Growing up in a small town in Puerto Rico where he worked as a grocery bagger, the rapper known as Bad Bunny had big dreams about not only making music, but movies.
The music dreams have come true for the two-time Grammy Award-winning global superstar. This weekend, Bad Bunny hits his movie goal with his first major film role in “Bullet Train.”
It’s a scene-stealing appearance the 28-year-old musician could never have imagined: He plays the Wolf, an assassin trying to kill Brad Pitt’s rival assassin Ladybug on a Japanese high-speed train.
“I have always dreamed about making movies and acting,” Bad Bunny told USA TODAY last week before walking the “Bullet Train” pink carpet for his first Hollywood premiere. “But I never, ever had a dream where I was trying to kill Brad Pitt in a movie scene.”
Got in trouble for that one:Brad Pitt reveals his best stunt secrets before ‘Bullet Train’
Cross that off the bucket list for Bad Bunny, who has spent the last seven weeks on the Billboard 200 chart with his latest album, “Un Verano Sin Ti” before kicking off his appropriately named World’s Hottest Tour this weekend in Orlando, Florida.
After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in “F9” and a role as Mexican drug trafficker Kitty Páez in Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico,” Bad Bunny jumped at the chance to play the revenge-seeking, knife- wheeling Wolf. Credited under his real name, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, he utters few words but shows off impressive stunt fighting with Pitt in their climatic battle.
“It was intense, three weeks of training and fighting, getting ready with a lot of physical exercise and choreography,” says Bad Bunny, who insists neither actor took a hit in the screen battle. “Nobody was damaged. Maybe it was the adrenalin. But I wouldn’t have cared if I had been hurt by Brad Pitt.”
Director David Leitch credits Bad Bunny’s effective performance to his dance ability.
‘To me, a dress is a dress’:Bad Bunny dishes on breaking gender norms through fashion
“He’s an incredibly physical actor, but it was his natural ability to understand choreography which makes it work,” says Leitch. “It took to it quickly.”
Even Pitt was wowed. “He has all my respect. Bad Bunny jumped in there and rolled with it,” the actor says. “He understood the joke, and it was all just funny. He crushed it.”
Look out for future crushings, because the action roles are stacking up. In April, Bad Bunny was tapped as the first Latino actor to headline a Marvel action movie in “El Muerto” (out in 2024).
Bad Bunny, who made his WWE premiere at a WrestleMania event last year, is honored to play the first major Latino superhero, the wrestler El Muerto.
Bad Bunny is Marvel’s Latino Hero ‘El Muerto’:Viola Davis Teases ‘Real Life Black Panther’
“People know I’m always working for and representing the Latino community and the Puerto Rican culture with my music. Now it’s the Marvel Universe. It makes me so proud,” says Bad Bunny, who jokes about not hearing from any of his fellow Marvel superheroes. “I’m still waiting for The Hulk to DM me on Twitter.”
To get hulked up for his own role, Bad Bunny will have to fit in time in the training room.
“I need to get bigger and stronger,” Bad Bunny says. “I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to train while I’m doing a world tour. It’s going to be hard.”
‘Bullet Train’ review:Brad Pitt charms, but his A-list action flick mostly goes off the rails
There are more roles in the pipeline, hey hints.
“You’re going to see me acting in movies more,” he says. “There’s some secret stuff going on there.”
But Bad Bunny makes it clear that rumors of any music retirement – partially based the title of his third album and companion tour, “El Último Tour Del Mundo” (“The Last Tour in the World”) – are greatly exaggerated.
“I’m never going to retire from music. I’ve been making music since forever, long before the fame, and I will continue to make music forever,” says Bad Bunny. “But maybe I’ll stop touring, the media, the albums. I need to take time to enjoy everything I have done.”
Three pre-tour surprise concerts last month in San Juan, with a stadium of fans jumping, singing and dancing, was “one of the most special moments in my career,” the hometown hero says.
Who’s playing Kang, Namor and more?Meet 5 new faces who loom large in Marvel’s future
“Everything I do is with passion and love. I feel proud of all my work.” Bad Bunny says. “Sometimes I feel on top of the world. But I’m still here on the Earth, in my place.”
That sometimes humble place also comes with the swagger of the still-ascending superstar. When the fashion head-turner is asked what he’ll don next to Pitt on the premiere carpet, he makes clear that’s one battle he won’t lose.
“I don’t know what I’m going to wear tonight,” Bad Bunny says smiling. “The only thing I know is that I’m going to look better than him.”
Ranked: Every Marvel superhero movie (including the new ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’)