When Dave Bautista first landed the role of Drax for Guardians of the Galaxy, few suspected he would carve such a niche for himself in cinema. Since that career-making role, Bautista has worked to establish himself in different kinds of roles, going farther than most wrestlers-turned-actors by actually taking acting classes to be genuinely nuanced in his craft. The result has been roles in highly acclaimed films with one of his most noted collaborations being with Denis Villeneuve. After first appearing in a small, but vital role in Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, Bautista will next appear in the highly-anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel Dune. Bautista will be taking on the role of Glossu Rabban, the violent and sadistic nephew of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Played by Stellan Skarsgård). While his character couldn't be more different from his more calculated character in Blade Runner 2049, in discussing Dune today with Slash Film, Bautista commends Villeneuve's attention to details has helping him distinguish his own character from others that he has played:
"[Denis Villeneuve], I always say this, and it’s something that’s really hard to convey in words, but how detailed he is in his performance. I wouldn’t have gotten nearly the love that I got from my small part in Blade Runner  if he hadn’t just been all over me as far as performing. Down to the smallest details of how I walked, how I put my glasses on, how I took my glasses off. Just super up-close-and-personal and detailed. I had the most intimate conversations about putting my glasses on. [laughs] The simplest things. But that’s just the kind of director he is, man, he’s just so involved in the performance, which I loved. It was even more so on Dune. I think a lot of that was pressure that I put on myself. Because it felt different to me. Like, now he already has faith in me, he has expectations of me, so now I want to meet those expectations. So I put the pressure on myself so I can deliver for this guy. I love this guy. He’s opened the doors for me with Blade Runner, and I fought for that part, but man, that role opened a lot of doors for me. So anyway, I want to come through. I think you can find that same sentiment with every actor that works with Denis. He’s a special person and a special director, and at the end of the day, you want to hear him come out from behind that monitor and say, 'I deeply love this.' That’s when you know Denis is happy."
Baustista then went on to praise the world that the director has crafted for Dune...one Bautista admits he himself barely can understand because of it's complexity:
"[The] world that he’s created is so far over my head. It’s so beautiful and different, and a lot of times dark and strange. But it’s something I never could have imagined. I just don’t have that mind. When I think about things, and when I think about directing, it’s all very contained, based on simple stories, a lot of times very simple and inspiring stories. And for someone to see something and create a world this big, a galaxy, a universe this big, it’s something that doesn’t comprehend, doesn’t compute in my brain. But it’s weird that he can do both. [Denis Villeneuve] can create these huge epic worlds and scenes, but at the same time just focus on the most simple things about a performance. He’s just a special guy, he’s got a special focus, and man, he’s a brilliant storyteller. Dune is special. I think people are going to be blown away. It’s going to be one of the most beautiful films that people have ever seen. But I think that people who are just diehard fans of Dune, of the novels, they’re going to be blown away. Because they don’t have anything, really, to reference in relation to the books. Now they will. They’ll have that visual reference. He took these characters, he took this world, and he’s taken them off the page and put them on screen. It’s epic."
It'll be interesting to see what fans ultimately get from the film, though Bautista is not the first to give such high praise to the ambition and detail of the world-building for Dune, as Skarsgård also spoke highly of his short time making the film. With nearly a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film can't get here fast enough for audiences to find out.
Dune co-stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. It is set to be released theatrically in the United States in IMAX and 3D on October 1, 2021, by Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as a month-long simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service.