Dave Bautista stepped out of the wrestling ring in 2010 having “caught the bug” for acting after starring in Wrong Side of Town. Bautista would pursue acting with little success and even say that he was “terrified” when auditioning for Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Director James Gunn ended up loving the former wrestler and his performance as the character, later saying that Bautista played Drax “honestly, expertly, & with heart.”
After his role as Drax the Destroyer, Bautista pursued other franchises like James Bond, Blade Runner and will soon be seen in Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead on Netflix.
Bautista isn't the first wrestler turned actor, as there have been dozens before him with varying success. Canadian-born MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre will be reprising his role from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and hopes to replicate Bautista's rise to stardom.
BATROC THE ACTOR
Speaking with Variety, St-Pierre discussed how much effort he has put into his new career path in acting, after recently putting his days as a professional fighter behind him:
“I started taking (acting) more seriously, and now I’m having acting class every week. Theater, camera acting, audition coaching and English lessons.”
The Quebec native said that he uses the same passion and mentality he does for martial arts training in pursuing this new line of work.
“It’s a lot of work, and I put in the same amount of work and passion that I used for training. In martial arts, you start at white belt. That’s where I have to start with acting. I have to climb the mountain again.”
When asked about returning as his character Batroc the Leaper, St-Pierre expressed that "no one is more excited than (he is) to come back" and that he feels "very blessed and happy.” He also described being able to work with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan and that “a great learning experience.”
The report notes that St-Pierre has his eye on an acting career similar to one earned by Marvel alum Dave Bautista after transitioning from the ring to the screen.
FIGHTING (AND ACTING) ANOTHER DAY?
It would be nice to see Georges St-Pierre's character survive The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as an ongoing baddy in this expanding universe. After all, The Thunderbolts need to fill its ranks with anti-heroes and opportunistic villains. It already seems like the team will be forming in this series, with Georges St-Pierre being joined by Erin Kellyman and Desmond Chiam.
Not much is known about Batroc in the MCU aside from having the courage to fight Captain America one-on-one and (supposedly) being hired by Nick Fury to hijack the Lemurian Star to give Black Widow cover downloading data from the ship. It will be interesting to see what angle the series will take Batroc's character and whether he will remain a simple mercenary or have bigger ambitions like his actor.