Dave Bautista recently revealed he does not want to “tarnish” his “perfect exit” as Marvel’s Drax just to get a paycheck.
Bautista, 54, will appear as the former Kylosian intergalactic criminal for the last time in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which is set to hit cinemas on May 5.
The professional wrestler-turned-actor recently opened up about his upcoming exit during an interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“It’s hard [to walk away], but it’s time… it’s the perfect exit. We all had those perfect character arcs and such a storybook ending.
Bautista likened his exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to that of his wrestling career, where he took on the persona of Batista while working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
“I constantly relate it to the way I ended my wrestling career,” he told Fallon. “I ended it on a storybook note, and I would never go back and tarnish that. And it’s the same with this. With Drax, I just got to end the perfect way.”
In April 2019, Bautista announced his retirement from WWE and professional wrestling the day after losing a match to Triple H, whose real name is Paul Michael Levesque, at Wrestlemania 35.
Bautista appeared as Drax for the first time in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Besides his MCU debut, Bautista has appeared as Drax in five other Marvel movies: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017), “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022) and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special” (2022). “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will serve as his seventh and final MCU appearance as Drax.
Speaking to GQ Magazine in early January, Bautista admitted that while he loves his Marvel character, he was relieved that he could finally let go of that part of his career and move on to different kinds of acting.
“It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role,” he said. “The makeup process was beating me down. And I just don’t know if I want Drax to be my legacy — it’s a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff.”
Bautista’s most recent project is M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller “Knock at the Cabin,” where he plays Leonard, the leader of a group who hold a family hostage inside a cabin to prevent the world from ending.
Speaking about the complexity of his character, Bautista admitted to Digital Spy that the film’s script proved difficult for him.
“It was a challenge, and it’s a challenge that I sought after,” he said. “This is why when the first time I read the script, I was blown away. And not only blown away by the script itself, but by the opportunity, selfishly, as an actor, as a performer – because roles like this just don’t come my way.”
Bautista described Leonard as a “big, hulking, intimidating person, but really he’s the most gentle, kind person you’ll ever want to meet in your life.”
“That’s what I loved about him,” he continued. “That’s why I wanted this role so bad. It was such a massive opportunity for me.”
“Knock at the Cabin” will premiere in cinemas on Friday.