In James Bond's 24th adventure, Spectre, we see the return to several classic modes and tropes in the Bond franchise, not the least of which is the henchman. While Skyfall with its dopplegänger villain was entertaining, the Bond henchman has been a lost art for the last several Bond films.
Enter Dave Bautista as Hinx, a nearly entirely silent killer who is efficient, destructive, and single-minded in purpose.
"That’s what makes him new and interesting," Bautista explained to ComicBook.com in a phone interview. "He’s almost like a combination between Odd Job and Jaws and the Terminator; I realize Terminator has nothing to do with James Bond, but he is almost Terminator-esque."
That's what made the character interesting to him, and he hopes that fans connect Hinx to the "throwback characters" like the hat-slinging Odd Job and the man with the metal mouth.
"What I’m really hoping is that people will make that connection, that they’ll say those three names in the same breath: Odd Job, Jaws, Hinx. (laughs) That’s what we were going for, it’s an intentional thing. That’s what I’m really hoping for, is to be held along the standards of those guys."
Bautista told us that he "never dreamed of this opportunity," but jumped on it immediately. He did the film "not as a career choice" but for the "fan in me," he said.
"I wasn’t thinking along the lines of, ‘this will really further my career’ or ‘I’ll make a lot of money on this,’ I was thinking along the lines of, ‘I’m gonna be a James Bond villain! Hell yeah!’ (laughs) It really was just childhood excitement."
Playing a silent killer meant acting in a new way for Bautista, focusing on more abstract things like "the demeanor" and more physical acting through "facial expressions, body language." He said the character came alive for him when Sam Mendes would give him direction, specifically telling him what Hinx was feeling or thinking about in certain scenes. The game-changer for the actor came when Mendez talked about how much Hinx enjoys the chase.
"In some of the fight scenes, I was really getting into them, getting caught up in the moment of the fight and being very aggressive," he said. "Sam would tell me, ‘You know, that’s not what Hinx would be thinking. Hinx is enjoying this. He wouldn’t be overly aggressive with this because to him it’s just fun! He’s more enjoying it than angry.’
"So in certain scenes you might think I’d have a scowl on my face, but I have a grin on my face."
Ultimately, while his character is just business and the job was just fun, for Dave Bautista it all circles back to the legacy he knows was set before him.
"I really just hope that thirty years down the road people look back on Hinx the way that I look back on Odd Job, that’s all I can hope."
Spectre is in theaters in North America November 6, 2015.