The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a behemoth undertaking, with many franchises and heroes occupying the big screen. But there are certain properties that have especially resonated with audiences, and chief among them is James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn took a relatively unknown group of motley characters, and brought a quirky set of movies that elevated the cast to fan favorites. And that includes Dave Bautista's Drax the Destroyer.
Drax is a scene stealer in the Guardians and Avengers movies, with Bautista showing off his comedic chops in the process. But according to the wrestler turned actor, he had a terrible audition for the role. He recently opened up about this during a public appearance, saying:
Oh my God, it was a nightmare. I was terrified. I was really desperate at the time, I had hardly worked in three years, and I had gone broke from wrestling and I was desperate to get a job. I finally got an agent like two weeks before I got the audition for Guardians. My agent says 'You know, I really had to fight to get you this audition. It was really hard to get, they didn't really want to audition you. They didn't want any pro wrestlers, so I don't want to get your hopes up.’
While auditions are always a nerve-wracking experience, it looks like the stakes were especially high for Dave Bautista when it came to playing Drax. He needed a job badly, and apparently the odds were stacked against him. But we all know how that turned out.
It's hard to imagine anyone but Dave Bautista playing Drax, but that doesn't mean the role was straight up offered to the 50 year-old actor. His star power has grown significantly due to playing the Marvel hero, but he was lacking that reputation back when he was auditioning to play the role. As such, he had to work doubly hard to bring something unique to the room, and truly be considered to be a Guardian of the Galaxy.
So how exactly did Dave Bautista do it? Namely, but working hard on the audition material with an acting coach. Later in his appearance at Denver Pop Culture Con (via CBR), he explained what ultimately went into that fateful audition. He said:
He built my hopes really low, so I went in with low expectations. I didn't understand Drax. I called my acting coach and said 'I don't get this,' and he flipped out because he's like the biggest fanboy. Anyway, he made me do the research and I found one picture of Drax, and I said 'That looks like me!' He babied me through this whole process, my first and second auditions, my acting coach came with me. I read for Sarah Finn, she's amazing. I read with her and she said 'Don't be nervous. Take your time, we can be here all day.'
While Dave Bautista really needed to land the gig of Drax, it looks like he did have a fair amount of support behind his Guardians and the Galaxy try-out. That includes a warm room, with the casting director encouraging Bautista to take his time and make the most of his audition. It was a formula that worked, and he's been killing it as Drax the Destroyer ever since.