Dave Bautista surprised me with his subdued and soft-spoken demeanor when he came into the interview room. I expected him to be loud and boisterous like his character Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought that, because of his WWE background he would be more of a peacock. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

When I first met Dave Bautista he seemed a bit shy and quiet, a stark contrast to his huge frame. He was a gentle giant, uncomfortable in his current environment but grateful nonetheless. He smiled and took a seat, hand clasped in front of him and kind eyes looking at the group of 25 women eager to get the scoop on Drax.

On First Impressions

When I first read the script, I wasn’t crazy about it.  This is my initial reaction, when I usually get a script I go over my dialogue first.  So, I read over my dialogue and for one I was expecting them to go a different direction with Drax.  I thought he was gonna be more of the ‘destroyer’.  I thought he was gonna be a more comic book Drax and then I realized they were going — they were digging more into the funny bits.  And I don’t find myself funny at all, so when I was reading these lines I was like they’re not funny! Then I read the [whole] script I thought, wow, this is really a great script.  It’s deep.  It’s emotional, but I still was a little bit disappointed about my part.  And then the first day we did our table read, I realized it was hysterical.   And then I just started — I just had a completely different outlook on it as a whole. 

photo: Louise Bishop/Momstart

On Second Impressions

I think it’s beautiful. I like it better than the first film.  It’s weird – it’s one of things I feel like the more and more we get into film, the more I am sucked into it and there’s certain beats I just sniffle up, and I just get so emotionally invested in this film.  I felt that the first one I thought was fun and exciting and some parts were very emotional, but not like this one.  I felt like I was just totally absorbed in this film.  

On Watching Himself Onscreen

As far as watching me on film, I just cringe.  I just like don’t watching myself on film.  It’s just uncomfortable.  At the premiere,  every time I was on the screen like and I knew I was gonna say something I just kinda put my head down and just try to get through it.  I just don’t like it.  I’m just uncomfortable with it.  I don’t like watching myself on screen.  It’s just uncomfortable for me.  We were filming and we watched playbacks, everybody knows that I don’t like ‘em.  You know, they’re ‘call Zoe, call Chris to watch the playbacks’.  They don’t call me to watch playbacks, because they know I won’t sit there and watch it.

photo: Louise Bishop/Momstart

On Comfort Zones

[When I am not filming] I go home to Tampa and I hide. I live in a regular neighborhood.  Where I’m at is very close to MacDill Air Force Base, and I’m surrounded by all military families.  It’s just kind of a normal neighborhood. And my wife just really shies away from the spotlight.  She doesn’t like it.  So, it’s just like real life and I like being there.  I’m very content there, because like all this attention and the spotlight very uncomfortable for me.  Nobody really gets it, man, when we’re walking like down the red carpet and they’re saying, ‘oh, this is great’.  And I’m like for me it’s not. I don’t hate it,  at the same time it’s just overwhelming for me. I did it because I wanted to step outside of my career zone and pursue my dreams, which is terrifying.

photo: Chuck Zlotnick

On The Avengers

I would love the spill the beans [about The Avengers plotline]  I can tell you this.  We’re in The Avengers. But here was my fear going into The Avengers was that they were gonna try to make us into characters that we weren’t, they were gonna take their of the Guardians and try to go with that and not let us be James Gunn’s Guardians.  And it was completely opposite.  For one, we had the luxury of James who did a lot of the writing for us.  And also when we showed up, the Russo brothers was just so encouraging of us being our characters. And a lot of times because we have a certain way of doing things.  I mean we’ve done two films.  You have the two Guardians films. Chris hardly ever says anything that’s actually on page.  You know, he says it a bunch of different times and a bunch of different ways.  So, that’s just the way we do things. We bounce and we’re very flexible.  And they were just very encouraging of just letting us do things our way. A lot of times we would say something that wasn’t even on page, wasn’t even close to what was on page and they’d come running on, ‘what was that you said on the last take?  And we’d say it’ again.  They’d say, ‘yeah, do that again’.  They  just kinda let us be ourselves.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is in theaters Friday