How Dave Bautista Defied the Odds to Become a Box Office Monster

How Dave Bautista Defied the Odds to Become a Box Office Monster

When he’s not walking his dogs, Bautista likes to go online and add to his collection of ’70s BMX bikes, metal lunch boxes and quirky items to decorate his house. Mark Delong


Like many of us, Bautista aims to spend as much time as possible off his phone—until a dull moment appears and suddenly he’s typing something that inevitably riles up conservatives on Twitter (@DaveBautista, 1.3 million followers). “I’ve lost a lot of fans. I don’t like being a political person. It’s very uncomfortable. But sometimes I just can’t live with myself if I don’t say something. I was raised in the gay community, and I was raised in a black community. So people who are racists or bigots, I just don’t get it. I can’t relate at all. It’s disgusting to me.” At one point in the run-up to the 2020 election, Bautista—a formidable dude—felt threatened enough to call in his bodyguard to post up at his house.


At dinnertime, if Bautista’s not entertaining, he’s ordering in. Stars—they’re just like us! But instead of ordering one entrée, Bautista loads down his Uber Eats driver with extras: poke, chicken sandwiches, “all kinds of bowls,” he says. Then it’s on to binge-watching some premium TV. Peaky Blinders is a recent fave, as is Ozark. The other night’s featured programming was Zack Snyder’s recut of Justice League. “Fucking Zack, man. Four hours. I need to talk to him about that.”


Last, but not least—at around 1 or 2 a.m.—Bautista tucks into the pile of scripts that await him—and await him. “It usually depends on the urgency of the script, but in the middle of the day, my attention is in a hundred other places. So I inevitably wait until the end of it to review scripts. Which means I last all of 20 minutes before I fall asleep, which means it takes me forever to get through them.” But Bautista says it never feels like work. “To pursue my passion, and to do what I do—I feel like I’ve Forrest Gumped my way through life. I’ve just been lucky.”

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