Wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista (Batista in the WWE ring) told GQ Magazine that after playing the role of Drax the Destroyer for a decade, he was relieved to be waving goodbye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bautista referred to his turn as Drax — the painfully-literal revenge-obsessed character who turns out to be all heart — as “a silly performance” and lamented the fact that Marvel had missed out on developing his backstory a bit more. But he also made it clear that he might never have gotten to where he is today without that role.
“I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. I turned right back around and walked into my house shaking to tell my wife I had gotten the role, and we were both standing there freaking out,” Bautista said of the moment he learned he had made it. His life prior to that had been a roller coaster — wrestling with the WWE and then losing nearly everything once he left the ring to pursue acting.
Bautista went on to explain that he used the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy” to catapult himself into different roles — and he used each of those roles to learn how to make himself a better actor.
“I’m obsessed with it. It’s this puzzle that I can’t figure out. You don’t know if it’s right, but sometimes it feels right. I don’t get those moments a lot, but every once in a while I do. And f***, to me, there’s nothing like it. It’s a natural high. It’s an addiction,” he explained.
But according to Bautista, Drax has taken him as far as he can — and he’s ready for the ride to end.
“I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him. But there’s a relief [that it’s over]. 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.”
That said, Bautista has also lamented the fact that Marvel did not do more to bring Drax’s backstory to the forefront. There are scenes in which he references his family — more to bolster the focus on his desire for revenge than to develop him further as a character — but not much is said beyond that.
“I really wished they would have invested more in Drax, personally. Because I think Drax has more of a story to tell,” Bautista told 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 [it] slated out. But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory.”
Drax (at least as portrayed by Bautista) is set to exit the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3,” opening in early May 2023 — a move that Bautista predicted in 2021:
“Drax isn’t going anywhere. He just won’t be played by this dude! by the time G3 comes out I’ll be 54 yrs old for gods sake! im expecting everything to start sagging any second now,” the actor tweeted.
Drax isn’t going anywhere. He just won’t be played by this dude! 🤷🏻♂️by the time G3 comes out I’ll be 54 yrs old for gods sake! 😱 im expecting everything to start sagging any second now. 😂 https://t.co/eRJR6ZPtE2
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) May 8, 2021