On the first episode of Lillian Garcia's new podcast, Chasing Glory, the former WWE ring announcer interviewed former WWE Champion and current big time movie star Dave "Batista" Bautista.
The "Guardians of the Galaxy" star opened up about his struggles with Social Anxiety as well as his troubled youth and estrangement from his father.
Wrestling helped him get over lifelong Social Anxiety:
“Wrestling really brought me out of my shell…But I wish when I was younger I hadn’t been so ashamed. I wish I would’ve embraced it more because it’s okay, and I find out more, all the time, that a lot of actors are the same way. They get anxiety and get self-conscious, and get insecurities about their performances. And I think if people hear more from that – from people, especially someone like me who succeed in these entertainment fields – they can see that I am someone who is like that as well. Then, they will just be more accepting and just be okay with it. Because there’s more people like that than you would think.”
He ran with a bad crowd when he was a kid:
“My mom felt that if I stayed out there in the city, where I was running with gangs and everything, that I was going to end up dead. That’s what the crowd that I was falling in with – I mean, I was young. She was getting calls from jail, from police saying, ‘Come pick up your son.’ And really young – twelve, thirteen years old. I was hanging around with gangs. I was fighting, stealing cars, joy riding them, just young little criminals. And I was just living that street life. I wasn’t going to school. I was in the front door, out the back. Just up to no good.”
His father was so absent in his life that Bautista considers him a stranger:
“My father was never really there for me…It’s something that’s a little weird because we had a long talk about it when I was older. I had already been wrestling, so I was in my late thirties, and we had a talk about it, and he was just bent out of shape over why I wasn’t more respectful of him and why I didn’t give more to him. And I told him it was just because he was never there for me, so I don’t have that, you know, that father-son connection with him. He’s just kind of some guy that I’ve known. You know, he was barely ever there for me. He’s never done anything for me. He’s never really even given me any fatherly advice. I just don’t know him at all; he’s really a stranger to me.”
You can listen to the entire podcast at this link.