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Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista are, without question, two of the most successful professional wrestlers to ever become actors, but the two have gone about their success in very different ways. While The Rock has become a leading man and one of the biggest names in Hollywood, Bautista has gone for smaller, supporting roles. Bautista says he prefers the success that he's had, claiming he has no interest in being a major franchise movie star, as he's becoming a better actor by doing things his way, an acolade he doesn't believe he shares with Johnson. According to Bautista...
Rock was, in a way, a movie star before he was even a movie star. There is something about him that’s really special. I’d never take that away from him. Would I consider him a great actor? Fuck no.
It's certainly true that there's something special about Dwayne Johnson. Before he took Hollywood by storm he was "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment," one of the biggest stars the WWE had ever seen. While his initial move into Hollywood stumbled a bit, with Johnson being made the lead in some less that stellar action movies, eventually, as he had in WWE Johnson found his voice, and became a huge star.
But Dave Bautista tells the Tampa Bay Times one should not confuse being a huge star with being a great actor. Bautista points out that in his brief time making movies he's worked with great directors like Denis Villeneuve in Blade Runner 2049 and Sam Mendes in Spectre. He's gotten to work closely with Oscar winners like Jodie Foster in Hotel Artemis. Bautista sees this as the path to really learning his craft and becoming a great actor. He says he wants "that respect and credibility and education."
Bautista certainly pulls no punches by saying Dwayne Johnson is not a great actor. While it certainly can't be said Johnson has ever come close to winning an Oscar, there's certainly more to determining greatness than that.
Still, Johnson has achieved one thing that Bautista says he's very interested in, producing. Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions has allowed The Rock to produce most of the movies he has recently starred in. Bautista is also interested in shifting behind the camera, to direct as well as produce, some time in the not too distant future.