The "Guardians of the Galaxy" star confirms the forthcoming "Volume 3" will be his final turn as the Marvel superhero.
Dave Bautista is one of the more successful wrestler-turned-actors, but he's ready to start taking his new craft more seriously -- and part of that is no more Drax.
The "Guardians of the Galaxy" character is arguably the breakout role that cemented Bautista's status as a bona fide actor who's now being taken seriously in the industry. While he says he's "grateful," Bautista also feels a sense of "relief" that he's done.
As part of an interview with GQ magazine, the former WWE Superstar confirmed that the upcoming "Volume 3" of the popular "GOTG" series will be his last turn in the makeup chair for the alien hero.
"It wasn't all pleasant," he said of the role. "It was hard playing that role. The makeup process was beating me down."
On top of that, as he starts transitioning into more serious acting work, like his well-received performance in "Glass Onion" and upcoming roles in "Knock at the Cabin" and "Dune: Part Two," Bautista said, "I just don’t know if I want Drax to be my legacy."
"it's a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff," explained the 53 year old.
Many of the most acclaimed actors of every generation have proven themselves successful both in comedic and dramatic roles, but it's understandable that after being tied to one character for so long, Bautista is ready to stretch himself and create new associations.
The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" film came out nearly a decade ago in 2014. He would go on to reprise the role again in the 2017 sequel and the "Avengers" films "Infinity War" and "Endgame" in the following two years.
He also appeared in "Thor: Love and Thunder" last year, as well as the "Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" this past holiday season. On May 5, 2023, he'll wrap up his time with the character with "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3."
It's a testament to his passion for his craft that Bautista is turning his back on the biggest film franchise of all time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he told GQ about being a movie star, "Honestly, I could give a f---."
"I don’t live a great big glamorous life. I live here in Tampa. I don’t care about the spotlight, I don’t care about fame," he explained. "I just want to be a better actor. I want respect from my peers."
He's also previously expressed frustration with Marvel that they didn't dig deeper into the lore of Drax the Destroyer. In a 2021 interview with Collider, he said "they dropped the ball" with Drax.
"That’s no dig on Marvel. They had their slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s what they have [it] slated out," he clarified. "But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory."
Moving forward, he's excited about working with directors like Denis Villeneuve and M. Night Shyamalan. "If I could be a number one [on the callsheet] with Denis, I would do it for f---ing free," he told GQ of the "Dune" director.
"I think that’s how I could find out how good I could be," he continued. "He brings out the best in me. He sees me in a different light, sees the performer that I want to be. That might be how I solve the puzzle."
As for Shyamalan's "Knock at the Cabin," Bautista said, "It’s by far the most I’ve ever spoken in a film." He was excited about shooting on actual film and just the whole process of the film, which included the challenge of pushing for a perfect take.
It's clear just listening to him talk about his craft, he's a student of film and really passionate about learning as much as he can and being the best that he can and continuing to grow as an artist and performer.
Fans can watch his continuing evolution when "Knock at the Cabin" hits theaters February 3, and then "Dune: Part Two" on November 3. His acclaimed performance in "Glass Onions: A Knives Out Mystery" can be seen streaming on Netflix now.