Batista was at the Denver Pop Culture Con over the weekend and did a panel talking about his journey from WWE to Hollywood.
He was asked about his move and Batista said that he acted in a movie for a friend while he was still on top of WWE and realized he was a very bad actor. He didn’t mention the movie, but chances are it was Wrong Side of Town with Rob Van Dam.
As a result, he wanted to work on his acting and asked WWE for permission to work on that and take on some movie roles. WWE refused the request and told him that they needed him on TV every week since he was a top guy.
Batista said that if WWE was not going to let him do something he was passionate about, he would leave — and he did in 2010.
Batista then said that he found the road to Hollywood harder than he expected. In two years, Batista had lost all the money that he made in WWE.
“I was making a very good living and I walked out,” Batista said. “Then I starved for three years. I went broke and lost everything. I couldn’t get a job. I said, ‘I will never go back to wrestling until I prove what I set out to prove that I could make it as an actor’.”
He had a small role in House of the Rising Sun in 2011 and then picked up a pair of nice roles in The Man with the Iron Fists in 2012 and Riddick in 2013.
However, it was in 2013 when Batista finally got the role that made him a major star and proved he could make it as an actor.
He then credited James Gunn with changing his life.
“I read for James Gunn and I could tell right away that he really wanted me to be Drax,” Batista said. “James and I connected really fast. Where I was at in my life- when I say that James Gunn changed the direction of my life, not just my career, this is why I am so loyal to him. You’re going to get me emotional- I connected with him right off the bat.”
After that audition and making it big in a Marvel movie, Batista finally called Vince McMahon and said he wanted to come back to wrestle again, returning to something he loved completely.