It’s been a transformative ten years for Dave Bautista, after he quit WWE back in 2010 in order to follow his acting career. Since then, he’s starred in major movies such as Spectre, Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune. Of course, his most famous role is as Drax the Destroyer in the MCU, with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy serving as his big break in Hollywood. The process of getting the part, though, was not a smooth one.
While attending Denver Pop Culture Con this weekend, Bautista opened up about his first audition for Drax, describing it as a “nightmare.” The star revealed that his career change wasn’t going well at the time and he was actually broke. Even when he luckily nabbed the chance to go audition for the part of Drax, his agent warned him that the odds of him landing the job weren’t good.
“Oh my God, it was a nightmare. I was terrified. I was really desperate at the time, I had hardly worked in three years, and I had gone broke from wrestling and I was desperate to get a job. I finally got an agent like two weeks before I got the audition for Guardians. My agent says ‘You know, I really had to fight to get you this audition. It was really hard to get, they didn’t really want to audition you. They didn’t want any pro wrestlers, so I don’t want to get your hopes up.'”
As well as being prepared for bad news, Bautista also admitted that he initially had problems getting to grips with the cosmic storyline. He credits the team around him for encouraging him though and aiding him through the process.
“He built my hopes really low, so I went in with low expectations. I called my acting coach and said ‘I don’t get this.’ and he flipped out because he’s like the biggest fanboy. Anyway, he made me do the research and I found one picture and I said ‘That looks like me!’ He babied me through this whole process, my first and second auditions, my acting coach came with me. I read for Sarah Finn, she’s amazing. I read with her and she said ‘Don’t be nervous. Take your time, we can be here all day.'”
Thankfully, that “nightmare” of an audition went well and Bautista recalled being asked to return the next day to read for director James Gunn.
“We did the audition and she said ‘Is there any way you can come back tomorrow and read for the director?'”
Hearing just how much it meant for Bautista to get the role of Drax, you can understand why he was so vocally critical of Disney’s decision to fire Gunn from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise last summer. The actor even said he was prepared to walk from his Marvel contract if the filmmaker was not rehired. Fortunately, it never came to that, as the studio revoked their decision and Gunn’s now back in the saddle for Vol. 3, along with Dave Bautista.
Source: Denver Pop Culture Con