After setting alight the WWE ring for the last 20 years, Dave Bautista has become an undisputed Hollywood movie star. In recent years, the 50-year-old former wrestler has appeared in many prestigious casts, such as Spectre 007 and Blade Runner 2049, and will be equally as well recognised as Dune, a highly-anticipated sci-fi feature which should be released in 2020, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
But this glamorous path, Bautista will undoubtedly admit, would not have been possible without his role as Drax, in Guardians of the Galaxy. And whilst the role as “destroyer” cements his place as a star in his fan’s eyes, the audition was clearly far from perfect for the one who has constantly defended James Gunn following his departure from Disney a few months ago.
In an interview by Denver Pop Culture Convention, the actor reflected on one his sketchy experience: “oh my God, it was a nightmare. I was terrified. In this period, I was desperate, had worked for hardly three years, I had stopped wrestling and was in dire need of work. I eventually acquired an agent two weeks before my audition for Guardians of the Galaxy. My agent said to me, “you know, I really had to fight to get you this audition. It was really hard to get, they didn’t want him to audition. They didn’t want any professional fighters, so I didn’t want to give you false hope”.
So things didn’t get off to the best start. “He didn’t fill me with much confidence, so I turned up with few expectations. I didn’t understand Drax. I called my coach, and said ‘I don’t understand’, and he threw a tantrum because it’s the genre has a massive fan-base”, he stated. “Whatever it is, he does his research for me and I found this image of Drax and I said, ‘It looks like me”’. He looked after me throughout the whole process, my first and second auditions, my coach came with me. I cast for Sarah Finn (director of casting), and she was incredible. I read with her, and she said, ‘don’t be nervous. Take your time, we’ve got all day’”.
This kindness paid off, because Bautista got the role and will henceforth become a kind of protégé of the caster.