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Dave Bautista says his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe “wasn’t all pleasant” ahead of his departure from the franchise.
The professional wrestler-turned-actor spoke with GQ
about the trajectory of his burgeoning acting career, which received a significant boost from his role as Drax in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him,” Bautista said. “But there’s a relief [that it’s over]. It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role. 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.”
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The Filipino American actor previously emphasized his desire to perform more dramatic roles when discussing the character in an interview with Collider in 2021.
I think Drax has a really interesting backstory which they dropped the ball on. That’s no dig on Marvel. They had their slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s what they have slated out. But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory. Selfishly, as a performer, that would have given me the opportunity to show different sides of Drax, emotionally.
Separating himself from other WWE alumni-turned-actors, such as Dwayne Johnson or John Cena, Bautista explained, “I never wanted to be the next Rock.”
“I just wanted to be a good f*cking actor,” he said. “A respected actor.”
“Honestly, I could give a fuck [about being a movie star],” he continued. “I don’t live a great big glamorous life. I live here in Tampa. I don’t care about the spotlight, I don’t care about fame. I just want to be a better actor. I want respect from my peers. I don’t need accolades—I really don’t, man. It’s about the experience, about knowing that I accomplished something.”
Following the recent success of Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion,” the “Knives Out” sequel in which Bautista plays men’s rights streamer Duke Cody, 2023 may prove to be a defining year in the actor’s career.
Besides “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Bautista is slated to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s “A Knock at the Cabin
” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two,” his third film with the acclaimed director.
As is evident from the film’s first trailer
, Shyamalan’s upcoming film will see the actor delivering more lines than ever.
“It’s by far the most I’ve ever spoken in a film,” he explained. “Just huge pages of monologues. We were shooting on film, which is very expensive. And we were shooting with one camera, so you don’t have the luxury of edits. It’s your only opportunity—you need a perfect take. It’s a lot of pressure. I want to remember my dialogue, but not at the expense of losing the emotion of the scene.”