In his career since exiting WWE, Dave Bautista has worked with some of Hollywood’s most notable filmmakers, including James Gunn, Denis Villeneuve, and Zack Snyder. In an interview with JoBlo, Bautista was asked how it was to be directed by Snyder in his new movie, Army of the Dead. While praising Snyder’s collaborative approach to moviemaking, the actor pointed towards Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn as someone who is the opposite, and something of a control freak.
“James would be much more, I feel like he’s much more involved with performance. I think. Um, I have a lot more flexibility with Zack [Snyder]. Um, James is a control freak. Have you guys all met with him? He’s very much a control freak.”
Over the years, James Gunn has received critical and commercial acclaim for his distinctive voice in the blockbuster genre, and it is unsurprising to hear he has a specific vision that actors are required to stick to, even if they don’t personally agree with it. Bautista proceeded to recall a time on set with Gunn when the filmmaker asked him to basically forget acting and just do exactly as he was told.
“[With] guys like James Gunn, like I was giving this performance once and he was really upset, not because of the way I was performing. He was upset because where my eyes were looking. So he told me to pick a spot. I swear to God, pick a spot, focus on it and don’t move my eyes… With all these [director] guys they’re just really great at one thing-well, not one thing, because really, I think passionate about like certain things, we just kind of draw from them and learn from. them.”
Clearly, Bautista does not mind working with a control freak, so long as it produces results. On his part, earlier this year, when Chance the Rapper wondered on Twitter how Bautista could act so well, Gunn had replied with a detailed answer in which he waxed lyrical about the former wrestler’s dramatic chops.
“Bc @DaveBautista takes the craft seriously. He’s grounded in real emotion & not showy. The difference between Dave & many wrestler-actors is when you look in his eyes on set he’s in the place he’s supposed to be, not thinking about what he’s going to do next. One of the things I deal with a lot with actors who have been a part of other performing arts (ie wrestling or comedy) is to get them to STOP JUGGLING and JUST BE. It’s not your job to entertain us – it’s simply your job to be present to the moment in front of you and to treat it honestly. I never really had to teach that to @DaveBautista. His rawness set him apart from the first moment I met him. It was merely a matter of creating a space where he could come and share himself with all of us.”
Directed and co-written by Zack Snyder, Army of the Dead stars Dave Bautista, Garret Dillahunt, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Raul Castillo, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, and Ana de la Reguera. The film will be released on Netflix on May 21. This news comes from JoBlo.