turned-actor, but I've always wanted to be a serious actor."
Bautista also credits his role as Sapper Morton in the 2017 movie 'Blade Runner 2049' for changing how people perceived him as an actor.
The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star said: "The small role I had in 'Blade Runner 2049', that's the role that opened up so many doors for me as a performer.
"It helped strip away my physical appearance and offered me opportunities that relied on my acting."
Bautista also revealed that he wants to take on "unpredictable" parts during his career.
He said: "I don't want to be labelled, I don't want to be predictable.
"I remember going into a very early audition for 'Guardians', and Sarah Finn, the casting director, said that (actor) Lee Pace could do anything.
"I remember being so blown away by that. It's a hell of a statement, he can do anything. I knew right then that I wanted her to one day be able to say, 'Dave Bautista, he can do anything.' I want to be that actor, with a range that's endless."