Interview: 'Guardians of the Galaxy''s Dave Bautista gets personal

Wrestler-turned-"Guardians of the Galaxy" star Dave Bautista talks about his character's aversion to shirts and how he has more going on than many think.

Dave Bautista segues from wrestling to acting in "Guardians of the Galaxy." Credit: Marvel Dave Bautista segues from wrestling to acting in "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Credit: Marvel

 

For David Bautista, making the switch from professional wrestler to movies wasn't easy, but it was well worth it now that he gets to be Drax the Destroyer in "Guardians of the Galaxy." Still, he finds himself butting up against people's preconceived notions of him, but he's working on that too.

 

What does Drax have against shirts?

 

Good question. [Laughs] There were a couple of things that they asked me not to talk about because it didn't make it — funny stuff, but I think they just thought maybe it was too risque for the finished movie. There's one scene that did make it that makes it very obvious that Drax doesn't wear shirts. But actually they never address why he doesn't like shirts, he just doesn't. I just thought it was so funny that they have Drax [in one scene] in outer space on top of a spaceship with a space helmet on, but no shirt. [Laughs]

 

Did you come up with a reason for the shirtless-ness yourself, in your own mind?

No, I think Drax is just shirtless and that just is what it is. [Laughs] He wants to show off his tattoos — which we also never say aretattoos. So I don't know. That's one of the things hopefully we'll find out. [Laughs]

If you were to take on a title like Drax the Destroyer, what would yours be?

It would be, like, David the Doofus. [Laughs] I don't know, I think when people see me they have a certain perception of me because of the way I look. You know, I get it — the big muscles and tattoos — but it doesn't really explain who I am. The reason I have all these muscles is because I have issues. [Laughs] Internally. The gym is where I found my sanctuary. It's kind of my therapy and my release. The gym is where I worked out my problems, which I've had more than my share of. But it doesn't really explain who I am, just the way I look physically. I look intimidating until you talk to me for two seconds.

Wrestler Dave Bautista plays muscle-bound, shirtless Drax the Destroyer in "Guardians of the Galaxy." Credit: Marvel Wrestler Dave Bautista plays muscle-bound, shirtless Drax the Destroyer in "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Credit: Marvel

That's an interesting way to go through life.

Yeah, it's a little different. And especially with wrestling, that didn't help, just perpetuated it. [Laughs] People want to put a label on you, and a lot of times it's based on the way you look. When I left wrestling it wasn't easy for me to break that perception of me — especially to get in doors to audition for roles, it was kind of hard convincing people that I actually wanted to act.

You've had action figures of yourself before for wrestling, but how does the David Bautista figure compare to the Drax the Destroyer figure? And do you want to make them fight?

Of course you do, of course you do. You want to line them up and mash them. [Laughs] I mean, anybody who wouldn't is an idiot. That's the kind of stuff that I get tickled about, especially when I was wrestling, getting the action figures or seeing myself as a video game character. I don't want to watch myself on TV, that's not why I got into wrestling. I got into wrestling because I loved it — well, initially I got into wrestling because I wanted to make money. [Laughs] But I never wanted the spotlight, I couldn't have cared less about the spotlight. But then that's the kind of stuff I get tickled about, the action figures. I liked watching "Guardians" because I just started watching it as a fan. I see myself as Drax, a Marvel superhero? F---ing awesome!

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter @nedrick

 
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