We’re continuing our Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Set Visit Experience fun with more interviews, this time with Dave Bautista (aka Drax). And what a presence he is!!! Walking in the room in full Drax costume, he’s a good 6’5″/6’6″ in his Drax boots and just completely ripped! So yes, he REALLY is as big as he appears in the movies! Crazy!
That look though is not without work! He trains HARD. In fact, he shared that this time around there is actually WAY less silicone plating over his body (like almost none), so there is NO hiding anything. So, he feels some extra pressure this time around to stay in perfect “Drax shape”. So that means that he trains vigorously. On days off, he’s often in the gym twice a day!
Q: How did you get yourself physically prepared for this role?
“That is so funny you ask because I didn’t really train for the last one. And I had the luxury of the big sheets of latex and I came in and did the first makeup test for this film, I was like wow, I really have to be in shape for this because the makeup is unforgiving and it doesn’t hide anything. So I actually trained rigorously for this and I still do. I can’t train on the days that we work but the days that I’m off, people always say what do you do with your days off? I worked out, I train! I’ve been hitting it hard because I want to deliver. I want Drax to look the part as well so yeah, I really took this more seriously. So hopefully it’ll show.”
Having seen him in real life in the make-up, I think it’s safe to say – It shows! 😉
Another part of the physical part of the role is the make-up. It’s A LOT of make-up (his whole torso front & back, neck, head, arms, etc). When we asked him about the make-up process he shared that for the first film it used to take 4 hours!!!! Can you EVEN imagine?!?! Now, they’ve perfected it and are using some different techniques. So, they have it down to about 1.5 hours.
“It’s a whole new system they’re using. They used to just dab on the paint and that’s how they started the process. Now they attack me with paint rollers. There’s like five guys rolling paint, and then there’sother stuff too.”
But, Dave shared that it’s REALLY sticky silicon pieces for the tattoos and such. So, he actually has to sit in the sauna at the end of shooting every day (for like an hour) – to loosen the glue to be able to get everything off. Quite a process! It was really fun to hear him talk about his character and the role of Drax in general. He shared that he is VERY comfortable in the role now (this is his 1st recurring role). He basically said, “I am Drax”. He just completely knows the character now and is VERY comfortable with it. He also shared that Drax has a much bigger role in the film this time around!
Q: What do you love about playing this character?
“What I love most about him, I think, is that he is not what people expect. Like when I did the first one, I think people expected Drax to be a certain way, and James went the totally opposite way with him. For instance if you take a big guy and he looks menacing and he looks terrified, it’s easy to be that guy on screen, you know? You growl a lot, you snarl a lot, you cut people’s heads off and it’s easy. There’s just nothing challenging about it. But to be that guy and look that way, and then to make people laugh, I think is the challenge. And I think that’s the fun part, and that’s what I love about Drax. I think it’s fair to say that there’s a lot more of that in this film. I think Drax has a bigger role in this film. I think he struck a chord with people in the first film. James get a real kick out of writing for Drax.”
With that, we asked, What’s been the hardest scene to keep a straight face?
“There’s been more than a few. One situation is if I have a close-up because, sometimes when you’re off camera you’re not so much into it. So when you’re off camera, you’re more likely to smile and laugh at the scene, more of a spectator rather than being in the scene as an actor. And a lot of times when I will do my close-up and I have to deliver these lines very straight-faced but they’re funny lines. Zoe will just start laughing at me off camera or Chris will start laughing. And I have to say stop laughing, ‘cause once I get the giggles, everybody gets the giggles. There is a lot of that in this film because the script is just so funny, just so well-written.”
We also know that Drax and Mantis have a bond in this film. Dave was hesitant to share too much on that front. But did share this:
Well I also don’t want to give anything away. But, I will say Mantis and Drax definitely make a connection. It’s probably not the connection most people are going to expect or that people might be reading into, but definitely a connection.
So, it will be interesting to see what happens with those characters in the movie! Dave was so fun to interview – even more fun in full Drax make-up & costume!
Make plans to go see Dave reprise the role of Drax on May 5, 2017 when the Guardians return to theaters!