Dave Bautista can be a joy to interview. Currently doing promotional press for Army of the Dead, Bautista has been fielded with a lot of questions about his other projects. In addition to talking about his most well known role from Guardians of the Galaxy, Bautista also spoke about Dune, a project he expressed tremendous excitement to be a part of, as is evident in his quote to the interview.
Bautista explains that he strongly wanted to land a role in Dune but was hesitant to approach Villeneuve and ask for it directly. The director then called him up in a bit of wish-fulfilment and Bautista instantly accepted the role. He’s so overjoyed at the prospect that he feels he’s done something significant with his life.
We tracked that movie for months because I wanted to be a part of it so bad. I never reached out, because I don’t want to be that guy, like ‘Hey, Denis, is there a part for me?’ I never wanted to be that guy. But he actually called me, he didn’t say anything like ‘so there’s this part…’ He just straight up asked me if I would come and play this part. I was so taken aback I didn’t even know what to say, except for, obviously, ‘yes.’ Moments like that really gauge how far I’ve come, as an actor. There’s a lot of pride in it for me that a director like Denis would call like that and offer me a role in a film that I know is going to be enormous. Because people have been waiting for this for years and years and years. And people are so passionate about the novels. So for him to offer me such an integral part of this film, for me, it was a personal statement. I can’t purchase that type of emotion, that sense of pride. These are the few moments in life where I get that, where I feel like my life is worth something, I did something with my life. My life means something.
Such passion from actors about their roles is indeed a rarity. Most tend to give blanket statements but even reading Bautista’s response makes it clear just how elated he was to be a part of Dune. As were a lot of other actors, given the importance of the movie in the landscape of science fiction films.
Dune is set for release on Oct 1, 2021. It is based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 seminal sci-fi novel of the same name, a novel that filmmakers have tried to adapt for well over 40 years now, but failed due to its inherent complexity. The stories of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt and David Lynch’s failed 1984 adaptation only prove just how challenging it has been to bring the story to the screen. It’s good then that Villeneuve is doing it in two films, however, only time will tell if the second one ever gets made.