All photos courtesy of Disney/Marvel
Dave Bautista Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – A First for Drax #GotGVol2
It’s been almost 2 years since my first Dave Bautista Guardians interview. It was my first ever press trip for my first ever movie coverage, ironically Guardians of the Galaxy. And while there were tons of folks fawning over Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel, my most memorable interview was with this guy right here. He was nervous. Soft spoken. Humble. Sweating profusely – or maybe that was me. And oh yeah, he had arms bigger than my thighs. I was afraid to breathe on him wrong.
It was surreal to come full circle, interviewing the same guy almost 2 years later. But something was different. And no, I’m not talking about sculpted half-naked Drax costume covered in tattoos part. This exclusive Dave Bautista interview really goes so much deeper into what Guardians is to Dave Bautista.
Coming Back into the Role
The character becomes the person. Coming back into the role of Drax for Dave Bautista was like coming home – in a weird, unusual, loving way.
You know what I love most about him? It’s that he is not what people expect. Like when I did the first one, I think people expected Drax to be a certain way, and James went the totally opposite way with him. If you take a big guy and he looks menacing and he looks terrified, it’s easy to be that guy on screen, you know? You growl a lot. You snarl a lot. You cut people’s heads off and it’s easy. There’s just nothing challenging about it. But to be THAT guy and look THAT way, but then to make people laugh. I think is the challenge. And I think that’s the fun part, and that’s what I love about Drax. I think it’s fair to say that there’s a lot more of that in this film. I think Drax just has a bigger role in this film.
A Bautista First – A Sequel
While Bautista has been there/done that in the film and entertainment industry, he admits this is a BIG first for him.
It’s the first reoccurring role for me, so it was weird because now I got to be part of the screen testing process rather than screen testing for myself. But also I realized how comfortable I was in the role. Even when I watched the first film I can see that I transitioned from being like very nervous and very uncomfortable to being very comfortable and really getting to know Drax. Also being comfortable on a big set, ‘cause it was a huge deal for me.
[There’s] way less pressure. I’m already so comfortable. And now I feel like I am Drax and I own Drax; he’s my character. Of course the brain behind Drax is James, but James has written this role for me. He knows what my strengths are now. He just has a good idea of who Drax should be. And I think he really knows how fans want Drax to be as well. But I just feel so comfortable in the role and it’s just been much, much easier and no pressure. There’s a little bit of pressure now that I watched Captain America [LAUGH] and it was so well-done. And I was like “Wow, it’s a hard act to follow.” Marvel just keeps stepping it up, man. They just keep stepping it up.
Goodbye 4-Hour Make Up Job
I couldn’t imagine coming into work everyday and getting 4 hours of make up before even beginning my job. But for Dave Bautista, that was a normal day of filming for Guardians. Thank goodness a sequel comes with a make up upgrade.
If we got [makeup] done in four hours on the first film, it was a great day. I mean, everybody was celebrating. This one is like an hour and a half at the most. But the thing is, it’s a whole new system they’re using. They used to just dab on the paint and that’s how they started the process. Now they attack me with paint rollers. There’s like five guys rolling paint.
The tattoos were actually sheets of silicone on the first [film]. Now they’re just transferred so all of these are individual. They’re moldings of glue so they stick on to me, but also it’s very hard to get off. So at the end of the day I sit in the sauna for about an hour to really sweat it off, and they come and start to peel it off of me.
Can’t Suck It In
Speaking of a new makeup upgrade, Bautista realized quickly with Guardians 2 that he couldn’t hide behind his costume. While always in shape, the upgraded Drax costume for Guardians 2 was really unforgiving in hiding any possible flaws.
I didn’t really train for the last [film]. And I had the luxury of the big sheets of latex. And I came in and did the first makeup test for this film, I was like “wow, I really have to be in shape for this.” [LAUGH] Because the makeup is unforgiving. It doesn’t hide anything. So I actually trained rigorously for this and I still do. I can’t train on the days that we work. But people always say what do you do with your days off? I work out. I train. I went to the gym, so sometimes twice a day. Yeah, I’ve been hitting it hard ‘cause I want to deliver. I want Drax to look the part as well. So I really took this more seriously, diving and training. Hopefully it’ll show.
There have been rumors about the relationship between Drax and new character, Mantis. While not giving anything away, Dave Bautista wants to remind fans of one really important detail about his character.
I will say [that] Mantis and Drax definitely make a connection. It’s probably not the connection most people are going to expect or that people might be reading into, but definitely a connection. But I think that fans have to remember that the heart of Drax is his heartbreak over his family. I don’t think there’s ever gonna be that next love interest for Drax. I think he had that love interest. She’s gone. That’s what he’s driven by is that heartbreak, you know? That sinking revenge.
A Typical Day On Set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Laughing. Eating. Oh and saving the universe. The usual.
It’s weird. It’s been really structured. Usually we come first thing in the morning, and my typical pickup time would be about 4:30 – 5. Come in. Makeup. And we’re usually right on set and we stay on set. We run a 10-hour day. So we don’t have like lunch breaks, we don’t go and chill for an hour. But that’s it. Usually we come and we eat on set and we hang out on set. Whatever we do once we get to set, we’re usually on set for the rest of the day. Then we wrap and I go hit the sauna. Typically we would start about 8:00 AM so if we do a 10-hour day we’re usually out of here or we’re usually wrapped by 6:00. You sometimes go over. It’s not uncommon for us to go over but, I’d say 8:00 at the latest. We’ve had a couple days where we started late and ended late but typically it would be 8:00 – 6:00, just on set hanging out, eating, laughing, a lot of talking. Me and Zoe and Chris, it’s not uncommon for us to be standing in a circle talking when everybody’s going we’re rolling. We’re rolling.
A lot of times when I will do my close-up, I have to deliver these lines very straight-faced but they’re funny, funny lines. And Zoe will just start laughing at me off camera or Chris will start laughing. And I have to say “Stop laughing!” ‘cause once I get the giggles, everybody gets the giggles. But there’s a lot of that in this film ‘cause the script is just so funny, just so well-written and so funny.
What If Drax…
Ever visited the land of “What If?” Well it seems like the fans aren’t the only ones dreaming of the Marvel future. Who would Bautista love Drax to “stick it to?”
I’d like to see my character in The Avengers. [LAUGH] You know, this is wishful thinking. I’d like to see my character stick it to Thanos, but that’s just me. Those are personal things. Otherwise, I’m pretty satisfied with the character. He’s actually more than I ever thought he could be or really wished that he could be. But I have to give a lot of credit to James for that. He’s been the creative mind behind Drax. He’s really created an incredible character.
We Are Family
Bautista got a little sentimental as we discussed the overall message of Guardians 2. His answer had a lot of soul to it – especially for families.
Sometimes you have to think about the greater good rather than yourself, you know? I think that was the message in the first one and I think that will be again in the second one. But I think this film even more so is about family. And without giving too much away, I think this one is much more about family and friendships. And, and when I say friendships I mean sometimes your friends are your family, you know? And sometimes you choose your family.
Catch up on all of the Guardians of the Galaxy fun, including exclusive interviews from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie + Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
- 50 Things I Learned On Set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Chris Pratt Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Zoe Saldana Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Michael Rooker Interview
- Vin Diesel Interview for Guardians of the Galaxy HERE
- My First Chris Pratt Interview for Guardians of the Galaxy HERE
- My First Zoe Saldana Interview for Guardians of the Galaxy HERE
- My First Dave Bautista Interview for Guardians of the Galaxy HERE
- My First Director James Gunn Interview for Guardians of the Galaxy HERE
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 blasts in theaters May 5, 2017. Are you excited for the return of Drax?
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip to the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in exchange for this posting. All Marvel-loving opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more of your of the latest Disney movie updates!