WATCH: Dave Bautista talks about Pinoy roots in GOTG2 interview
Aside from his bulging arms and barreled chest, one of the most distinctive features of Dave Bautista is the Philippine flag tattoo on his left shoulder.
The 48-year-old American, who burst into the scene as World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) “Batista,” traces his lineage to his Filipino immigrant grandparents.
During an interview with ABS-CBN reporter Marie Lozana to promote the recently released “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Batista (who plays Drax in the film), briefly spoke about his Pinoy roots.
The hulking actor, who was born and raised in Washington, DC, admitted being surprised about the warm reception he received from his Filipino fans.
“It’s weird. I didn’t really make a connection,” he said, while sitting beside co-star Zoe Saldana (Gamora). “I couldn’t understand why they looked up to me so much and it was really odd for me.”
But things started to make sense for Batista after he visited the Philippines for the first time in 2007, as part of WWE SmackDown’s Philippine Tour.
“They really accepted me as one of their own, even if I was born in the United States,” he said. And they said, ‘It’s not often that the Filipino people get to be inspired by one of their own.’ And then I kind of understood it and I never for one day took it for granted.”
He added, “I love it and I take that with pride, and I wear the Filipino flag shoulder with pride.”
He also revealed a second Filipino flag tattoo, this time, an image of the bright “Three Stars and Sun” on his left elbow.
Aside from Bautista and Saldana, the five-and-a-half minute interview also featured director James Gunn.
Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2” is now showing in cinemas nationwide. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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