Dave Bautista knows that 2023 will be an important year for his acting career. With the “Glass Onion” buzz leading into the new year, Bautista M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin” and an extensive role in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” sequel will have his biggest speaking roles to date. He is also exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.” 3” identified his swan song as Drax the Destroyer. It’s a role that spanned nearly 10 years and seven different MCU projects, but it’s one Bautista is eager to leave behind.
“I’m so thankful for Drax. I love him. But there is a relief [that it’s over]”Bautista recently told GQ magazine. “It wasn’t all pleasant. Playing that role was difficult. The makeup process was beating me down. And I don’t know if I want Drax to be my legacy – it’s a silly performance and I want to do more dramatic stuff.”
Bautista said his other 2023 film projects are a step in the right direction when it comes to shaping his post-Marvel acting career. He said of Shyamalan’s new thriller, “This is the most I’ve talked about in a film so far. Just a huge page of singles. We were shooting for the film, which is very expensive. And we were shooting with one camera, so you don’t have the luxury of editing. This is your only chance – you need a perfect take. It’s a lot of pressure. I want to remember my dialogue, but not at the cost of losing the emotion of the scene.
“Dune: Part Two” will mark Bautista’s third Villeneuve movie after “Blade Runner 2049” and “Dune.” “If I could be number one,” he told GQ [on the callsheet] With Denise, I would do it for free sex. I think I can find out how I can be better. He brings out the best in me. He sees me in a different light, the performer I want to be. Maybe that’s how I’ll solve the puzzle.”
“Honestly, I could give a fuck [about being a movie star]” Bautista added later in the interview. “I don’t live a very glamorous life. I live here in Tampa. I don’t care about the spotlight, I don’t care about fame. I just want to be a good actor. I want respect from my peers. Want. I don’t need accolades – I really don’t, man. It’s about the experience, about knowing I’ve achieved something.”
Bautista wants to achieve more than what the MCU has given him. The actor has always championed his stint as Drax, but he has publicly expressed disappointment with the role. In 2021, Bautista told Collider that Marvel “dropped the ball” in doing Drax justice on the big screen.
“I really wish they were more invested in Drax personally,” he said. “Because I think Drax has more stories to tell. I think Drax has a really interesting backstory, which they dropped the ball on. It’s no dig at Marvel. They had a slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s all they have [it] Slated out but man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great back story.”
Bautista added that if Marvel had explored the character more fully, it would have “given me a chance to show different sides of Drax emotionally. And physically, too.”
Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin” opens in theaters on Feb. 3, followed by “Guardians Vol. 3” on May 5 and “Dune: Part Two” on Nov. 3.