Interviews Movies

Wrestling with Hollywood: An Interview with My Spy’s Dave Bautista

We meet Dave Bautista’s JJ — flashing his piercing eyes and wearing a suit that barely contains his formidable physique – in a faraway desert, where he’s demonstrating his cowboy heroics and expertise in ass kicking, as he destroys a band of baddies carrying a plutonium pit.

This is an environment Bautista thrives in: raw physicality.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at his résumé but former WWE Heavyweight Champion Bautista has only been in working in mainstream Hollywood for six years. From a small role in the CW’s Smallville as Adlar an enormous humanoid alien who fed on bone marrow, Bautista’s life on the big screen transformed overnight as Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Considered the heart and soul of the ragtag group of misfits, Bautista has followed the paths of previous former WWE wrestlers John Cena and Dwayne Johnson to stardom.In Bautista’s newest Hollywood venture, he plays field agent Jason “JJ” Jones, a hardened covert operative who finds himself outmaneuvered by a precocious youngster in MY SPY. Recently demoted to light surveillance detail, finds himself at the mercy of a sweet but determined 9-year old girl, Sophie (Chloe Coleman), who uses her tech savviness and street smarts to find JJ’s undercover hideout near the apartment she shares with her mother.

In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm, intelligence and aptitude for espionage.

Blending action, humor and an unexpected friendship between a mega-tough superspy and a fatherless child, MY SPY, says its star and producer Dave Bautista, “is really about heart. You have an emotional investment in these characters and their story. [Just like ] the Guardians films are about family, but are disguised as superhero films, this one is a heartfelt relationship story, disguised as an action-comedy.”In MY SPY, audiences get to see Dave in his element, playing a mega-tough professional who dispatches the villains with ease. But now he’s going into a more nuanced world that demands a different, more subtle skillset, as opposed to a guy with a machine gun in the desert. Getting information, instead of breaking necks, doesn’t come so easily to JJ.

“JJ is ex-Special Forces, so action and heroics are what he’s good at,” but JJ’s natural badassery is offset by his challenges with the covert spy stuff, which requires subtlety, finesse and emotional intelligence. None of which JJ possesses.

The heart and soul of MY SPY is centered around the surprising bond between JJ and Sophie. Bautista “wanted to give audiences something unexpected,” being vulnerable and funny, as well as badass and tough that’s contained, grounded, real and subtle.This film has all the action you expect from his films, as well as the romance and heart you don’t expect: elements of a family comedy, that’s also relatable to adults, all wrapped up in a big action movie.

Filled with childlike excitement, Bautista concludes: “I can’t wait for audiences to experience MY SPY. I knew we were onto something special from the day Chloe and I filmed our first scene together – in fact, from our first chemistry read. Along with the action and comedy, there’s an inspiring message of two very, very different kinds of people coming together against all odds. That’s inspiring. And now, more than ever, audiences need a good laugh and to be entertained.”

MY SPY releases on Amazon Prime on June 26th.

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