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‘Stuber’: Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista Break Down Toxic Masculinity Story Line (Exclusive)

It’s not easy being an Uber driver! At least not for Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), who picks up passenger Vic (Dave Bautista), then finds out he’s a cop hunting down a killer in Stuber. “We laughed all the way through this,” the Guardians of the Galaxy star, 50, says in the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now. That said, the comedy has a bit of a deeper meaning to it — and to both of the stars.

In the film, Bautista’s character calls out Stu for his sensitivity and inability to man up while Stu gets on Vic for his toxic masculinity. However, it’s nearly the opposite in real life.

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“Dave is more like Stu that he’s in touch with his feelings. I’ve been trying to sort of learn and grow, but a few years ago, I was more like Vic honestly,” the Big Sick writer, 41, says. “I was the one who wasn’t in touch with my feelings. I was only comfortable accepting anger, not comfortable accepting sadness — even to people I love. So for me, the past few years, I’ve been trying to work on that more. There would be days where I wouldn’t even know how I was feeling. I think that’s a quiet intentionality, and I think that’s sort of the core of a lot of toxic masculinity — guys just not being in touch with themselves. Weirdly, Vic’s arc in the movie is something I really understand.”

Dave Bautista Kumail Nanjiani Reveal Surprising Way They Related to Stuber Characters
Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani in a scene from the film ‘Stuber’.

The former WWE Superstar also notes he understands that people assume he’d be like Vic, strictly based on his build. “I think Vic is very opposite from myself. I might even be closer in real life to Stu, I’d say,” he tells Us. “It was a bit of a stretch for me, which may seem weird because I think people have a certain perception when they see me.”

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Don’t get it wrong — the movie is definitely a comedy for everyone to laugh through — but it works in today’s world too.

“People might not have been asking these questions if this was 20 years ago. They would have been just two very extremely different characters,” Bautista notes. “But now, the way we are, our society has changed and we’re analyzing things, so we’re asking these questions, which is great.”

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Nanjiani adds: “We’re in an era where we’re really talking about masculinity — the good and the bad side of it. This is a movie that really is about two very different types of men having that conversation with each other — what it means to be a man, how it needs to be redefined. [We’re] basically just expanding. This movie, I think, is trying to broaden that circle, [say] that it’s OK for me to be in touch with their feelings. It’s OK for men to cry. It’s OK for men to stand up for themselves.”

Stuber is in theaters now.

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