Making the transition from pro wrestler to beloved actor can be a tricky one, and Dave Bautista had a particularly hard time.
“It was a nightmare,” Bautista said at a panel there. “I was terrified. I was really desperate at the time, I had hardly worked in three years, and I had gone broke from wrestling and I was desperate to get a job. I finally got an agent like two weeks before I got the audition for Guardians. My agent says, ‘You know, I really had to fight to get you this audition. It was really hard to get, they didn’t really want to audition you. They didn’t want any pro wrestlers, so I don’t want to get your hopes up.’”
He continued, saying:
“He built my hopes really low, so I went in with low expectations. I didn’t understand Drax. I called my acting coach and said ‘I don’t get this,’ and he flipped out because he’s like the biggest fanboy. Anyway, he made me do the research and I found one picture of Drax, and I said ‘That looks like me!’ He babied me through this whole process, my first and second auditions, my acting coach came with me. I read for Sarah Finn, she’s amazing. I read with her and she said ‘Don’t be nervous. Take your time, we can be here all day.’”
And it went pretty well, netting him an audition in front of Gunn, and his iconic role as Drax. A role he’ll be returning to, under the direction of James Gunn, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Considering what an important break for Bautista the franchise was, it’s no wonder he went to bat for Gunn as hard as he did.