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Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
Sunday, Jul 13, 2014

Showbiz

Who says big boys don't cry?

The New Paper | Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman | Sunday, Jul 13, 2014

Passion for acting: Dave Bautista was in town to promote the movie Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Based on looks alone, one would never expect former wrestler Dave Bautista - at times nicknamed The Animal in the ring - to be capable of crying.

After all, the burly four-time World Heavyweight Champion and two-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Champion towers over most with his height of 1.98m and weight of 125kg.

If anything, the heavily-tattooed tough guy seems the sort to reduce others to tears.

But when Bautista, 45, found out that he had landed a role as raging brute Drax the Destroyer in upcoming Marvel superhero flick Guardians Of The Galaxy, the US actor said he "literally broke down".

He received the news as he was on his way to the gym to pump iron.

"My manager, also my rock throughout my career, called me as I was driving and he said, 'Congratulations, Mr Drax.' I just broke down and drove home - I was a mess," he told local media during a press conference at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre yesterday.

 

Life-changing

"I've never explained to people how life-changing this is for me. It's hard for me to leave behind wrestling. I worked and struggled, worked and struggled and finally got the role of a lifetime. I pretty much lost everything I gained in wrestling because I discovered my passion for acting. No, it wasn't just a few tears because it meant that much to me," said Bautista, who retired from WWE in 2010 to take up acting.

At the press conference, he was joined by Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn and co-star Zoe Saldana, who takes on the role of feisty green alien assassin Gamora.

The trio, who arrived here from Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, will also be greeting fans at a red carpet event to promote the movie tomorrow night outside Shaw Lido Level 1.

Guardians Of The Galaxy, which also stars US actors Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace and Bradley Cooper, sees adventurer Peter Quill (Pratt) teaming up with an unlikely quartet of misfits to escape from villain Ronan the Accuser (Pace) and save the galaxy.

The movie opens here on July 31.

During the 30-minute session, Bautista also revealed that unlike his aggressive nature in the wrestling ring, he is a "zen" person.

The man of few words said he endured hours of special effects make-up while his arms remained outstretched by meditating.

As for Saldana, who had to be painted green for her character, the first week involved plenty of getting used to as she had flown into the UK and was suffering from jet lag.

 

Watching world cup

"I passed out but when I woke up, I was, like, 'Oh my God, what happened to my face?'" said the actress, who showed no signs of fatigue even though she had woken up at 3am to watch the World Cup football semi-finals between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Saldana, 36, looked cheerful and radiant in a flowy midi dress with a plunging neckline that did little to dispel or confirm recent rumours of her first pregnancy.

The news comes a year after her surprise wedding to Italian artist Marco Perego, 35.

There was no way of knowing - her thin figure gave nothing away while members of the press were warned repeatedly against asking personal questions. She kept up her good mood throughout the press conference, even agreeing to an arm wrestle challenge from HOT FM 91.3 radio DJ Jillian Lim.

Lim, 24, together with fellow DJ Joshua Simon, also 24, posed the challenge to Saldana and Bautista, who seemed game to take them on.

"Wait, I'm a southpaw, I'm left-handed. Can we do that? Bring it," Saldana told the DJ-pair.

But before they made their move towards the stage, they were stopped by host and radio DJ Glenn Ong who urged them to proceed with questions, perhaps with the best interests of the people involved.

"A guy was physically assaulting a girl at a wrap party and Dave protected the young lass. The guy came running at Dave and all he did was touch him a little, and the guy flew 20 feet," warned Gunn, 43, half-jokingly.

"If you want to keep your arm, I suggest you don't do it."


This article was first published on July 11, 2014.
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