Dave Bautista admits he struggled with the challenging comedic side of ultra-literal warrior Drax in the James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy. The 2014 Marvel Studios blockbuster penned by Gunn teamed Drax the Destroyer with a group of intergalactic outlaws — Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. Star-Lord, the deadly Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and criminal partners Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) — who later learned Drax's family, wife Ovette and daughter Kamaria, were slaughtered by Kree warlord Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) under orders from Thanos (Josh Brolin). In a new interview, the wrestler-turned-actor says he has difficulty being cast in more dramatic roles:
"What I really want to do, I like drama. Just regular old drama," Bautista said on the Inside of You podcast hosted by his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 co-star Michael Rosenbaum. "Those roles for me are hard to get a hold of, but I'm constantly searching for them. But I'm limited sometimes. Sometimes it's really hard to get people to look outside the box and see someone like myself in those roles."
Asked if he ever imagined transitioning from a successful professional wrestling career to playing an often comedic character in a Marvel blockbuster, Bautista answered, "I never, never would have thought that in a million years."
"And it's weird, the role in the first one, James Gunn rewrote it, and Drax was written very differently in the second one. The second one, I think James kind of tapped into my humor a little bit in the first one and decided that he wanted to put more of that in the second one," Bautista said. "But in the first film, the comedic stuff was a challenge for me. I struggled with it. Some of that stuff they reshot, like, 'Nothing goes over my head.' Because they wanted to get a sense of Drax being such a literal character."
The actor was most looking forward to scenes revealing Drax's tragic backstory, including one deleted scene taking place on Knowhere. In the scene, a drunk Drax explains the meaning of the tattoo-like markings on his body, each containing the history of his life.
"The stuff in the first film that I looked forward to was the dramatic stuff, like Drax talking about his family being murdered right in front of him. Stuff like that scene, the really hard scene, was cut out," he said. "It was cut out of the film, because it was just kind of slow and dark. But that was the kind of stuff I was really looking forward to."
On playing a humorous character like Drax, Bautista added, "I never would have thought, and I still don't. It's hard for me. I don't find myself funny, so it's hard for me."
Bautista next reprises the role in Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The film has not yet been dated by Marvel Studios.