For the most part, reviews for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” have been positive, and the first week of international box office returns indicate that audiences are turning out to see the anticipated Marvel Studios sequel in droves. But while most people seem to be enjoying the movie, star Dave Bautista, better known as Guardians team member Drax, wasn’t entirely sold on the film’s script — at first.
In a recent interview with CBR, the WWE wrestler turned actor revealed that despite his initial excitement, when he sat down and read the script for “Vol. 2,” he was pretty unhappy with what he found.
“I was excited about the script,” Bautista recalled, “[but] when I first read the script, I wasn’t crazy about my part. It went a different direction than what I thought they were going to go with Drax. That’s just because I was expecting one thing and got another. So I was a little bit thrown off at first. Also, what I usually do when I get a script is I read my dialogue first, I just didn’t really get the jokes. I just didn’t think Drax was that significant in the film, and I don’t find myself funny at all. So I remember reading, and I’m just sitting there not laughing. Like, wow, it was disappointing because I thought Drax was going to be so much more.”
“When we sat down for the table read, is when it clicked. It clicked in my head. For one, I could hear everybody doing their own parts, and it was just so funny and deep, and some of it sad. But also, when I would say my lines and people would laugh, it would kind of start to make sense.”
One of the things that helped sell Bautista on the sequel’s approach to his character was the addition of Pom Klementieff as Mantis, with whom Bautista had instant chemistry.
“We knew right away on the screen test, because I screen tested with three or four other actresses, and Pom was the one who I just connected with emotionally,” Bautista told CBR. “Like me, she just wears her heart on her sleeve, and she’s just got that emotional range. She also has a knack of being able to deliver a joke in a deadpan manner. She’s got the same knack. It just meshed well together.”
Picking up just months after the events of Marvel Studios’ 2014 hit, the sequel follows the Guardians as they travel throughout the cosmos and struggle to keep their newfound family together, all while helping Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opens in the US and Canada on May 5. The movie stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego.