Batista recently sat down for an interview on the Denver Pop Culture Con 2019 panel and discussed his struggles making it as an actor, what it felt like to leave WWE and losing all the money he’d made as one of the most popular wrestlers in the world.
Batista set out to become an actor because he realized he was an awful actor. Still, he became passionate about it and it became a goal to make it in the business. WWE wouldn’t let him leave his contract to try landing acting roles so, at the top of the wrestling game, he threatened to leave.
WWE assumed he was bluffing, said no, and he walked away from the company. For three years he struggled, didn’t land any roles and lost every penny he’d made in the wrestling business. But, he wasn’t about to give up and swore he wouldn’t call WWE until he’d made it as an actor.
“Then I got the role in Guardians,” Batista said. “The first call I made after I wrapped was to Vince McMahon and said, ‘Hey, I’d really like to come back and wrestle for a bit.'”
Batista talked about how his agent had to work hard to get him a shot at auditioning for that role. He went through months of screen tests, read for Sarah Finn and then director James Gunn and was lucky that he had such great chemistry with everyone.
When he read for Gunn, he realized how badly the director wanted him to be Drax but had to ensure he’d got the right guy to play the part. He did a screen test with Chris Pratt and the rest was history.
Did Batista Lead the Way for People Like Cody and Moxley?
Long before Cody Rhodes left WWE to prove he had the goods or Dean Ambrose gave up huge money because he wasn’t happy, Batista proved you could make it outside WWE.
Now officially a retired pro wrestler, his gamble paid off and he’s a huge Hollywood star now. He only comes back to wrestling when he wants and he certainly doesn’t need the money.