Rian Johnson says Dave "The Animal" Bautista is the best wrestler-turned-actor

That said, Brendan Frasier has said he’d answer the phone regarding another Mummy movie, and they could always get Johnson and some better CGI…


Watching him in a few things (Artemis, Guardians, Glass Onion, etc.), I put it down to a good sense of timing, whether deadpan, comic, or serious.

Interested to see more about The Knock at the Cabin.


Ugh… Hulk Hogan was on that list… Yuck!

And does Ronda Rousey count? I thought she was in MMA, not pro wrestling? Does she also wrestle? My working knowledge of pro-wrestling sort of taps out in the late 80s…


John Cena has pretty good comedic timing.


She was MMA, but now does WWE (I dunno if she retired from MMA or what). Brock Lesnar is another MMA fighter who transitioned to pro-wrestling.

My knowledge also reliably taps out in the late 80s, but I have heard of certain newer wrestlers from media and some relatives who are into it.

Yeah, little surprised no one mentioned him sooner.

I mean - all pro-wrestlers are actors - though usually it is a niche character acting. When put into a movie where they aren’t their crafted persona, some of them do a better job than others of making the roles their own.


Good call. :+1: The world of Sports Entertainment does seem to be a rich source of big guy actors.

I would love to see Brendan Frazer playing an older, larger Rick O’Connel; hopefully still married to Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn O’Connel. Rather than being the young, brash hero, Frazer could be more of a Professor Challenger type.


Watched that WWE clip in the original post, and I gotta say, I was let down that Bautista didn’t body-slam whoever was operating the camera.

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This thread made me realize how many former-wrestler actors there are! I knew of all of these but somehow never put it together how many there are,

Bautista is one of those actors who’s charisma comes largely from how… strange-looking… he is. It’s a power in film that only men get. Women all have to conform to a much much narrower standard of physical appearance.


Strange-looking? Other than his burliness is there something else?


he has an unusual scalp. resembles a shar pei.


God only created a limited number of perfect heads. (The rest he covered with hair.)


Ah… was not aware! thanks!

It makes sense. So much of pro-wrestling is drama, that it is as much acting as it is sport-performance.


Right. I noticed in Glass Onion that the framing in closeups often left out most of his scalp, presumably because that wrinkly texture would be distracting.


I mostly agree with @NukeML’s GQ list but I’d switch Bautista to number 1 and Johnson to number 2. Dwayne may have had more roles but Dave has more depth. Also I cannot believe they left out “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s portrayal of Sam Hell in “Hell Comes to Frogtown”. Has anyone ever depicted crippling ball pain better?


I just have to add that whilst Cena has proven to be able to be funny (Peacemaker is amazing!) Bautista can actually ACT. His short bit in the actual movie is very good but you actually get to see his depth in the Bladerunner 2049 short which is on youtube (and is kind of a prequel to the movie together with other shorts): BLADE RUNNER 2049 - "2048: Nowhere to Run" Short - YouTube


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