Dave Bautista went from a well-known wrestler to one of the Guardians of the Galaxy thanks to this summer’s smash hit Marvel movie. Now the man known as Drax is enjoying more fame than ever amongst a much larger and diverse audience than wrestling fans, and he’s enjoying every minute of it. At Toronto’s National Fan Expo this weekend, Bautista took a victory lap for his Guardians success, but also looked to his future in film, and perhaps a return to the wrestling ring.
“I was excited and really proud that it was bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Bautista said of his Guardians success. “It’s by far the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Famously, Bautista cried when he found out he got the part. “Cried is putting it lightly,” he said. His manager Jonathan was the one that gave him the news, and when he heard it, before getting emotional, Bautista said he asked, “Is there anyway they might change their minds?”
One of the first questions asked from the fans was about the make-up process and what it was like. Bautista held his arms straight out and said, “It was like this for four hours.” Not that it was especially irksome he added, “It was like hanging out with my buddies for four hours, it went by fast.”
Bautista was also pleased that people were able to see the shades of nuance he brought to Drax.“I know that sometimes people see a character like Drax as one note, and I hope people look beyond that see that there’s a character with heart and soul,” Bautista explained. He then compared Drax to Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator saying, “he’s so heart-broken over the loss of his family,” that all he can see is his revenge.
Bautista also gave hint about what we might be seeing in the deleted scenes for Guardians, including the reason why Drax goes shirtless in the film, and it’s not because he wants people to see his body art. No, Drax has sensitive nipples. It was a scene that James Gunn wrote the night before they shot it, and then sneaked into Bautista’s sides for the next day.
More seriously though, the one scene that Bautista wished didn’t make the cut in Guardians was the scene where he explains the origins of the tattoos. Bautista called the scene heartbreaking, but he understood why it was cut as it upset the film’s momentum.
Bautista was also asked about his wrestling career including his career defining moment (Wrestlemania XXIII), and when he hopes to return to the ring (sometime early next year).
He also talked about the important lesson her learned from wrestling mentor Ric Flair. “The most valuable thing I learned from Ric Flair was about the psychology of wrestling and why people react the ways that they do,” he recalled. “He was the one who explained how to get the crowds to react certain ways by using certain moves. He was the master of the psychology of professional wrestling.”
But mostly now, Bautista wants to focus on being an actor, and although he admits that “when you’re big and muscular they only see you one way,” he’s primed to have a varied and active film career.
“I’m a true blue film buff, and if I can have anyone’s career it would be Mickey Rourke,” he explained. “I love the way he takes little characters and makes them memorable.”
After Guardians of the Galaxy, people can more or less say the same thing about Dave Bautista now too.