Recently I had the amazing experience to attend the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Press Junket in Los Angeles, which included the World Premiere of the movie, as well as interviews with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and the rest of the cast. Take a peek at what Dave Bautista said about his time as Drax in my exclusive interview.
One of my favorite characters in Guardians of the Galaxy is Drax. I love his sentimentality to his family (and the family the Guardians have created together) and I love that he laughs. Like a lot. He makes me laugh out loud along with him.
When they told us we would have the chance to interview Dave Bautista (who plays Drax) for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol2 Press Event, I was thinking he would be just like his character and would come into the room laughing. That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
In fact, Dave Bautista, former WWE wrester, is the exact opposite. Very quiet and reserved, almost shy to a point. And he even references that in our interview. Want to learn more about this gentle giant? Read on…
Exclusive Interview with Dave Bautista
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Drax has a much bigger role in the move than he did in Vol 1, which makes me happy, as I mentioned before, I love his character. So we started the interview hearing his perspective on his character.
“When I first read the script, I wasn’t crazy about it….”
In this movie Drax really came to the forefront in a more prominent role. How excited were when you saw that in the script as opposed to the first movie?
When I first read the script, I wasn’t crazy about it. And this is my initial reaction…when I usually get a script, I go over my dialogue first. I was expecting them to go a different direction with Drax. I thought he was gonna be more of the destroyer. I thought he was gonna be a more comic book Drax and then I realized they were digging more into the funny bits. And I don’t find myself funny at all, so when I was reading these lines, I was like they’re not funny. I just didn’t really get them. And I thought, wow, this is really a great script. It’s deep. It’s emotional, but I still was a little bit disappointed about my part. And then the first day we did our table read, I realized it was hysterical. And then I just had a completely different outlook on it as a whole.
“I like it better than the first film.”
Bautista goes on to tell us what he thought of the film.
I think it’s beautiful. I like it better than the first film. It’s weird. It’s one of things I feel like the more and more we get into the film, the more I am sucked into it and there’s certain beats where I just get so emotionally invested in this film. I felt that the first one I thought was fun and exciting and some parts were very emotional, but not like this one. I felt like I was just totally absorbed in this film.
As far as watching me on film, I just cringe. I just like don’t watching myself on film. It’s just uncomfortable. Last night at the premiere, every time I was on the screen like and I knew I was gonna say something I just kinda put my head down and just try to get through it. I just don’t like it. I’m just uncomfortable with it.
“Drax is definitely not who I am.”
Did your time wrestling help you bring out Drax?
Not really, but, you know, someone said something to me the other day that kinda resonated a little bit. He was making the comparison, and I said there’s no comparison. I said wrestling is so big and so broad and such a big improvisational physical performance, and acting is so intimate. He goes, ‘yeah, but Drax is so big. He’s so larger than life.’ And I never really thought about it, but it really is. So, maybe subconsciously it does help a little bit, ’cause Drax is definitely not who I am.
He’s big and boisterous and a little bit egotistical and proud. And I’m just not that. I’m just much more self-conscious and understated. But, yeah, maybe it does have something to do with it, especially when Drax starts laughing. It’s just so big and ridiculous.
Can you tell us a little bit about your makeup process, because it’s not just your face….
It’s most my body, but actually it’s not bad. It takes about an hour and a half now. On the first film it took like four to six hours. It was just like these big sheets of silicone and glue transfers that they have. And it takes about an hour a half. It’s really hard to get off, but otherwise it goes on really fast and I can’t complain.
Drax obviously had his great love. Do you think he will ever get in a relationship with someone else in the future, or, no, not gonna happen?
No, if I can have input on it, I would say no, because it’s the root of who Drax is. Drax lives for his heartbreak. You know, he’s just too heartbreaking. I don’t think he’ll ever have a romantic connection with anyone.
Possible Avengers Scoop…..
Can you talk about the chemistry on the set? I mean there’s a lot of great characters. So, what was it like to be on set? A lot of jokes? Any pranks?
Not really pranks. But a lot of laughs. Chris just loves making people laugh. Sometimes he’s just hysterical without even trying. We also got really close in the first film. We’ve spent so much time together on press tours and whatnot. And now we’ve actually done three films together as the Guardians. We’ve done Guardians 1 and 2 and gone to the Avengers. So, we’ve spent a lot of time together.
The chemistry just kinda naturally happened. We don’t overthink it. That was a huge luxury coming into the second one. Everyone felt comfortable already. I didn’t have to feel self-conscious, because they knew I was a little awkward and they accept that about me.
I have ADD and I zone off quite a bit. Sometimes I’ll zone off and I can hear Zoë going, “David. David, where are you?” And she’s like really sweet about and she just kinda accepts it at the end.
You mentioned the Avengers. Anything you want to share?
I would love to spill the beans. I can tell you this. We’re in the Avengers.
Here was my fear going into the Avengers. It was that they were gonna try to make us into characters that we weren’t, they were gonna take their version of the Guardians and try to go with that and not let us be James Gunn’s Guardians. And it was completely opposite.
We had the luxury of James doing a lot of the writing for us. And also when we showed up the, Russo brothers was just so encouraging of us being our characters. We have a certain way of doing things. I mean we’ve done two films. We just bounce off each other. Chris hardly ever says anything that’s actually on page. He says it a bunch of different times and a bunch of different ways. So, that’s just the way we do things. We bounce and we’re very flexible. And they were just very encouraging of just letting us do things our way.
And they really liked it. They really appreciated it. A lot of times we would say something that wasn’t even on page, wasn’t even close to what was on page and they’d come running on, what was that you said on the last take? And we’d say it again. They’d say, yeah, do that again. They just kinda let us be ourselves, man. It was great.
“I did it because I wanted to step outside of my career zone and pursue my dreams, which is terrifying.”
Looking from the outside in, we can all tell this is a whirlwind (the press event). How do you, on your downtime, get centered again?
I go home to Tampa and I hide. I live in a regular neighborhood and I’m surrounded by all military families. It’s just kind of a normal neighborhood. And my wife shies away from the spotlight. She doesn’t like it. So, it’s just like real life and I like being there. I’m very content there, because like all this attention and the spotlight very uncomfortable for me.
And I tell people like that because nobody really gets it, when we’re walking like down the red carpet and they’re saying, ‘oh, this is great.’ For me it’s not. I enjoy it. I don’t hate it, but at the same time it’s just overwhelming for me. A lot of people have a hard time relating why that would be overwhelming, especially when they look at what I’ve done for a living with wrestling and everything being out there in the spotlight. I did it, because I love it. I was passionate about it. That doesn’t mean I was always like super comfortable. I did it because I wanted to step outside of my career zone and pursue my dreams, which is terrifying.
I think people expect me to have a certain personality because of the way I look, and I always tell people I look the way I do because of the personality that I have. The only place I ever felt comfortable was working out. I just felt like I was a fish put back in water. It just made me feel good. It made me feel more confident, and that’s why I look the way I do.
I loved Dave’s honesty & candor about how uncomfortable he feels with the spotlight. It makes his performance that much more endearing. Want to see how terrific Dave Bautista is as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2?? Go see it this weekend!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 opens in theaters nationwide Friday, May 5, 2017
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Other Articles from the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Event you may enjoy:
I’m Heading to LA for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 World Premiere!
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That Time When the Dancing With the Stars Cast Taught Me How to Dance
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Chris Pratt Reveals Peter Quill’s Favorite Snack: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Easter Eggs
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Disney Channel’s Descendants 2 Spoilers
Zoe Saldana Reveals Why She’d Like a Break From Playing Kick Ass Science Fiction Females
Does American Housewife Katy Mixon Read Our Thoughts?
Dave Bautista: Guardians versus the Avengers
Meet the Ladies of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Karen Gillian, Pom Klementieff & Elizabeth Debicki
10 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Toys You Must Have
Kurt Russell Reveals Why He Thought He Would Kill Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of the red carpet premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. All opinions are my own.