Dave Bautista on Being a Struggling Actor: ‘I Starved for Three Years’

Dave Bautista was open about how he struggled for years after leaving WWE to become an actor.

During his appearance at the Denver Pop Culture Con over the weekend, Bautista revealed in his journey to prove he could become an actor, he was so broke he “starved for three years”.

“I starved for three years,” Bautista said. “I went broke. I lost everything. I couldn’t get a job and I said that I will never go back to wrestling until I prove what I set out to prove, and that was that I can make it as an actor.” 

Bautista’s determination to become an actor started when he was still wrestling. The actor admitted he was a “horrendous actor,” and wanted to prove he was better. However, WWE held him back. If he truly wanted to become an actor, Bautista was faced with a difficult decision, stay in the WWE or leave.

“I was with WWE at the time and I went and did a film,” Bautista said. “I had zero interest in acting, all I wanted to do was wrestle. I loved wrestling, I was obsessed with wrestling, and I went and did a film as a favor for a friend and I realized I was horrible. I was a horrendous actor. I was so mortified that I wanted to prove I could be better, and the company [WWE], they wouldn’t let me do anything outside of the company.” 

Bautista’s decision to become an actor paid off when he landed the role of Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. With his acting career taking off, he felt like it was a good time to return to the WWE. “Then I got the role on Guardians. When I got the role, I finished the film and the first call I made after I wrapped was to Vince McMahon,” he said. “I said, ‘Hey man, I’d really like to come back and wrestle for a little bit.'”