For the Dave Bautista interview, he was in full costume as Drax. He came off set for a few minutes to talk with us and he was wrapped in a blanket. How cute. This enormous, menacing looking man in a blanket. But it was more to keep him from sticking to stuff than for comfort, but still it made the whole experience so much more adorable.
Dave Bautista Interview
What's it like to be back with your Guardians of the Galaxy family?
DB: “It's awesome. It's so weird 'cause this is the first reoccurring role for me… I got to be part of the screen testing process rather than, you know, screen testing for myself. But I also realized how comfortable I was in the role. 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. This was my first really huge film. But yeah, it's just been… 'cause we all know each other… We spent so much time together not only on the first film, but also on the press tour. We spent a lot of time together. So we all got to be really close. Especially when we were in London because we really only had each other to kind of lean on, 'cause we were foreigners in a foreign country. Making this film, nobody really knew what to expect from it. We all got really close so, yeah, we're like family.”
Can you tell us a little about your makeup process?
DB: “It's awesome because the first film, if we got done in four hours, it was great, it was a great day. I mean, everybody was celebrating. This one, is like an hour and a half at most. But the thing is, it's a whole new system they're using, and it's so funny–they attack me with these–they used to just dab on the paint and that' how they started the process. Now they attack me with paint rollers. There's like five guys rolling paint and then there's other steps to it too.
See these, [points to tattoos] the tattoos were actually sheets of silicone on the first one. Now they're just transferred so all of these are like, individual, like they're glue. They're moldings of glue so they stick on me, but also very hard to get off. So at the end of the day I sit in the sauna for about an hour and I sit there and I kind of start to really sweat it off. They come and start to peel it off me. But still, it's so fast now it's not even an issue. It's uncomfortable, and it smells bad… on hot days, I'll take this off and the glue with just kind of, it'll look like string cheese. It's really not bad compared to the first one. The first one was rough.”
The last time some of us sat down with you was the interviews for the premiere of the movie and so you guys were doing interviews not knowing exactly how the movie would be. Looking back at that, how is that?
DB: “It's weird, it's weird. And it is one of those things where we like just, we didn't know. Nobody knew, and weren't going to know until after opening weekend. And then after opening weekend everybody was just sitting around like in shock, 'cause not only did it do as well as we were hoping, it did way better than that. I mean, it was like breaking records, so it was great. It felt satisfying, you know, because we all believed in it. We knew it was gonna be great. But you just don't know until people actually come out, and then you start to get the reviews and the reviews are just so great. I mean, out of 1,000 reviews, you might get like one negative comment. But even, you know, they would say but all in all it was great, but in one little negative comment. It was really, really satisfying.”
What do you love most about playing this character?
DB: “You know what I love most about him, I think, is that he is not what people expect. 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, ‘cause, you know, I think any — 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, he has a bigger role in this film. I think he struck a chord with people in the first film. James gets a real kick out of writing for Drax. I know that he does ‘cause we’ll sit there and we read and he just laughs and laughs and laughs. And also when I deliver the lines that he’s written, I can hear him laughing. I know he’s amused by it, so I know he really loves the character, and my role has definitely increased in this film.”
What's your typical day like on set?
DB: “It’s weird, this has been a really, it’s been really structured. Usually we come in first thing in the morning, and my typical pickup time would be about 4:30, 5, come in, do my makeup and we’re usually right on set and we stay on set. We don’t have–we do a running day. 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.”
Do you usually wrap late?
DB:”No, not too late, ‘cause we usually start, typically we would start about 8:00, so if we do a 10-hour day we’re usually out of here or we’re usually wrapped by six… We’ve had a couple days where we started late and ended late but, typically it would be eight to six, just on set hanging out, eating, laughing, you know, a lot of 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. [LAUGH] And we just lose, we lose sight of it.”
What's been the hardest scene to keep a straight face?
DB: “Oh, there’s been more than a few. There’s been quite a few. As soon as somebody, it’s weird because sometimes I typically get an issue too during, like if I have a close-up because, you know, sometimes when you’re off camera you’re not so much into it so when you’re off camera you’re more likely to smile and laugh at the scene as, more of a spectator rather than being in the scene as an actor. And a lot of times when I will do my close-up and 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, it’s just so funny, just so well-written and so funny.”
What's one thing you would like to see for your character?
DB: “Well, I’d like to see my character in The Avengers. 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. I have to give a lot of credit to James for that. He’s been the creative mind behind Drax but he’s really just, I think he’s really created an incredible character.”
Being that this is your first sequel, are you finding more or less pressure with delivering Drax to the audience?
DB: “Way less pressure ‘cause 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 and he’s written it for me and he has a good idea of what–who Drax should be and he also, I think he really knows how fans want Drax to be as well. He knows what they’re expecting 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 [Civil War] and it was so well-done. And I was like wow, it’s a hard act to follow, but I’m pretty sure, judging from the script, and other characters, we can, but really well-done. Marvel just keeps stepping it up, man. They just keep stepping it up.”
Were you a fan of the comic books growing up?
DB: “Not so much. I usually got my superhero fix from TV and later on movies, like everybody else, cartoons of course. But I was more that kid sitting in front of the television or going to the movies, than I was to sit down and read a comic book or any type of book. Not because I was stupid, but I had issues reading. I still do, a little dyslexia going on, so I still struggle a bit. And it’s hard for me to sit down and read a book. Audio–I learn better, verbally.”
How did you get yourself physically prepared for this role?
DB: “That’s so funny you ask because I didn’t really train for the last one. 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, I mean, 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 the days that I’m off, people always say what do you do with your days off? I worked out, I train. True blood muscle head… surprise, surprise, I went to the gym, so sometimes twice a day. I’ve been hitting it hard, ‘cause I want to deliver. I want Drax to look the part as well so yeah, I really took this more seriously, diving in and training, so hopefully it’ll show.”
What are you hoping families will walk away with–the sort of message you think they'll get from watching this film?
DB: “I have a great answer for that, or an easy answer for that, I don’t know if it’s great. I’m afraid to say it because I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline, but there is an answer to that and there is a great message in this film. I’m gonna pass on that.”
Do you have a message to any kids that look up to your character?
DB: “…Sometimes you have to think about the greater good rather than yourself. I think that was the message in the first one and I think that will be again in the second one. But this, 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. When I say friendships I mean, sometimes your friends are your family. And sometimes you choose your family.”
What is your favorite song from the first soundtrack and has working on these films changed your relationship with music?
DB: “I was always really, into music across the board. My mother–I was raised by a single mom, she had a very eclectic taste in music… I do have a few favorites from the first one. I was trying to choose one and it’s hard to choose. Definitely One More Chance. And then, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Those would definitely be my two. It would be hard to pick between the two. But also Cherry Bomb. Whenever we think of the first film, we always sing it on the set. Zoe will start singing it and it’s like I really love that song. Yeah, we do, we always end up singing that song. Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb.”
Are you doing any special stunts this time?
DB: “Not any special stunts. I have the same stuntman from the first film, who I met on that film. It was really hard finding a stunt double for me for a while. And they found him for me on that film and I’ve dragged him across–around the world. He’s been on three other films with me since then. ‘Cause he’s great. It’s hard to find a big guy who’s like super athletic but also really experienced. And he fits the bill man, and I’ve dragged him around, as long as I can continue to drag him around the world with me, I will because he’s just such a great stuntman. As many people may think, that I’m a professional wrestler and I can do my own stunts. You know, sometimes I don’t want to do my own stunts. I don’t want to, like he was in Bond with me and there was a part where they set the character on fire. And I was like ‘Stuntman, please.' I don’t want to be set on fire. I did my 10 years in WWE. I’ve proved that I’m tough enough. I don’t have anything to prove.
But yeah, nothing out of the ordinary for myself. When it takes something, it’s an exceptional stunt–Rob, is his name–and I say, ‘Rob, would you mind?' He’s one of those guys who will check out something first, and he’ll give me an honest opinion and say I just don’t think you should do this, so yeah, I trust him completely.”
Mark your calendars for May 5th! Take the whole family to the theater!