The gang's all back as everyone's favorite intergalactic a-holes return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Set to an all-new retro-tuned Mix Tape Vol. 2, this film provides a fun-filled romp around the universe packed full of exploding spaceships and heroic shenanigans your entire family will love.
Recently, we had the opportunity to attend the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 cast interviews to learn more about MARVEL's latest film as the cast spoke about the family themes within the film, Peter Quill's and Yondu's shirtless scenes, and we even learned a few secrets to upcoming MCU films from Kevin Feige himself.
The press conference included cast members and talent: Chris Pratt (“Peter Quill / Star-Lord”), Kurt Russell (“Ego”), Michael Rooker (“Yondu”), Zoe Saldana (“Gamora”), Dave Bautista (“Drax”), Sean Gunn (“Kraglin”), Karen Gillan (“Nebula”), Elizabeth Debicki (“Ayesha”), Pom Klementieff (“Mantis”), Sylvester Stallone (“Member of Nova Corps”), Director James Gunn, and Producer Kevin Feige
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters this Friday, May 5th!
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Cast Interviews
Q: James, the first Guardians of the Galaxy was such a hit and I got the impression right or wrong that you had a little more freedom to take a lot more risks with this one as far as content goes and to push the envelope a little further in terms of, I’m thinking of the moment where Rocket and Yondu go through the 700 wormholes and their faces start distorting like Tex Avery cartoons. Did you feel that you had more freedom on this? And what were you able to do with that?
James Gunn: The truth is, the great thing about working with, especially with, all of Marvel, but especially Kevin, who I have an especially close bond with, and who is an incredibly important person in my relationship to film, they gave me complete freedom on both movies. On the first movie, I think that I was a lot more timid, frankly. I took my first draft and on the first film and I went into Kevin and Joss Whedon was there, and there was a lot of humor in there, and I was afraid that I was pushing the comedy, that it was too funny, and Kevin and Joss said, make it more James Gunn. I was like, okay, it’s your funeral.
People seemed to like that. I thought I was, I’m a little punk rock kid who likes sort of edgy stuff and I thought, what I liked may not be what the entire world likes. But I’ve come to trust that what I like is what works. The great thing about working with Kevin is, we seem to be very much on the same page with what we like, that sort of popular and commercial and traditional, and what we like that’s edgy and funny and different. So yes, I had a lot more freedom on the second movie, but most of it I feel like was from myself just allowing myself to completely go there with the story and not stop myself at any point from fear of alienating people. I wanted to be as true to the artistic vision and especially as true to the characters as possible in this film.
Q: For the returning cast members, what were you most excited about returning to this? What was the most exciting part of the process? What was the least exciting part of the process?
Zoe Saldana: I think that what I loved the most and it may sound selfish but definitely the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. I’m one of three sisters. I have been itching and yearning to see more of a female presence in action films because I love action films. I’m not that deep. I’m okay. I love watching The Equalizer and I’ll watch that 50 times over any kind of dramatic piece. To have a film with three, three female characters that are adding such unique qualities to the film and they are very relevant and their relationships are explored deeply. I was appreciative and super excited and in a way anxious because I know that Gamora is a much more reserved character, so we couldn’t make it a soap opera like I would have wanted to.
Sean Gunn: My favorite thing was basically working with everybody again. It’s really a gift when you have a bunch of artists come together to collaborate on something and everyone is really putting their heart into it and really believes in the script and believes in the movie. There aren’t people just punching the clock, and I think we get along well and respect one another a great deal and just, so just going back and being part of that process is like, it’s awesome.
Dave Bautista: For me as well, it was really a luxury to come back into a reoccurring role, not only where I was comfortable with the character, but I was also like so comfortable with my cast members because they’re people that I love and care about and I knew they weren’t going to judge me so I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about anything that I did. They just accept me for who I am and they appreciate me and they also are confident that I will deliver for them and so that was my biggest luxury in this. How much you familiar
Q: The touchstone of this movie to me is really about family. You have Quill searching for a father figure, and you have Yondu wondering if he belongs in this group. So for you guys, was there ever a moment where you didn’t feel like you belonged, and how did you find your family, whatever that means for you?
Chris Pratt: This is very much a family movie, and I think it’s really universal because I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t felt that at some point in their life. I think it’s really natural to feel that.
James Gunn: I feel like that always. I never feel like I belong. I feel like Rocket, you know. I think that this is for me it’s a very personal film. I have always felt like I didn’t belong. Fortunately I have some people around me who maybe helped me feel like I’m not completely alone in the world, and just as importantly, I think I grew up with some art, some movies, by people like, everybody from David Cronenberg to Steven Spielberg, movies where an outcast didn’t feel so alone or music by Alice Cooper, The Clash, or Outcasts.
Or maybe I was this little kid in Manchester, Missouri who felt like he was completely alienated from all his peers, and by listening and hearing music and watching movies, I felt a little bit less alone. I hope that that’s what the Guardians does for people. It’s a movie about outcasts for outcasts. There are people all over the world that it touches, and that’s the most rewarding thing by far about making these movies.
Q: Along with a similar vein, I thought the theme of fatherhood was extremely touching and emotional, and specifically for you, Chris, I was wondering if you brought in any experiences from you being a father to Peter’s relationship with his father figures, and whether you brought anything in with that.
Chriss Pratt: I definitely feel I brought, not so much in my relationship as a child to a parent, but as a parent to a child. I got that more with Baby Groot I feel like, and it’s funny to say Baby Groot because it’s so adorable.With the character of Groot, who is this vulnerable, very lifelike and adorable, but vulnerable little guy, you know, when he climbs up on Quill’s lap in the end and asks for the music and I’m listening to the song and I’m reflecting on the relationship I had with the man who raised me, it’s in that moment I realize that I’ve now entered the chapter in my life where I’m gonna be the man who’s raising somebody. I think that’s sort of the journey that every parent will take when they have a kid, and I think Quill kind of gets to that at the end of the movie.
Q: How much you familiar with the comic book worlds and how much did you read some Guardians of the Galaxy comic book before you join, Sylvester?
Sylvester Stallone: No I didn’t. I grew up on a different sort of superheroes like Elastic Man. They’re really horrible. I wanted to go in there with a clean slate and just do what the director wanted to be done, and now I’m starting to catch up on it, but I think this kind of being naïve allows you to be directed in a direction they want you to go, without any preconceived ideas.
Q: I wondered, Kurt, what you now think of seeing the retro version of the character in the film, in a little younger fashion and what they’ve done with that.
Kurt Russell: That was pretty interesting. I didn’t really think about that a lot because you just assume, they got all the trickery in the world, right? Dennis Liddiard’s been my makeup man for 28 movies, and before we went in there because we assumed that it was gonna be all CGI, he said to James and the cinematographer, “Hey, I can young this guy down. I got some tricks in my bag. Would that be helpful?” And they said, yeah, as much as you can. That would be great.
When I was speaking to the gal last night who does the CGI, she said, “What did you think of what we did?” I said I thought it was great, but I understand you didn’t do a whole lot. She said, no we didn’t. We touched it up here and there. He did a fantastic job. He does have a lot of tricks.
Without giving away things, because I hate giving away tricks, you have to create an impression, not an image. There’s stuff that goes into that. Then when you’ve got the help of modern day abilities with technology, I think it’s a much more natural look.Mr. Gunn. First one was such a hit, and I got the impression right or wrong that you had a little more freedom to take a lot more risks with this one as far as content goes and to push the envelope a little further in terms of, I’m thinking of the moment where Rocket and Yondu go through the 700 wormholes and their faces start distorting like Tex Avery cartoons. Did you feel that you had more freedom on this? And what were you able to do with that?
Q: Can we talk a little bit about the makeup/hair process and where you go to be Zen about sitting in the chair and who wins the contest for the most time spent in the makeup chair?
Pom Klementieff: How long is yours?
Zoe Saldana: Four hours.
Pom Klementieff: Mine is four, too, three and a half to four and a half.
Zoe Saldana: It can take a long time. I just, I talk my team to death. I don’t shut up, from 2:30 in the morning until we’re on set and James says “Action,” I just keep talking and I feel like that’s how I get time to go by because if not, I’ll just go crazy. There’s not much to do at 2:30 in the morning besides sleep. You can’t eat, you can’t really move around that much because they need your hands and your face and your mouth needs to be shut because if you open your mouth you’re going to get a whole bunch of green paint sprayed into your mouth. So you just, you’re on your phone and you talk in between, you know, [OVERLAPPING]…
Karen Gillan: For me actually it’s sort of become my ritual of getting into character and it was quite interesting. I did this rehearsal as Nebula one time, not under makeup and I just didn’t feel like her. It’s an imperative part of the process for me now. It’s like I literally get to wear her skin, which is like the closest I can get to her, so that’s kind of cool.
Q: It seemed like Peter’s shirtless scene was a little longer in the second film. I don’t know if that was a request from someone or if it was designed, how did that come about?
Chris Pratt: I will say the greatest shirtless scene in this film by far, though, goes to Mr. Michael Rooker. It’s, it’s no joke. – – There’s this real beauty, the moment we see Yondu for the first time. It’s, in my opinion, a series of wordless pictures that truly, that moment to me is when this film transcends the genre. It’s so beautiful, because – – Is it bad to talk about why I thought it was so
I want you to come to your own conclusions and stuff, but, Yondu is shirtless. He’s essentially naked and really vulnerable, and you see that he’s just had sex with these crazy robot prostitutes or something from space and there’s this look on his face, he never says a word, but you feel his pain. You know that he’s hurting inside, you know that he’s lonely and you know that he’s vulnerable, and then immediately you cut to him walking, in, fully clothed with his Ravagers behind him and this sense of power. But because you saw him naked you know what’s going on inside of his mind, and that, that pathos carries the entire arc for Yondu through the whole movie. It’s beautiful, man. It’s so good.
Q: James, we know you have a larger part in the film than I think people realize. You play Rocket and you have a larger part in this role. I’m hoping everyone can kind of talk also about how great Sean is because I don’t think everyone knows about it.
Sean Gunn: I played two roles in the movie. When you act there’s both the input and the output. The input is the work you put into it and what you do on set and then the output is what you see onscreen. For me, the input is very similar to both characters, but the output is, is totally different because it takes a whole team of people to make Rocket. I’m just a member of that team.
But, it’s interesting in this movie because Rocket and Kraglin have a few scenes that they’re in together, so juggling the two things was a very strange and challenging experience for me. But I love it. I love both characters and I’m just really grateful to be a part of it.
Zoe Saldana: It’s amazing. I don’t think that people really understand that what Sean does just for the movie, like the references, the intonation. He’s so limber as well, so he manages to get like to shrink and curl up and be this big, so he’s always like Rocket-size and he gives us all the passion and all the dynamic that we need to have from Rocket because Rocket is the sassiest character of the Guardians and I don’t think that we would be able to respond to Rocket and more, like more like Drax and Quill and you know, Nebula, too. Nobody would be able to respond to Rocket the same way if Sean wasn’t playing him.
Kevin Feige: Not just for Bradley, it is for the animators who are putting Rocket together. I can’t tell you how many times the visual effects reviews, James will say, “Go back to the plate,” which means the original portion of photography with Sean, to get little mannerisms of his eyes and his mouth.
I’m happy to talk about how great Sean Gunn is, all day long. In this movie, Kraglin obviously does a lot more and there are a few moments where Kraglin brings the emotion and really sort of puts it over the top for me as I watch it. Although nobody else in this cast is allowed to talk about it, Rocket has encountered other Marvel characters and I will tell you all of the actors have had an amazing time with Sean, as he brings Rocket to life and they can start acting off of him. It’s really impressive.
And it was amazing to listen to Kevin Feige share a few exclusive MARVEL secret about some of the upcoming MCU films.
Q: There were so many Easter eggs in this movie, and one that I wanted to see if you guys could confirm or just talk about is, you show Sylvester Stallone, Stakar in one of the cut, closing credit scenes. Could almost re-assemble a new team that might be harkening to the ‘90s Guardians of the Galaxy group. I don’t know if Ving Rhames is Charlie 27 or whatnot. Can you guys, Kevin or James, can you talk about those characters, if we’re gonna see them in the future?
Kevin Feige: They’re definitely the original Guardians. That was the fun of it, and when James had the idea to do more with the Yondu character who was also an original Guardians, the notion that he had a team once like Peter does now, that it’d be fun to see them. And he’s definitely Charlie 27. Where we see them in the future, time will tell.
Q: Are you able to identify the rest of the teams?
James Gunn: Ving Rhames is Charlie 27. Michelle Yeoh, who I’m an enormous fan of from, I’m a big fan of old ‘90s Hong Kong films, and she is a very wonderful person. She is Aleta Ogord, who is the other Star Hawk, the female Star Hawk.
Q: We saw for the first time, at least from what we can tell, the Watcher, Uatu, in there. There were at times funny rumors how Stan Lee might be the Watcher in some way, so I’m not sure if that was a nod to that. Could you maybe say if that was and then also how you expect to see Uatu in kind of this overall universe story with all this coming up?
Kevin Feige: I wouldn’t say you saw Uatu, I would say you saw some Watchers. And yes, we always thought it would be fun. Stan Lee clearly exists above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun and James had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much. You see it a couple of times in the movie and it wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent and we thought it would be fun to put that and keep that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films.
Q: Loved the inclusion of Howard the Duck in the film. When can we see a spin-off film? Or a cartoon series?
Kevin Feige: The fun thing about Howard is he shows up where you least expect him. Who knows where he’s going to appear next?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Press Conference Slide Show
About Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
From Marvel Studios, the studio that brought you the cinematic global blockbuster franchises of “Iron Man,” “Captain America,“Thor,” “Ant-Man,” “Doctor Strange” and the “Avengers,” comes the highly anticipated sequel featuring the world’s favorite band of intergalactic misfits—the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Picking up where “Guardians of the Galaxy”—2014’s highest grossing film of the summer—left off, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the action-packed, irreverent, epic space adventures of Peter Quill aka Star-Lord and his gang of eccentric characters as they
patrol and protect the universe, doing mercenary work in the wake of the popularity and fame they garnered from saving Xandar.
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the story follows the team as they fight to keep their newfound family together while traversing the outer reaches of the cosmos to unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Portions of this material have been provided courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.