Being a stunt double is a tough game, with the people who put their lives on the line in the name of our entertainment perhaps the most unsung heroes of the entire industry, but sometimes you get an actor that’s so jacked that it’s difficult to find someone who can convincingly replicate their sheer size.
Arnold Schwarzenegger settled on Peter Kent to sub in for him on at least fifteen movies, while Dwayne Johnson has kept it in the family by having his cousin Tanoai Reed step in for the more dangerous aspects of the day job since his very first leading role in The Scorpion King.
James Gunn knows a thing or two about huge dudes having worked with ex-WWE stars Dave Bautista and John Cena in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and DC’s The Suicide Squad respectively, and he admitted that it’s a lot more difficult to find someone capable of filling in for Drax the Destroyer than Peacemaker.
“Yeah. He and Dave Bautista, we have real problems with stunt doubling. But John’s got his own guy, Spencer. And Spencer goes, and he does every movie with John. He’s a total f*cking filmmaker and a part of the process. And he’s my friend, and he’s a great guy.”
Given that Cena’s forearms alone look like a pair of holiday hams, it’s lucky the wrestler-turned-actor found Spencer Thomas to travel the world with him. In a coincidence that barely sounds plausible, Bautista’s Guardians of the Galaxy double is stunt performer Rob de Groot, and you couldn’t make it up that he just so happens to share a name with the team’s sentient tree.
Cena recently explained why he feels as though he’s under no obligation to perform all of his stunts, and with Bautista planning to retire as Drax after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 due to his advancing years, you’d imagine he’s in the exact same boat as his former in-ring rival.