Dave Bautista: Being Cast in ‘Knives Out 2’ ‘Feels Terrifying,’ but It’s Also ‘Validation’

Another day, another “Knives Out 2” casting announcement. With each one, it’s starting to feel like Rian Johnson and Netflix are trolling us with an embarrassment of talent: Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Edward Norton, and also Dave Bautista, who’s making headlines for his turn in Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead.” That film is now in theaters, and will be hitting Netflix next week. In the meantime, Bautista recently spoke to Slash Film about the “terrifying” experience of being cast in Rian Johnson’s slick sequel to his beloved 2019 whodunit. (Which, of course, will feature the return of Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc.)

“It feels terrifying. I’m nervous about it. I’m really nervous,” Bautista said about being cast in the movie, which is expected to begin filming in Greece later this year. “It’s one of those things where now the pressure’s on, because people are expecting things from you. I want to deliver. I take pride in that. I’m a game player. I want to throw a touchdown pass.”

Indeed, Bautista is a strategic maneuverer, having chosen “Army of the Dead” over starring in his “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn’s upcoming “The Suicide Squad” in order to get a foot in the door at Netflix. The streamer is now home to not one but two “Knives Out” sequels to the tune of a cool $450 million.

“I know the script is brilliant, I know the director is brilliant,” Bautista said of “Knives Out” and Rian Johnson. “The names are going to get bigger and better, and for me, I can’t get it out of my head that — there’s always going to be a part of me that feels like I’m new to this and I’m still learning, and I want to be able to hold my own. So there is a bit of an intimidation factor, because all these actors and directors are just accomplished and seasoned and award-winners. But at the end of the day, this is how I gauge my career, the people I’m working with. The projects that I’m on, the directors that I work with. So I know being announced as part of this cast is a huge statement, because the first film crushed.”

He added, “The cast was a who’s who, and I like being in that conversation, man. It’s just validation. This is why I was in this. I still aspire to be a great actor, and I don’t know if I can get there unless I get those roles that require me to be a great actor. So again, I’m just kind of stepping the ladder, but it’s very validating to get a role like this in a film like this.”

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