In an interview with gaming and entertainment website IGN, wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista opened up about how being cast as Drax “changed the trajectory” of his life. It started when the media outlet asked him about how Disney, the mother company of Marvel, changed his life.
The half-Filipino actor didn’t hesitate to go deep in his response, talking about the real state of his life pre-Marvel. “For people to really understand how much my life has changed, they would have to understand where I came from, what I went through when I was in wrestling, what I left behind to take a chance on going into acting,” he said.
“When I got the role of Drax in Guardians, I barely worked in three years. So I’d really left wrestling behind and I could have gone back with my tail between my legs, but I still have been just stuck in a place that I never would have gone any further, but I just took a chance. And then when I got [cast], not only because I was broke, [everything changed]. 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.”
Bautista looked back at all the hardships he faced in life. The actor had always been open about his past, admitting he grew up in poverty. He’d been in many troubles as a teenager, and at some point in his life was under court probation. It wasn’t until he felt he was at rock bottom that he decided to finally turn his life around. Bautista said that this happened when he had a breakdown from feeling shame after borrowing money from a co-worker so he could buy his kids Christmas presents.
Marvel casting him as Drax was a lifeline thrown his way.
He shared: “When Guardians came out and people saw me as Drax, it just started opening doors. So Drax didn’t just change my career. It literally changed the trajectory of my life. My life just got better and I just became more successful. And that’s when things really just started to seem like surreal. 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.”
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Since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie came out in 2014 under Marvel, Bautista became a more familiar face on the big screen. Aside from the three other Marvel movies Drax appeared in, Bautista went on to star in other blockbuster movies like the James Bond film Spectre in 2015, Blade Runner 2049 in 2017, and the latest, Army of the Dead which is currently streaming on Netflix. Bautista is also set to appear in more upcoming highly-anticipated releases like Dune, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Knives Out 2 in 2021 and 2022.
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