From the moment Dave Bautista met with Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn, he had a pretty good feeling that he had locked down the role. During a panel at Denver Pop Culture Con this weekend, Bautista admitted that he was nervous throughout the process, right until he met Gunn — then it was off to the races.
"We met and I could tell right away he wanted me to be Drax because he was really into it," Bautista recounts. "He directed me in a few different ways and we were already connecting. James and I connected really fast."
The actor then started getting emotional when he started explaining how much of an impact Gunn has had on his life. Earlier in the panel, Bautista revealed he had blown through the vast majority of the money he made in his professional wrestling career and was down on his luck after being jobless for three years.
"Because of where I was at in my life, I say James Gunn changed the direction of my life, not just of my career and this is why I'm so loyal to him," says the actor. "I connected with him right off the bat but it was months of auditioning and chemistry tests."
After Gunn had been temporarily relieved of his duties as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 last summer, Bautista was one of the first to hop to the filmmaker's defense. In one interview after the firing, Bautista even went the length to say he may not have appeared in the film without Gunn.
“I am contractually obligated [to do the third movie], but I think that Marvel and Disney –– if I had really stood my ground and said, ‘I don’t want to do this without James’ –– I think that they are decent enough that they would’ve let me out of my contract,” Bautista said about the situation.
“I wanted to bring it home. These guys are like family to me and I wanted to be involved in the third one,” he continued. “I wanted to use James’ script because it’s a beautiful script. Moving forward without James was a real personal issue with me.”0comments
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Bautista will next appear as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Captain Marvel is now out digitally while Avengers: Endgame continues its theatrical release. Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to swing into theaters July 2nd.