“Drax literally changed the trajectory of my life,” the wrestler-turned-actor said of his Marvel-made fortune.
When you hear of Dave Bautista’s name these days, you’d most likely recall his recent top billings in smash-hit films such as in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead or in Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2048. He had also made it to headlines announcing his addition to star-studded ensembles like in Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune, and in Rian Johnson’s forthcoming sequel for Knives Out.
Perhaps, we can conjure these quick connections due to the way he made a mark while playing the role of Drax the Destroyer in the long-standing and quite lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe. But as casual as the casting may be for the rest of us, for the actor formerly known in the squared circle as “The Animal” Batista, it was a moment that finally turned the tides of fortune to his favor.
In a recent interview with IGN, Bautista revealed how he was actually broke before he signed on to play the revenge-driven destroyer of Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014.
“When I got the role of Drax in Guardians, I barely worked in three years,” Bautista said to IGN. “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.”
“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.”
He then shared how transforming into his MCU character propelled him to prominence and made things better for him. “When Guardians came out and people saw me as Drax, it just started opening doors,” Bautista said.
“My life just got better and I just became more successful. And that’s when things really just started to seem like surreal,” he added. “It wasn’t many years [earlier] when I was just like borrowing money to pay for food, pay for rent. Borrow money to buy my kids Christmas presents. It wasn’t long before all that stuff [had happened]. So it happened for me fast, which made it seem even that much more surreal. But it did, it changed my life. It gave me a life.”
“So Drax didn’t just change my career. It literally changed the trajectory of my life.”
When James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014, it became a critical and commercial success. It raked in $773 million worldwide and was dubbed the highest-grossing superhero film, as well as the third-highest-grossing film of that year. It also received nominations during the 87th Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Bautista reprised his character for the sophomore film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as well as in the last two Avengers movies, Infinity War and Endgame. He’s set to portray the role once more in Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth film in the Thor lineage and the second MCU film to be directed by Taika Waititi.