Dave Bautista is beyond grateful to have played the role of Drax the Destroyer throughout nine years of Marvel movies. But the actor says it’s also “a relief” to say goodbye to him.
“I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him,” Bautista explains in a new GQ interview. “But there’s a relief [that it’s over]. It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role.”
Bautista played Drax in six MCU movies and a TV holiday special, including Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special (2022).
Now, he’s finally saying goodbye to the character and looking ahead to new challenges.
“The makeup process was beating me down. And 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,” he said.
His latest project is a much more dramatic role in M. Night Shyamalan’s new mystery-horror film Knock at the Cabin. In it, he plays Leonard, a member of a mysterious group that holds a family hostage at their cabin and demands that they make a human sacrifice to prevent the end of the world.
It’s the biggest speaking role Bautista has ever had.
“It’s by far the most I’ve ever spoken in a film,” he said. “Just huge pages of monologues. We were shooting on film, which is very expensive. And we were shooting with one camera, so you don’t have the luxury of edits. It’s your only opportunity — you need a perfect take. It’s a lot of pressure. I want to remember my dialogue, but not at the expense of losing the emotion of the scene.”
Shaylaman told GQ that Bautista’s performance reminded him of Haley Joel Osment’s in The Sixth Sense.
“It felt more like working with Haley [Joel Osment] in Sixth Sense than anything else,” Shyamalan said. “When Haley came on set, the set would become reverential—even though he was 10, he was approaching it with an importance, all of his cells were going toward the emotion of his character. Dave conveyed that same thing. All the other actors fed off his purity of intention. It was infectious in the best way.”
Knock at the Cabin arrives in theaters on Feb. 3.
Main Image: Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Photo credit: Disney/Marvel