Dave Bautista Opened Up About His Tumultuous Childhood And Having Social Anxiety

Dave Bautista is a supremely interesting human being. Without even getting into his past as a bodybuilding breakdancer … without even getting into his becoming a perfect pro wrestler RIGHT BEFORE leaving to become a big damn movie star … the guy is just interesting. He’s led quite a life.

Recently, Bautista stopped by Lilian Garcia’s brand-new podcast, Chasing Glory, and talked about a whole wide array of subjects, but he some time talking about how he suffered from social anxiety, but pro wrestling was eventually able to bring him out of his shell. To his credit, Bautista is unashamed about admitting that, and hopes that by talking about it, he’ll help make other people better come to terms with their own circumstances that they might be dealing with.

“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 also talked about the wild circumstances of his childhood, including his father never really being there for him and his mother being terrified her son’s troubled youth was going to end up with him dead.

“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.”

I think I speak for (hopefully) all of us when I say that we’re very, very happy Big Dave was able to turn his situation around and get to a good place. I mean, a super, duper, unbelievably good place. Dude is Drax the dang Destroyer! You done good, Bautista. You done good.