Dave Bautista reveals that being cast as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy completely changed his life, claiming that after leaving WWE he “had nothing”
Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista has revealed that he was broke prior to being cast as Drax the Destroyer in James Gunn’s superhero film. Starting out as a professional wrestler with the WWE, Bautista became a household name after joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the stoic yet lovable Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. He has since appeared in three more Marvel films, including Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, and is set to reprise the role in next year’s Thor: Love and Thunder as well as James Gunn’s third Guardians of the Galaxy film in 2023; although the latter is set to be his final appearance in the role.
Since appearing as Drax, Bautista has also starred in numerous other Hollywood films, and is set to appear in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune later this year as the sadistic Glossu ‘Beast’ Rabban, as well as the highly-anticipated sequel to Rian Johnson’s acclaimed Knives Out. While he is incredibly well known as an actor now, that has not always been the case. After leaving WWE in 2010, Bautista had several smaller roles before re-signing with the wrestling company for a brief run in 2013, seemingly in order to fill his time between acting roles.
While Guardians of the Galaxy clearly changed the actor’s career trajectory, Bautista has now revealed the full extent of this change. Speaking to IGN, Bautista revealed that prior to being cast as Drax he was broke, adding that “when I say broke, my house was foreclosed, I had nothing, man. I sold all my stuff. I sold everything that I made from [when] I was wrestling. I had issues with the IRS. I was just lost in everything.” See Bautista’s full statement below:
“For people to really understand how much my life has changed, they would have to understand where I came from, what I went through when I was in wrestling, what I left behind to take a chance on going into acting, and when I got the role of Drax in Guardians, I barely worked in three years. So I’d really left wrestling behind and I could have gone back with my tail between my legs, but I still [would] have been just stuck in a place that I never would have gone any further, but I just took a chance. And then when I got [cast], not only because I was broke, [everything changed]. When I say broke, my house was foreclosed, I had nothing, man. I sold all my stuff. I sold everything that I made from [when] I was wrestling. I had issues with the IRS. I was just lost in everything.”
The actor went on to say that his appearance in Guardians was what really “started opening doors” for him as an actor. He also noted the sudden transformation was incredibly surreal, reflecting that “it wasn’t many years [earlier] when I was just like borrowing money to pay for food, pay for rent … it changed my life. It gave me a life.” Bautista has previously spoken about how grateful he was that Gunn had taken a chance on him as an actor, however the full extent had never been revealed before, and now it truly seems that he owes a great deal to the director.
When Gunn was fired from Marvel in 2018 over inappropriate tweets that the director had posted years prior, Bautista was one of the most vocal members of the Guardians cast who came out in the support of Gunn. He would later threaten to leave the franchise if Disney failed to use Gunn’s original script, however this ultimatum would prove unnecessary as Gunn would later be reinstated as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The actor’s loyalty to Gunn is clearly without question, and his recent revelations go a long way in explaining that this goes beyond friendship from working on the Marvel series.
Moreover, it’s good to hear that Bautista is doing better now. He has been a standout in the Guardians films and has proven himself as an actor with a great deal of versatility in his roles, from the somber Sapper Morton in Blade Runner: 2049 to comedy roles like JJ in My Spy. Bautista has been open about wanting to prove himself as an actor, so hopefully he can continue to do so, and potentially go even further once his obligations in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise are complete.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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