Dave Bautista on ‘Bushwick’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’
Over the past few years I’ve gotten to interview Dave Bautista a number of times and I can honestly say he’s one of the nicest and most grounded people in Hollywood. So when I found out he was going to be at Sundance promoting his new film, Bushwick, I did my best to make sure I could speak to him.
If you haven’t yet heard of Bushwick, it’s about two people – twenty-year-old Lucy (Brittany Snow) and war veteran Stupe (Dave Bautista) – who meet leaving a Brooklyn train station at the same time. As they exit, they find themselves in the middle of a war zone, because their neighborhood is under attack by black-clad military soldiers. Together they decide to cross the treacherous five blocks of Bushwick to get Lucy back to her grandmother. Buckwick is directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott.
During the interview Bautista talked about how he got involved in Bushwick, what it’s about and who he plays, what it was like working on Blade Runner 2049 with Roger Deakins and director Denis Villeneuve, how the project is more secretive than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, how Deakins sometimes shoots with just one camera, getting to geek out on set with Kurt Russell, and so much more. Check it out above.
However, since I know a lot of you like to read quotes…
On how his life has been affected since Guardians:
“I’m curious to see how much will change this year, because my role in Guardians is so much bigger. But also because I think Blade Runner is going to be a huge film, and it will probably win a lot of awards.”
How is Drax in the sequel?
“It’s an extended version of the first film, for the Drax character. There’s just a lot more … most people’s first perception of Drax would be he’s just a big, muscly brute, and he’s just going to go in and be an all-action character. But he’s more funny, driven … there’s a lot more of that. He gets closer and more caring with the other Guardians, and they become more of a solid family in this one. If I had to put a tag on this second film I would say ‘family,’ that’s kind of the theme.”
Did he geek out at all with Kurt Russell being there?
“Yeah it’s so funny, I didn’t want to hit him with all of the fanboy questions right off the bat, but as soon as I got comfortable with him I did. He’s great and super down to the earth, he’s a very social guy and doesn’t like to separate himself from the younger cast, he’s got a lot of great stories, he’s very good looking (laughing) … he’s a very interesting guy!
The first thing I asked him about was Big Trouble in Little China, I just wanted to know more about that, and what he thought about The Rock being recast as Jack Burton and he said, ‘Ah, I don’t care.’ And I said ‘Really?!’ I was really upset by that because to me, The Rock is not Jack Burton, like Chris Pratt would make a much better Jack Burton.
I take that stuff very personally, because I’m a fan boy first, I am a geek at heart. So, he just didn’t care (inaudible) ‘Oh I’m sure he’ll do a great jo’”… and then of course I asked Escape from New York questions, and we had a lot of good conversations about that.”
Is he wearing any prosthetics or makeup in Blade Runner 2049?
“It’s very obvious that it’s me. It’s a very cool role, but I think the film itself is going to be so huge, as well as Guardians, but people are very familiar with Guardians. It’s really not the same, because people have been waiting 30 years for a sequel to Blade Runner, so there’s just such a high anticipation.”
What was it like working with Roger Deakins?
“He is a genius, and it was amazing. Not only him but Villeneuve, he’s also a genius. It’s weird, it’s a different experience because it was a slow process, because so much of what they do it so meticulous. They were just shooting with one camera, and it slows down the process, but at the same time they’re getting exactly what they want and they’re not playing around. When I looked back at some of the playbacks, even scenes I wasn’t in, it looks like such an amazing looking film, it’s just insane man. It’s breathtaking.”
On the Blade Runner 2049 co-star he couldn’t stop hugging:
“It was weird (laughing). It is a little embarrassing to admit, but the biggest deal for me — and I love Harrison Ford, I’m a huge Harrison fan — but the biggest deal for me was Ryan. I couldn’t stop hugging the poor guy. I was so embarrassed but I couldn’t control myself, every time he walked up I would just have to hug him, and I would apologize after. I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. And he’s such a nice guy, such a gentleman, and he’s just so soft-spoken. And yeah, it was more the ‘Ryan Gosling Effect’ than anything.”