Dave Bautista says he was ‘like a little fan-boy’ acting opposite Stellan Skarsgård in ‘Dune’

Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista on the red carpet
Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista arrive on the red carpet ahead of the ‘Dune’ screening during the 78th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2021 in Venice, Italy. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Lexus
  • Dave Bautista said he was like a “little fan-boy” while acting opposite Stellan Skarsgård in “Dune.”
  • “I was next to my buddy thinking this is all so surreal,” the pro-wrestler recalled in an interview.
  • Bautista plays the villainous Glossu Rabban in “Dune,” while Skarsgård stars as Baron Harkonnen.

Dave Bautista said he was “like a little fan-boy” while acting opposite costar Stellan Skarsgård in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.”

Bautista told the AV Club’s Cameron Scheetz that even though he was playing a terrifying villain onscreen, he was actually quite intimidated during some of his first scenes, which took place in the steam baths on the Harkonnen planet of Giedi Prime.

“I’m supposed to be this big, menacing, ominous character – and I’m literally shitting myself,” Bautista said.
“I’m like, ‘That’s Stellan Skarsgård!'”

“And I was next to my buddy thinking this is all so surreal, like, ‘How the hell did I get from a professional wrestling ring to here? This is crazy!’ I was dying on the inside,” the former pro-wrestler added.

Dave Bautista (left) as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen and Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Harkonnen in 'Dune.'
Bautista (left) as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen and Skarsgård (right) as Baron Harkonnen in ‘Dune.’ Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

According to Bautista, his heart was “beating fast” during his first few scenes, but he didn’t let that distract him from getting into character.

“I was just so excited, but, at the same time, just trying to be terrifying,” the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star said. “So, terrifying on the outside, inside I was like a little fan-boy.”

Skarsgård plays the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (who is morbidly obese and floats above the ground) in “Dune,” while Bautista plays Glossu “Beast” Rabban, the brutish nephew of Baron Harkonnen.

Based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, Villeneuve’s “Dune” follows young nobleman Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he travels to the desert planet of Arrakis with his family. Upon arriving on the planet, the Atreides family is met with serious challenges, including attacks from their rivals, the Harkonnens.

“Dune” is currently playing in theaters and on HBO Max. You can watch the trailer below.