Here we go with another installment of my most recent totally awesome journey out to Los Angeles! In mid-July, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Press Junket. Hopefully by now you’ve read my Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, and Zoe Saldana interviews from earlier. Don’t forget to check out my review! Plus I just want to say huge congratulations to GUARDIANS! This past weekend the film raked in over $95 million domestically!! Amazing!!
When I told a few of my MMA fan friends that I was interview Dave Bautista, their excitement intrigued me to learn more about the man behind Drax the Destroyer before the interview. Dave is more commonly known to the masses as the WWE wrestler Batista. He is a six-time world champion, winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice! Impressive for sure!
Right off the bat, we were curious to learn how much of Dave’s WWE and MMA training helped him prepared for this film. The funny thing is, he actually noted that none of it did! He’s always been an athlete so that certainly helped him with picking up the skills and moves for the film. Though he said that the role and physical demand of Drax was nothing like he had ever done before. He complimented the stuntmen who worked on the film in assisting him and giving tips on how to pick up everything quickly.
As for the look of Drax? That’s all makeup! Dave noted that it took about four hours to apply and about an hour and a half to take off. For the most part the makeup didn’t limit his movements, but moving in the glued on prosthetic pieces was a whole new world to him! That took some getting used to, but it was all worth it for the look of Drax.
What do you think attracted you most to the role of Drax?
DAVE: Oh, it’s easy. It was because he’s a nut job. It’s because I’ve been wanting to do a role that wasn’t kind of one noted. It’s kinda multi-layered. He’s a character with an emotional range, which is something that I needed for my career. I think people have a certain perception of me leaving wrestling that they just saw me as that guy, and I’m really not that guy at all.
DAVE: I had no idea who they were before I got this role. I had absolutely no idea, which I thought was going to be a challenge right off the bat because it’s not one of your mainstream comics. It’s just really starting to hit me how big it really is. When we started doing press last week, and we went over to Singapore to do it, and when you fly across a world to go somewhere for a destination… when hundreds and hundreds of people show up not only to talk to you, but to see you… you already know they’re already in support of this film which hasn’t come out. So it’s pretty overwhelming.
How did this role compare with your expectations on what it would be like?
Original Photo: JustEnza.com & MeetKristy.com. Edits by me.
Did you have to audition for the role?
DAVE: Yes, I had two initial auditions, but I think I went back for maybe another two auditions. Then I think two or three screen tests and makeup tests. It was a lengthy process. It was over three and a half to four months. Then even when I got the part, I think it was another month or so before I could even acknowledge to anyone publicly that I got the part.
Do you have the Drax doll already?
DAVE: Yes, he’s sitting on my kitchen counter right now!
Are you not coming back to the octagon?
DAVE: I don’t rule that out. I would love to fight again. I definitely want go back and do some wrestling again.
Do you see yourself doing anything other than action?
Original Photo: JustEnza.com & MeetKristy.com. Edits by me.
What do you hope audiences take away from your character?
DAVE: I think when people see Drax, they automatically think that he’s going to be a kind of one-noted character. Like he is the type of character that all he’s good for is fighting and chopping people’s heads off. The way I approached the character was never really looking at Drax as a warrior, but more as a father and a husband. I hope that people will see that’s basically who he is and all his rage just comes from heartbreak, and not so much because he’s just hell bent on cutting people’s heads off. He’s really just heartbroken over the loss of his family.
If you could do any of the things you’ve done, for the rest of your career, what would it be and why?
DAVE: That’s be a really hard toss up, really because I really love professional wrestling. I like doing the stuff that’s un-televised because we’re not time restricted, and there’s more time for us to interact with the fans. I love that immediate feedback. I wouldn’t mind actually doing theater… Doing the film stuff, it’s just so challenging. This has the longest ten months of my life just waiting for this film to come out to see it because I’ve been so excited about it. But I really love acting and at this point in my life, it’s so challenging to me. I’m forty-five- you need to get to my age to find something that’s very challenging and you’re passionate about. It’s a pretty cool thing and I always feel like it keeps me young. I wish that I could just very quickly answer that and say I’d rather do this… so it’ll be acting or wrestling, to put that in a nutshell.
It was a very cool to meet with an actor so humbled and grateful for this role! You could tell that GUARDIANS is now a huge part of his life. Of course aside from Drax, we just had to find out who were his favorite heroes. Don’t worry! He assured us that he’s a Marvel guy, but he definitely loves the whole Dark Knight series. As a kid though, he was quite the Aquaman fan!
His favorite movie moment? Well… I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there was an outdoor scene with 200 extras and literally everyone broke into a big dance-off and Dave had no clue what was going on! He’s pretty sure that James Gunn arranged this for his own amusement. Such pranksters on this set for sure!
So what’s up next for Dave? He’ll be starring as the update of Tong Po in a remake of KICKBOXER (and 80s martial arts cult classic)!
Dave Bautista was gracious enough to take a photo with us! Unfortunately in the photo taken my face was blocked by a fellow blogger. Luckily I found this group photo on Dave’s Official Facebook page where you can actually see me!
Original Photo: From Dave Bautista’s Facebook Page. Edits by me.
Don’t forget to connect with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on Facebook and Twitter! Be sure to check out my tutorials for homemade galaxy playdough and for Galactic Space Art both inspired by the film’s upcoming release.
This film is now playing EVERYWHERE!!!
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to the press events for Guardians of the Galaxy, 100 Foot Journey, and ABC Family, all opinions are 100% my own.