Dave Bautista Talks ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Audition Process and Gag Reel

Published 9 months ago by , Updated August 1st, 2014 at 7:44 am,

One of the many pleasant surprises in Guardians of the Galaxy is Dave Bautista’s nuanced portrayal of Drax the Destroyer.  Although the relative newcomer to film is well-known in the world of professional wrestling and for smaller roles in RiddickChuck, etc., his turn in Guardians is a stand-out and will hopefully lead to great things for the character in the Marvel movie universe.

Screen Rant recently sat down with Bautista to talk about his journey with Guardians, which includes revealing his discomfort with watching himself onscreen and an unexpected instant rapport with co-star Chris Pratt – based on the fact that  Pratt was once an amateur wrestler. This is something we didn’t pay enough attention to at the time and must be investigated further. Surely there is a video somewhere of Pratt’s wrestling days? Anyway, read on for more humble commentary from the rising star.


What was the experience of watching the finished film like for you?

The experience was like this, when I first started watching myself I hunched down in my seat. That’s what I do, that’s why I don’t watch my playbacks when we’re filming, I’m my own biggest critic and I don’t like to watch myself while filming. But 20 minutes into it I got sucked in as a fanboy and that way completely forgot that I was in it, just got sucked into it. It’s really easy to do, I had a great time and was laughing out loud.

Guardians of the Galaxy Character Posters Drax 570x831 Dave Bautista Talks Guardians of the Galaxy Audition Process and Gag Reel

This is the first Marvel movie I’m recommending everyone see, including my parents who don’t usually see the superhero or blockbuster movies.

It’s weird, you don’t even have to be a Marvel or superhero buff to enjoy this film because it’s so much fun.

I hear you and Mr. Pratt had instant chemistry, can you talk about that first meeting or how you knew it was going to work?

It was at our initial screen test and it wasn’t a planned screen test. I had gone in to test and he was there, I believe he’d already gotten the part and they asked if I would mind hanging around and do a screen test with him. My initial reaction was, because I had only seen him in films and had never met him but I was like “Man, you’re a big dude” [Laughs] and so we just started talking and he was an amateur wrestler and so was I, so we started talking about that and just sort of clicked right off the bat. It was one of those things where it wasn’t uncomfortable at all and so they put us on film together and we didn’t have any dialogue or anything, we just started talking and I just played off of him because he’s very witty and improvisational and I could just stand there and react with my eyes, I’m good at expressions, so we just did that, we just clicked.

Guardians of the Galaxy Official Premiere Dave Bautista Red Carpet 570x836 Dave Bautista Talks Guardians of the Galaxy Audition Process and Gag Reel

Dave Bautista

How many more metaphors going over Drax’s head are there going to be on the DVD?

[Laughs] You know if they do, I’m hoping that they put together a gag reel as a DVD extra because it will be longer than the film. There’s a lot of stuff, a lot of the stuff that made it to the final edit was all improv stuff, so there are a lot of good laughs, a lot of stuff I wish had made it but didn’t so I’m praying they have a nice long gag reel.

What is one thing you hope gets added?

A couple things right off the top of my head, there was one day when I think we had like 200 extras on this big huge set and James just decided he was going to turn it into a party and wanted to have everybody dancing. So there’s that, but there’s also a prisoner character called Scarface who was played by an actor named Alexis, I can’t think of his last name, but we did a bunch of different takes with him and he had everybody dying laughing he was so funny, so I hope he makes it on the gag reel.


More:Dave Bautista On-Set Interview


Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014.

Follow Kara Warner on Twitter @karawarner
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  1. No offense but this site should be re-named comicrant…. Unless a film is DC or Marvel it does not seem to be covered on this site.

    • THis is the big film being released right now and we just finished COMIC-CON. Why wouldn’t they cover it? What major films do you feel are under-served on this site?

      • @ChrisTypeR
        Don’t be delirious
        Screenrant covers a lot of stuff on this site besides just Marvel and DC
        Did you not see the 3rd trailer of Interstellar on here?
        How bout the reboot of King Kong in Skull Island possibly fighting Godzilla in the 3rd installment?
        What about the fact that Christopher Walken is gonna be King Louie in Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book?
        Or perhaps you missed out on how good Crimson Peak will be cuz Guillermo is crazy (BTW The Strain is pretty badass, Corey Stoll will be an awesome Yellowjacket)

        So no offense ChrisTypeR,
        GO see Guardians of the frickin’ Galaxy
        It doesn’t matter if you like Marvel OR DC movies
        You’ll enjoy this movie guaranteed!

        • @ davidtribble91 – I will probably see GotG at the cinema when released over here in the UK next week, I have heard positive reviews so its on my list…. All of those stories you mention were probably sandwiched between a ton of comic related articles! Sin City (one of my fav movies ever) has a sequel releasing soon, very rare coverage of this…. Its all personal preference I suppose but I stand by my original comment

          • Just for your info GotG came out in the U.k yesterday, so you dont need to wait a week to go see it. I saw it yesterday and thought it was awesome. Groot steals the show.

            • The little town I live in wont be getting it until next Thursday :( Still, hoping anticipation makes it better :)

          • You do realize that Sin City is also a comic book movie, right?

            • I do (grasping at straws :) ) Its not DC or Marvel…..

      • Comic-Con or not, its the same all year round…. Romours about Batman Vs Superman, what DC character should be next, what Marvel character should be next, Avengers Age of Ultron romours etc etc etc….. We had relentless stories on Guardians of the Galaxy prior to Comic-Con and release…. If its not films then is Gotham, Arrow, Shield etc from the TV…. I am sure there are other films out there that deserve more coverage considering Avengers Age of Ultron is over a year from release and we have 2 years to wait for B Vs S….. I watch walking dead and am aware of the irony by the way. Better Call Saul is coming out soon, nothing for weeks… Just saying is all

        • You’re just complaining is all. That’s cool, but I asked what movies should have more coverage. As I type this, to my right is a list of movie reviews. In order: Lucy, Hercules, Boyhood, Wish I Was Here, The Purge 2 and Planes 2. Only one of those is a comic book movie(CBM).

          You seem to be mad that the CBMs get any coverage. I agree that Screenrant predominantly covers CBMs, but it isn’t at the expense of other film coverage. The CBM genre is the only genre consistently performing at the box office. Name one prominent film from 2014 that didn’t get what it deserved from this site and I’ll concede the argument.

        • Just a follow-up point, Avengers AOU is 10 months away and should contend for biggest opening ever and biggest domestic total ever. BVS is in direct competition with Avengers. A competition between the two preeminent comic brands of the two preeminent comic companies in the preeminent movie genre must be covered. These films are huge news machines. They generate huge interest.

          • Then have a ’round up’ of all of the romours, stories etc of the day for Avengers and Bats Vs Supes not spread it over 10 separate pages each day to the detriment of other movies releasing in a months time….

            • Hi ChrisTypeR,

              Appreciate the feedback. As others have pointed out Guardians is a hot topic right now and we did just come out of Comic-Con. Having said that, the focus here has always been “fan-favorite” genres like Sci-Fi, superhero, fantasy and action movies. That’s why I started the site 10 years ago – my love of those movies I grew up on back when I used to read Starlog magazine.

              I understand there is a larger movie universe out there, and we do cover other genres (well, other than rom-coms), but our specialty is covering and following the genres I listed above.

              Best regards,

              Vic Holtreman
              CEO, Screen Rant

    • @ChrisTypeR – Maybe you’re unaware that Comic Con just happened last week? There’s going to be a lot of comic-related material coming out for a few days. That’s just how it is, but we cover plenty of other movie/TV news.

      Paul Young

      • Certainly am now!! :) Just an observation that this site is very much biased in the direction of Comic book movies…. Not a complaint, just an observation… Just FYI, there are other movies that can be covered and this relentless coverage of these movies is not just confined to Comic-Con time, its a lot of the time…. And to someone below, I’m not a troll (whatever that is)…

        • @ChrisTypeR – Absolutely. However, CBMs are our bread and butter, though we cover plenty of other material (except rom-coms). The archives are filled with non-cbm choices, but I can see how it would appear we are heavily slanted towards to CBMs right now with all the news popping up.

          But hey, we JUST posted SpongeBob’s new trailer! So there’s that… :)

          Paul Young

          • Im all over Spongebob Paul!! :)

          • Are you saying that Guardians is not a romcom?

            I may have badly misled my wife about our weekend plans . . .

    • *looks to hot stories list and sees Interstellar, Mike Tyson biopic and SpongeBob movie*

      It was Comic-Con last week and a comic book movie is coming out today. I wonder where the crossover comes from ;)

      You’re not looking hard enough!

    • I’ve seen quite a lot of coverage for each of these films on Screenrant. I am looking forward to each of these as well (Minus Sin City despite my love for Eva Green). Very little has been released regarding Interstellar. Almost everything is known about the Hobbit 3 except how good it is. There is only moderate buzz for Dracula and minimal buzz for Sin City. Each one of these movies has been fairly covered on this site. As for the multiple posts about the same CBM, tough! Views drive ad revenue.

  2. Number 1 on your list there is Wolf Creek 2. Though I like and use that site as well, that list is asinine.

    • 19 pages of film releases with release dates is far from asinine, why would you think that??

  3. How are none of these comments about that article. Talk about a troll.

    Sick report!!! Drax was sick in this movie!!! Bautista the man!!

    • drax looked very well, and not at all ill. yes, he is a man.

    • I suggest you read the comments then…..

      • He did and so did I and we both came up with the same conclusion.

  4. Bautista owns the role of Drax. He delivered on everything I was hoping for and more! Definitely looking forward to seeing more installments with him in it!

  5. Seriously could y’all stick to posting about the movie in this comment section? Especially to praise Bautista for his performance. I thought he did great. The way his character is written as an inadvertent source of comic relief was so funny. Compared to The Avengers he’s the Thor of the group, always speaking in tongue and accidentally saying very offensive things that he doesn’t mean to be. And no metaphors will go over his head.. his reflexes are too fast. He WILL catch them.

  6. This movie was fantastic! Far exceeded my expectations. The only thing that bugs me about these space movies is the use of colloquialisms [frickin'] and southern accents. I try not to focus on things like that, but sometimes it takes me out of the moment. It was cool to see Thanos do something besides grin, and Josh Brolin sounded cool. The battle between Gamora & Nebula was pretty bad @$$ also. Everyone was clapping at the end, and 90% or more of the crowd I saw it with stayed until the post-credit scene. I think I will have to see it in 3D now.

  7. Each of the Guardians were portrayed perfectly!
    This will probly be the first movie that I see twice in theaters of the movies in 2014.
    Winter Soldier was a close contestant to see twice in theaters and next place goes probably to Days of Future Past followed by Amazing Spider-Man 2/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/300: Rise of an Empire/Edge of Tomorrow/Transformers: Age of Extinction/and Godzilla
    The summer of 2014 has been very legit
    But 2015 will be even better…

    -Taken 3
    -Seventh Son
    -Jupiter Ascending
    -Jane Got a Gun
    -Get Hard
    -Fast and Furious 7
    -Child 44
    -Avengers: Age of Ultron
    -Mad Max
    -Insidious 3
    -San Andreas
    -Jurassic World
    -Fantastic Four
    -Ted 2
    -Terminator: Genesis
    -Assassin’s Creed
    -Sinister 2
    -Black Mass
    -London Has Fallen
    -Jungle Book
    -Crimson Peak
    -Conjuring 2
    -Bond 24
    -Mockingjay Part 2
    -Star Wars: Episode 7
    -Kung Fu Panda 3
    -Mission Impossible 5

  8. I am so excited to see this movie!! I have heard nothing but amazing things! SO EXCITEDDD!

  9. I liked Bautista but he was definitely the weakest of the bunch in terms of acting. His delivery was stilted at times but his heart was in the right place for the character. By himself he left a lot to be desired and I found myself rolling my eyes a couple of times at his dialogue, but paired with the other Guardians, I thoroughly enjoyed his banter and manner of speaking. “Line across the neck means death.” Loved it!

    • Yeah, he definitely works better when he’s paired with someone else.

      The only time I’ve ever considered him a good actor by himself was when he was feuding with John Cena in early 2010 and demanding a spotlight on him at all times.

      I thought he was great in this film considering it’s the most he’s ever had to talk in a movie (he barely had any lines in that episode of Smallville years ago or in The Man With The Iron Fists).

  10. And here I was thinking we had this many comments about Batista – which would have been great since he killed it.