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James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is essentially built around great character pairings, and easily one of the best of the bunch is the relationship between Dave Bautista's Drax and Pom Klementeiff's Mantis. Both alien beings are weird all by themselves, but they ultimately bring out the best in each other, and have some terrific scenes together. So what's the secret behind their bond? To hear Bautista tell it, it's all about a shared naiveté. The actor recently told me,
We have decided that Drax and Mantis share a very childlike innocence, and I think that links them together. More than anything he's taken on a big brother type role. That's the way I look at it -- not so much Mantis being a surrogate daughter, but almost like a little sister. That's what the relationship, to me, feels more like. And that's kind of the way we play it.
I had the chance to sit down with Dave Bautista during the Los Angeles press day for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last month, and one of the subjects we touched on was the instant and special bond that Drax creates with Mantis over the course of the movie. I wondered if part of it may be seeing her as a surrogate daughter -- as his own daughter was notably killed by Ronan The Accuser years ago -- but Bautista explained that he feels as though it is more sibling-esque than parental.
Without giving away too many details, Drax and Mantis have some of the best moments together in all of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and much of that is because their individual idiosyncrasies pair up perfectly. As we learned over the course of the first movie, Drax doesn't really have a filter between his brain and his mouth, and it leads him to be perfectly blunt all of the time. Mantis, meanwhile, has led a kept life that has seen her have very little social interaction at all. Around such a character you would expect a protagonist to be very kind and gentile, but that simply isn't Drax's speed, and as a result they have an odd and funny back-and forth.
You can watch Dave Bautista talk about the special relationship between Drax and Mantis in the video below:
After what feels like an endless wait, audiences everywhere in the world can now see this relationship for themselves on the big screen, as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now in theaters worldwide. Be sure to check out our other interviews with the stars and filmmakers behind the Marvel blockbuster, and keep your eye on the site in the next few days for even more!