Knock at the Cabin: How M. Night Shyamalan Challenged Dave Bautista's Acting Skills
Dave Bautista is currently thriving in Hollywood. Not only did the former wrestler recently star in the Oscar-nominated film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, but he will soon be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Drax one final time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This weekend, you can also catch Bautista in M. Night Shyamalan's newest movie, Knock at the Cabin. In honor of the film's release, ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis had a chat with Bautista who talked about how Shyamalan challenged his acting skills.
"It's always a different experience but with Night, with this role, because it was a difficult role and Night is ... very specific about what he wants," Bautista explained. "So I was constantly trying to, you know, have the conversation with him and relying on him. There was very much an inner struggle with the performance of Leonard because he was so multi-layered and I just wanted to make sure this was right. And we also had the pressure of being on one camera, on film, so in all this dialogue and it was just really tough. So anyway, that was who I looked towards. It was Night, constantly Night, constantly conversations, long, lengthy conversations."
"I try not to," Bautista replied when asked if he's been paying attention to the positive reviews about his performance. "Yeah. I try not to, cause I know there's gonna be some negative that will come with the positive, and also like, I don't know, I just try not to get wrapped up into it. I appreciate it, it's weird because there's part of me that I try not to get wrapped up in it, but I also don't want people to think I'm unappreciative so it's kind of a struggle. It's an inner struggle."
"It was a nightmare!" Bautista added when Davis asked about Shyamalan's tendency to roll the camera for ten pages of the script at a time. "And that's what I mean ... I talk about like pressure," he added with a laugh. "I always try to say ... 'No pressure. Oh, it was no pressure at all.' But it was like these massive chunks of monologues and Night was done ... so many one-shots with one camera on film and nobody wants to waste film because it's expensive! So, it's like everybody had to really be on point and be prepared. There wasn't a lot of that, you know, 'Line? Line?' If it was ever, it was probably from me and it was only because Night doesn't give you a whole lot of freedom as far as improv. And I'm an improv person but he was like, 'Stay on that page.'"
What Is Knock at the Cabin About?
Knock at the Cabin stars Dave Bautista (Dune, Guardians of the Galaxy), Tony award and Emmy nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton, Mindhunter), Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth, Fleabag), BAFTA nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird (Persuasion, Old), newcomer Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn (Little Women, Landline), and Rupert Grint (Servant, Harry Potter franchise). The screenplay is by Shyamalan and Steve Desmond & Michael Sherman based on the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. The film is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Marc Bienstock (Split, Glass), and Ashwin Rajan (Servant, Glass). The executive producers are Steven Schneider, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, and Ashley Fox. You can read a description below:
"While vacationing at a remote cabin, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost."
Knock at the Cabin hits theaters on February 3rd.