We interviewed actor Dave Bautista, who stars as Drax in the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manhattan. We saw the movie and thought it was a lot of fun and very exciting. Dave was awesome and hysterical, too.
How long did it take you to get into makeup each day?
In the first movie it took four to six hours. But in the second one, they changed the makeup process and it took about an hour and half. I was on a bed as the makeup was applied.
How did it feel to have all that makeup on?
It was horrible! Imagine going through the whole day just feeling dirty and disgusting and sticky. Even after you wash it off, I would go home and shower again and still feel disgusting.
Which scene was the most difficult to act in?
I didn’t find any of them particularly difficult. Sometimes when you have lines that aren’t there or when you are using green screen or blue screen sometimes that makes it hard for everyone to be on the same page because we are all looking at the same spot and trying to react at the same time. It’s not hard work, just synchronicity difficult. It is all fun. It is as fun as it looks!
If you could be any other character in the movie who would you be?
I would be Yondu [played by Michael Rooker]. There is something really cool about Yondu. He has the old school, cowboy kind of gunslinger thing that I just love. He is kind of surly, but he also has that big heart.
How did you prepare for your role as Drax?
I learned my lines. I know it sounds really simple but the way that I prepare for every role pretty much is to know my lines. But what I really believe is that when you show up on set you are flexible and you don’t over-rehearse or overthink everything because someone may have a different perception of a scene and you are stuck in a certain mindset.
Which fans do you like better: the wrestling fans or the acting fans?
The acting fans. Wrestling fans, I love that they are passionate but, at the same time, you have the fans who are passionate in a positive way and then you have the fans who are super-passionate in super-negative way. It can be hurtful and harsh. All I want to do is go out and entertain them and put on a show.
What was your favorite birthday present as a kid?
I grew up very poor, not much money at all. So getting things like bicycles was a huge event for me. I got my first 10-speed when I was 11. It made me feel so grown up. It ended up getting stolen (I lived in a really bad neighborhood).
Who was your favorite actor in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”?
You are going to make me upset somebody! I think Chris Pratt [who stars as Peter Quill]. I think he is brilliant in so many different ways. He has such a great range and that is why I think he is the biggest movie star in the world right now. I don’t see anyone match his depth of emotion and then his comedy bits. He is great across the board. I have to say Zoe [Saldana, as Gamora], too. Her range, I am so impressed by.
Which “Guardians” movie was more exciting to film?
I don’t know if it was more exciting. For 1, it was the first big film that I had done. We shot it in London and we had a lot bigger sets. We had full-blown, incredible sets. In the second one we used a lot more green screen. In the first one we had hundreds and hundreds of extras and these great big, elaborate sets. It was much more toned down in the second one.
Why did you stop wrestling?
This is probably a very grown-up answer. I stopped wrestling when I was the company doing films and doing commercials, and I was really headlining the shows. But that company hand-picked people for who was going to be the movie star and who was doing the commercials. I thought that since none of that stuff was geared in my direction, I thought that I should have the opportunity to go and audition outside of the company. They said no, and they said that you are our intellectual property and we are going to tell you what to do. So I said, OK, then I am going to leave. So I put in my notice and nine months later I didn’t re-sign my contract. I just left because I thought I should have the same opportunity as everyone else. I took a chance on myself and just walked out the door.
Who inspired you to write the book “Batista Unleashed”?
They asked me to do that a few times, and I kept saying no because I didn’t think it would be that interesting. It was one of the editors who came and talked to me about it. They thought it would be inspirational because of where I came from and what I achieved. There was something great about that and that is why I wanted to do it.
Are you afraid of anything?
My fears are not directed toward me, my fears are something bad might happen to my family. That is the stuff that really scares me and keeps me up. I always worry about them. My fear is that I won’t make enough money to leave behind so that my family will be stable.
Was it hard to become an actor after being a wrestler for so many years?
Yes. One of the reasons was because I was just a horrible actor.