– by Gig Patta

Who’s human, and who’s not human?

It’s the ongoing cliffhanger debate for the original 1982 Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner.

Now nearly 35 years later, director Denis Villeneuve follows up with the sequel Blade Runner 2049 with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.

In the long-awaited sequel, a younger blade runner seeks to solve a mystery that leads him to missing blade runner Rick Deckard.

During the press day last month, LRM had a chance to sit down with actor Dave Bautista, who plays Sapper Morton in the film with a pivotal role. We discussed about the art of keeping secrets on film projects like this and the lure of the Blade Runner movie.

This is a spoiler free interview as we do not discuss any important plot points that will ruin the film.

Blade Runner 2049 is out in theaters nationwide tonight.

Read our interview transcript below:

LRM: You must be so pleased that you get to talk about this movie.

Dave Bautista: We kind of get to talk about it and we kind of don’t. [Laughs] It’s weird. It’s kind of walking on egg shells. It’s weird to answer a question that you’re in a monologue to say it this way and don’t want to give that plot away. I always wonder, “Would I get in trouble if I say this?” [Laughs]

LRM: I know. That NDA is kind of crazy. I had to sign one myself.

Dave Bautista: I’m sure mine is ten times more. [Laughs] I’m somewhat used to it for dealing it with Marvel. They have me sign a bunch of NDAs and they don’t want me to give anything away. It’s totally understandable that we don’t give away any spoilers or something.

LRM: How do you keep everything a secret–close to your heart for yourself?

Dave Bautista: I just do. I always think that I’m a fan first. I don’t want to give anything away that people might enjoy to watch for themselves. When I go watch a film, I want to see what happens. I don’t want anybody to tell me on what happens. I always try to keep that in mind. I know I’m being hush-hush about it–I know it’s for a good reason.

LRM: Well, we’re here to talk about Blade Runner 2049 and we can’t reveal too much. Tell me about the excitement you had when you first heard that you’ll be in this film.

Dave Bautista: When I first heard that I actually got the part…[laughs]…it was amazing. I was filming Guardians of the Galaxy Part 2, I was already running high and I really loved everybody from that film. They knew I’ve done the screen test while I was still filming Guardians. I got to share it with all of them. It was a really exciting feeling.

I really didn’t start working on a regular basis after the first Guardians. They knew on how passionate I was about it. I was struggling to work and I got to share it with them. There was a big sense of elation and a sense of accomplishment.

LRM: Now because of the secrecy, did they only gave you a partial script? Or did they give you the whole thing?

Dave Bautista: They gave me the whole script. You’ve seen the film, right?

LRM: I have.

Dave Bautista: When I knew my part–I knew who the character was, the storyline and his background of the character. Well, I didn’t really want to read the script. I told the producers, Andrew [Kosove] and Broderick [Johnson], that I didn’t want to read the script. They insisted that I do read the script, because wanted me to know on how my character fit in with the complete story. They really wanted to me to know the nature and background of this character.

I read the whole script reluctantly. [Laughs] I was familiar with the whole storyline. It was a bitter sweet thing for me.

LRM: You sounded kind of disappointed.

Dave Bautista: I was. Again, I’m going to go back to say that I’m a fan first. I’m a movie buff. I want to go in myself and watch it. I wanted to figure out on what’s going on and think about it. I also wanted to have conversations about it with people.

For example, Avengers: Infinity War, we were given the opportunity to read the script and we didn’t have to, so I chose not to.

LRM: Oh, that’s interesting. What about the Blade Runner world? What about this setting that you absolutely love?

Dave Bautista: I think you have to go back to the original film and on why you love that. It’s weird. I saw it when I was young as a teenager. I don’t remember feeling the way I do now. I didn’t look at it the same way. I didn’t think about it. I don’t think I understood it as much.

I also think the film is way before its time. I just saw it too young of an age. I was way more curious on what was going on in the theater, my friends or what cute girls were sitting down in the aisle.

Later as I got older and I watched it again–and again with the Director’s Cut. It’s one of those movies that you just overthink. You start to ask questions. It’s a smart film. It’s a thought provoking film.

That’s what I love about it. It got a very melancholy romantic feel to it. At the same time, it’s an action, drama thriller. It’s a smart film It’s just in a different world where we never seen it before.

Everybody wants to go back to the world. In fact, everybody waited over thirty years to go back to that world. It’s on how the story will continue.

LRM: For someone who hasn’t watched Blade Runner before, which version would you suggest for them to watch?

Dave Bautista: The Director’s Cut is definitely for me. I think there’s more to think about [in that version].

It’s weird. They may want to watch the original version and then watch the Director’s Cut. They should compare to see on what the differences are and start to ask more questions. The big thing is about asking more questions about Deckard.

I would say the Director’s Cut, but not if they’re not into that particular type of film. If they’re on the fairweather fence, then I probably offer them the original version.

LRM: So what was your impression when you first walked on to this set? It must’ve been quite a surprise and amazing.

Dave Bautista: The first set I walked on to was the set that I wasn’t filming on and watched Ryan [Gosling] and Harrison [Ford] filming a scene. There was this massive water tank. It was the biggest water tank I’ve ever seen. It was a bit overwhelming, because I couldn’t believe they created this ocean to shoot this scene. [Laughs] It was enormous.

It had to be three times the size of an Olympic pool. It was enormous, but also probably the presence of people there too. Also, it was my first day in Budapest. I was just taking it all in. It was a bit overwhelming. It was outside, as well, it was really cool.

LRM: How was it working alongside with Ryan?

Dave Bautista: It was amazing. It was educational. I was a fan of his before I went in to shoot this. It was a bit surreal as well. I go there and it feels like I’m undeserving. I take everything in stride now. I always take myself as a student of this. That’s how I learn. I’m on the job learning actor. I took advantage of this. I picked his brain a lot. I hugged him a lot. I told him that I was a fan. [Laughs]

LRM: That would make a lot of women jealous of you.

Dave Bautista: Yeah. Well, wait in line. [Laughs]

LRM: When did you know that you caught the acting bug?

Dave Bautista: I think it was with the first film I did. It’s what made me want to pursue acting.

LRM: Ever since then, you just wanted to improve and learn?

Dave Bautista: Yeah! I struggled for three years to get work. It was when Guardians of the Galaxy was released is when I was working on a regular basis. With every job, I continued to be better.

LRM: Speaking of Guardians, what do you look towards to the most in Avengers: Infinity Wars. I know you can’t reveal too much about that film. What are you expecting?

Dave Bautista: I just like the worlds colliding. There will be all these characters coming together. There will be a lot of different individuals never had been seen on the Avengers movie before. They’ll all be thrown into the Infinity War, especially with The Guardians. Our interactions with the other characters is priceless. It’s priceless, man.

LRM: Which character are you looking forward to interacting with?

Dave Bautista: With myself and I’ve said it for years before we were going to do this—it’ll be with Tony Stark. I think Drax and Tony Stark will be hysterical.

LRM: Any other upcoming projects? I believe you have Escape Plan sequels in the works?

Dave Bautista: Yeah, Escape Plan. [Laughs] I just finished that. We worked nights and I’m still adjusting from it.

I have a really great film coming out in China. It’ll be an Ipman spinoff. And I have another great film that I believe will be a massive hit. I did it with Jodie Foster called Hotel Artemis. One more film I did as the lead that is called Final Score.

I do have a few projects coming out next year. Hotel Artemis is the one I’m most excited about.

LRM: Do you want to choose roles that’ll be non-action in the future hopefully?

Dave Bautista: Yeah. I prefer to do non-action roles. That’s what I like. I never set myself up to be an action star. That’s what I’m most interested in.

LRM: One last question–what does it mean to be human?

Dave Bautista: What does it mean to be human? I always say there’s a difference between being human and humanity. You’re born–you’re human. Humanity is a different thing. Humanity is compassion, understanding, selflessness and modesty to me. Those are all things that equal out for humanity. It’s all about caring for one another. It’s all about the fellow humans on this planet.

LRM: Perfect. Great answer. Thank you very much.

Dave Bautista: Thank you.

Blade Runner 2049 is out in theaters nationwide tonight.

Source: Exclusive to LRM

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.