MY SPY is a new family comedy that follows a hardened CIA operative (Bautista) who finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family. The below interview see’s the two stars talk about the making of the movie which opens in Ireland on March 13th.
So what was the most fun thing you did get to do on set?
CHLOE COLEMAN : You know, I think one of the funnest things, and it was actually what he did. For my tenth birthday, he surprised me with one of the sweetest things — He gave me the best tenth birthday anybody could ask for. I mean —
DAVE BAUTISTA : It was on set, she was working.
CHLOE COLEMAN : It was on set, I was working.
DAVE BAUTISTA : And I can’t take full responsibility for it.
CHLOE COLEMAN : But he — It made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. He got a video of each of the Guardians of the Galaxy wishing me a happy birthday, and like, it just blew my mind that he went out of his way to do it, and —
DAVE BAUTISTA : And Spiderman.
CHLOE COLEMAN : Yeah! Tom Holland, I mean, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt.
How tough was that to pull together, Dave?
DAVE BAUTISTA : We — Well, because she was working on her birthday, we all just felt horrible. So, we just had a big thing at lunch, and it was just like a mini birthday party with a cake and some video’s that her mom actually pieced together this video, it was just a lot of her friends, and family, and people who love her just saying ‘happy birthday’.
CHLOE COLEMAN : It was very sweet. It’s awesome.
Dave, this film is about someone leaving a very masculine environment, and going to another one that requires maybe a bit more subtlety. Is that similar to how you made the move from WWE to acting? Is that similar, towards a transition?
DAVE BAUTISTA : It was a transition as far as environment. It wasn’t a transition as far as who I was as a person. But yeah, definitely. The WWE is a very competitive, cutthroat, testosteronedriven environment. It’s hostile, at times. It really — It’s rough. I didn’t realize what a relief it was until I left, that I just felt like — Getting out of that environment — It’s easy to become the worst version of yourself when you’re put into that type of environment. When you’re constantly — It’s almost like you’re constantly defending yourself, so you defend yourself so much you start to become offensive. And for myself, there just came a point in my WWE career, and it was about a year before I left, where I literally just secluded myself from everybody, because I just didn’t want be in it anymore, didn’t want to be in it anymore, didn’t want to be in that environment anymore, didn’t want to be in survival mode anymore. So, I left to pursue acting, but I was just, it really just is not the easiest environment. It’s definitely not an easy environment to thrive in.
Is that you ruling out any comeback?
DAVE BAUTISTA : I’m done. I’m done. Well, I went — So, here was the thing. It was a love-hate relationship, and the thing was is I love that they gave me an opportunity to perform, and see the world, but it was just a rough environment, and you earned your weight, and you pulled your weight. So, I left under the right circumstances, and I went back, because I wanted to wrap up my career in the right way, but it was the same thing, I butted heads with the company again. So, I left again. But I never felt content with the way I ended my career, so I went back this past year and ended it the right way, the way I wanted to, but I went back under my conditions. I went back and I wrapped up my career, so actually, I’m retired, and I’ll go into the Hall of Fame next year.
How fulfilling will that be, to be going into the Hall of Fame?
DAVE BAUTISTA You know, it’s weird, and I almost feel bad saying this, but it doesn’t — My last match meant more to me than being inducted into the Hall of Fame, because I never — I don’t need accolades, like it doesn’t, you know. I’m not that type of person. I don’t need this stamp of approval from the Hall of Fame. I feel content with my career. I feel content with the way I closed that night. I really —Knowing that I entertained people all over the world means more to me than having ‘Hall of Fame’ under my name. It just — I don’t need accolades. But I’m honored to be there, but again, it won’t mean as much to me as my last match. My last match meant everything to me.
So, in watching you in this film, I kept thinking of people like Schwarzenegger, John Cena, Dwayne Johnson, and it’s always when making that transition, it’s always on the corner of laughs and brawn.
DAVE BAUTISTA : I think my transition was made well before this film. I wouldn’t think — I wouldn’t say that my transition relied on this film. I think my transition as a filmmaker, as a producer, is definitely more prominent in this film, but I don’t think as a performer. And I don’t — That was never what I set out to be. I never set out to be Dwayne Johnson. I certainly never set out to be John Cena. No, I just wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be an actor. That’s what I fell in love with. That’s what I was pursuing, and so, to achieve that, to get that type of respect, I had to go a different route than the typical, stereotypical action guy.
The dancing, Dave. How easy did you take to the dancing?
DAVE BAUTISTA : Oh, it was horrible. It was horrible. I actually — You know, it’s funny, because I like dancing, and I’m that big goofball who will spend the night dancing, and just not stop. I don’t really have that fear of embarrassing myself from dancing. I realized that I’m not great at it, but I also like to have fun, and I worked in nightclubs for 13 years, so it’s just kind of second-nature to me. But that was fun. It was a little bit — It was a little embarrassing, having to do those dances in front of all those people. And also, those weren’t dances that I would typically do.
Chloe, you’ve worked with some massive stars now, like Meryl Streep. What kinds of things do you learn off of people like that?
CHLOE COLEMAN : I mean, all the people that I’ve gotten to work with, especially women, I mean, like working with Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman, and Jennifer Lopez, and all of these amazing icons. Some people ask me, “Who is your favorite woman that you worked with?” I can’t decide, they’re all amazing. And what I really learned from them is, it’s by watching them, people like Meryl Streep, I really learned a lot from her, and also Nicole, when I watch them act, especially in Big Little Lies, the intensity that they have for their characters, especially the role that they have to play, since it’s so different than them in real life. And you know, even Lena Headey, she’s the polar opposite of Cersei Lannister. She’s so sweet and zen, and all these women, I learn so much from them everyday. And that’s what I love about it. It’s such a privilege to work with people like Dave, and these icons. I learn everything from them everyday.
What do your friends think of what you do for a living?
CHLOE COLEMAN : Well, you know, most of the stuff that I’ve done is not actually, like, out, so they don’t really actually know a lot. I mean, they know that I’ve worked with Dave, and you sent me a birthday video on my birthday, and I went in the other room for that, and I was like, “What are you doing?” “Just stuff.” They don’t really — I mean, I’ve told them about it, and I’m gone, and they’re sad, and happy when I come back, which is good. And they’re a bit surprised by it, but nothing’s really out yet, so they don’t know a lot about the people that I have worked with, and stuff.
Dave, do you do your own stunts for this film?
DAVE BAUTISTA : No, God no. No, I like to do a lot of my own fighting, but stunts are just — I don’t have the desire to do stunts, I’m not qualified to do stunts, I don’t consider myself a stuntman. I paid my dues with professional wrestling, I got more than beat-up, and I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. So, I actually have a very qualified stunt-double that I’ve actually had since the first Guardians. And if it’s something that’s kind of dangerous, I’m more than happy to say, “Hey, Rob, do you mind?” And he’s more than happy to say, “Nope, let me do it.”