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Dave Bautista speaks of relief at conclusion of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

"It wasn't all pleasant", said the wrestler turned actor

By Joe Goggins

Dave Bautista at a Q&A for 'Stuber', 2019
Bautista will appear as Drax the Destroyer for the final time in May.(Photo: Daniel Benavides/Wikimedia Commons)

Dave Bautista has spoken of his relief as his role in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise comes to an end.

The former professional wrestler made his Hollywood breakthrough in the role of Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in both previous Guardians movies as well as Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder. Now, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 expected to be the final instalment in the series when it arrives in cinemas worldwide on May 5, Bautista is already looking beyond the world of comic book adaptations and towards meatier fare.

“It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role,” the erstwhile WWE man told GQ in a new interview, saying that the gruelling process of applying his Drax makeup “was beating me down.” Whilst acknowledging that he is “grateful” to the franchise for helping him gain a foothold in the film world, he added that “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.”

In addition to his work on Guardians, Bautista has worked with an impressive array of acclaimed directors in recent years, including Denis Villeneuve on Blade Runner 2049 and Dune, Sam Mendes on Spectre and, most recently, Rian Johnson on Netflix’s Christmas hit Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, drawing critical acclaim for his portrayal of men’s rights influencer Duke Cody. He will re-team with Villeneuve for the November release of Dune: Part Two, as well as appear in a starring role in the new film from horror auteur M. Night Shyamalan, Knock at the Cabin.

In the GQ sit-down, Bautista reflected on comparisons between himself and fellow grappler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson. “I never wanted to be the next Rock,” he said. “I just want to be a good fucking actor. A respected actor.”

Doing so, he recognises, will involve stepping out of his comfort zone. “I’m afraid of things. I’m nervous about things. But I can force myself to do things that make me uncomfortable, because I know I’m not gonna get anywhere if I don’t. I may cringe after the fact, but I’m not going to let that fear hold me back.”