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He's a hoot as Drax, but Stuber's Dave Bautista admits that comedy is a 'struggle'

By Christian Long
Dave Bautista

"It's always great to be out of green body paint," Dave Bautista cracked about his role in the upcoming action/comedy Stuber.

Ahead of the film's "work-in-progress" screening at SXSW Wednesday night, Bautista told SYFY WIRE that he was nervous about his ability to flex his comedic muscle when he's not playing The Guardians of the Galaxy's resident tough guy, Drax the Destroyer.

"The comedy thing it's still very unnatural, I struggle with it," confessed Bautista, who was admittedly nervous about seeing the film for the first time. "I just don't find myself funny. I'm very self-conscious, but I've learned a lot on this film. I'm OK with being a student and learning."

The film, which stars the notoriously outspoken wrestler-turned-actor as a cop who uses a hapless Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) to help him catch a criminal that's eluded him for years, captivated the sold-out theater. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction, Bautista admitted afterward that he's still worried about how the film will fare outside the festival circuit when it opens in theaters this summer. 

Stuber Dave Bautista Kumail Nanjiani

"We were in this spot with Guardians," Bautista told the crowd. "A lot of people were predicting that it would be the first Marvel film that would flop. Marvel took a lot of precautions, they really marketed it before it came out. But, there are some things that are out of our hands. You never really know until that opening weekend."

"I'd be fine if it made half the money the Guardians made," Nanjiani added. "I'd be happy with that."

Despite Bautista's trepidation, after seeing the film for the first time, along with hundreds of cheering fans, he was overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity. He even singled out Nanjiani as an actor who's talented "across the board." 

"There [are] great actors who are great at certain things," Bautista began. "There's not a lot of great actors who have a range to slapstick comedy to making you cry your butt off. That's a rare thing, and he's got it." 

Nanjiani, meanwhile, took the time to capture the moment with a selfie from the stage. 

Stuber will arrive in theaters on July 12. Until then, be sure to check out all of SYFY WIRE's extensive SXSW coverage here