VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Dave Bautista attends the red carpet of the movie "Dune" during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 03, 2021 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images)
12 Wrestlers Who Became Very Successful Movie Stars
Andre the Giant
In his short-lived movie career, Andre the Giant played the role of Fezzik in the 1987 fantasy classic “The Princess Bride.” Andre had initially turned down the role of Fezzik, but after the movie spent a decade in developmental hell, author William Goldman and director Rob Reiner finally convinced the Giant to take the part.
Steve Austin
Steve Austin’s film career began as Guard Dunham in “The Longest Yard,” starring Adam Sandler, but he got his start with a recurring role on “Nash Bridges.” Between 2007 and 2015, action movies became Austin’s specialty, starting with the 2007 WWE Studio film “The Condemned,” before moving on to “The Expendables” in 2010.
Dave Bautista saw an overwhelming amount of success as Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. “Guardians” director James Gunn has said that Bautista was the “only choice” to play Drax because “No one else who auditioned was that humorous.” He has also starred in “Stuber,” “My Spy,” and “Dune.”
John Cena
John Cena starred in “The Marine,” and “12 Rounds” during his peak wrestling years. With his in-ring career drawing to a close, he starred in comedic roles like “Trainwreck,” “Daddy’s Home 2,” and the kid-friendly “Playing with Fire,” before playing Peacemaker in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” in 2021.
Hulk Hogan
As a movie star, the Hulkster is arguably best known as “Thunderlips” in “Rocky III. Following the immense success of the movie, Vince McMahon wanted to ride the success of Hogan’s movie debut, and cast top star Hogan in the company’s first in-house production, 1989’s “No Holds Barred,” although it tanked at the box office.