Bodybuilding 'Saved My Life', says Guardians of the Galaxy Star Dave Bautista

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Photo credit: Elisabetta A. Villa - Getty Images
Photo credit: Elisabetta A. Villa - Getty Images

Actor and former professional wrestler Dave Bautista recently opened up about how discovering the gym as a teenager saved his life.

In an interview with Olympia President Dan Solomon for Muscle & Fitness, conducted as Solomon receives his first-ever tattoo at DC Society in Tampa, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Dune actor explained he was in a bad place before he found somewhere to focus his energies.

“I don’t say this lightly” he confessed, “but bodybuilding saved my life”. Speaking about his school days, he explains “I was a really f***ed up kid. I was getting in the worst kind of trouble and hanging out with the worst kinds of people. I just didn’t have anywhere to channel all my anger and aggression. When I found a gym, it became therapeutic for me.”

From there, he threw himself into wrestling in junior high school and discovered the gym’s weight room. “I love wrestling”, he says with a glint in his eye “but I really love training”.

“When I got out of high school, all I wanted to do was be a bodybuilder”. After years of trying, however, he realised he “didn’t have what it took to be a professional bodybuilder. But I loved training so much, I turned it into professional wrestling”.

The rest, as they say, is history. Bautista went back to his roots, “I started to take the body I have from bodybuilding, and my athletic ability from wrestling and turned that into a career which led to film”.

While this sounds simple, in reality, Bautista worked with WWE for about a decade before his big break as Drax the Destroyer in Guardian’s of the Galaxy. The third instalment will hit cinemas in 2023, after which Bautista will step back from the role – explaining on The Ellen Show that, now in his 50s “the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me”.

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