Although Dave Bautista first earned fame for his mixed martial arts and former professional wrestling career, he has made career strides in action films like The Man with the Iron Fists, Riddick, Spectre, and – most famously – Guardians of the Galaxy as Drax the Destroyer. He reprises the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and will be back next year for Avengers: Infinity War before returning again for the recently announced Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Screen Rant sat down with Dave Bautista on press day, where we discussed Drax’s role in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, what he’d like to explore with Drax in future films, and which Avenger he’s looking forward to sharing the screen with the most.

Dave, first of all, congratulations for all the success with Guardians. I am a huge fan of you all the way from Leviathan. I go way back.

Dave Bautista: Cool. Thank you.

The first question I have is Drax seems to have lost his simmering anger a bit in this Guardians. How have the Guardians affected him?

Dave Bautista: I think he feels like he has a family again. I think he still mourns over the family he lost, but I think he really feels much more content. I think he still definitely has the underlying anger. It’ll always be with him. But I think he’s just found his new family and is very content. And he is kinda happy.

Related: Our on-set Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 interview with Dave Bautista

Speaking of family, we haven’t seen Drax yet avenge yet the loss of his family from the first film. Do you think we’ll see that in Volume 3 or Infinity War?

Dave Bautista: I hope so. To be honest with, and this is the God’s honest truth, I have no idea. I don’t know and obviously if I did have an idea, I wouldn’t tell you but I wouldn’t sit here and swear to God that I have no idea, but I don’t.

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Do you ship Mantis and Drax?

Dave Bautista: Do I what?

Do you ship Mantis and Drax? Do you like them together?

Dave Bautista: I love Drax and Mantis. I think the chemistry is amazing. They are like two odd little kids playing together. There is just a certain innocence that they share and I just love the chemistry. Between myself and Pom as well. I think we just mesh well.

In the comics, Drax has the daughter Moondragon and she gets brought back. Would you like to see that play out in any one of these films?

Dave Bautista: Yeah. Of course. You know, I would love to tell more of a backstory of Drax. Whether that’ll happen or not, I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ll ever really focus on Drax. But I hope so because I think it’s a really interesting story.

You know, I know that CM Punk was writing Drax for a while and I’m sure he’s a friend of yours. Did you have any advice for him when he was writing it?

Dave Bautista: No. I didn’t even know that he was, he never even talked to me about it. When it was announced was when I found out. So, I was super excited about it and I was like, “Man, what a coincidence.” So we talked a little bit after that and it was just, man, so crazy. It’s just so crazy the way it worked out and the way we both left the company and ended up here. Here we are together.

Where would you like to see Drax go in Guardians 3 or Infinity War?

Dave Bautista: Well, you know, personally I’d love to see him go head to head with Thanos. I’d love to see that. I’ve always been a proponent for that. Ha ha. But, you know, they are just really brilliant about the writing. James Gunn, he’ll have complete control over Guardians 3. He has tons of impute as far as Guardians go on Infinity War. So, I trust in him, man. I do completely.

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That’s awesome. Which Avenger are you most excited to share the screen with?

Dave Bautista: Oh, I’ve said for years and years and years it’s Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. And I think there is just so much humor to be had there between Drax and Tony Stark with him being such a sarcastic bastard and Drax taking everything so literally. I think there is just tons of humor to be had there. I’m also just a huge fan of Robert.

Related: Drax The Destroyer Trivia and Facts

As am I. And I think it’s great and I love the chemistry you all have as a team. Coming back for the second time around, was there anything you wanted to explore as Drax this time?

Dave Bautista: No. I thought, originally going into the film before I read the script, I thought they were going to go into a different direction with Drax and I thought there was going to be less humor. And I thought we were going to explore more of the comic Drax, more of a badass Drax. And when I first read it, I was a little disappointed because that was what I had in my mind, that they were going to go the action route with Drax. But it was tons more humor. I don’t really find myself funny, so when I was reading the script and reading my lines, I just didn’t think they were very funny. Ha ha. And then when we all sat down and did the table read, I found myself laughing hysterically. And even when I read my lines and people would laugh and I’d look at them kind of surprised because I don’t find myself very funny. But that’s when I realized how great the script was.

I love it. Is there anything you can tell me about Escape Plan 2?

Dave Bautista: It’s got me and Sylvester Stallone in it. Yeah. Ha ha. Escape Plan 2, I can tell you this. It’s completely different than Escape Plan 1. Ha ha. So, if you saw Escape Plan 1 and you were a fan or weren’t a fan, it’s a completely different route. It’s a different vibe, a different look. Obviously, I’m coming in and kind of filling the gap Arnold left. And I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, then again, I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, there is a different chemistry between Ray Breslin and myself and my character and a good chemistry because I mesh well with Stallone.

Next: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Zoe Saldana Video Interview

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.

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