James Gunn enjoys working with his friends. He likes to direct them and he likes to see the rendering of their friendship on the screen. Since the first Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) in 2014, the ties have grown stronger. Today, the Guardians form a family as diverse as they are united, in the cinema as in real life.
“We’re a disparate bunch, just like the Guardians,” notes Sean Gunn, who also plays Kraglin, a former Ravager turned Guardian.
Brother of director and screenwriter James Gunn, the actor who played Kirk Gleason in Gilmore Girls has seen his role evolve over the trilogy. With Kraglin only having a few lines in the original GOTG installment, the actor’s main task was to take Rocket’s place during filming, thus wearing funny green outfits and crouching. Bradley Cooper always lends his voice to the reckless raccoon in this final part, but it is that of Sean Gunn that we hear for the scenes where we see younger Rocket.
“Initially, I was chosen because I think my brother was worried about getting bored in the studios in London, admits Sean Gunn, a smile in his voice. Rocket made me live such an adventure… [Short silence] It takes a whole team to bring it to the screen and I am proud to be part of it. He’s also central to the story, and of all the characters, he’s the one my brother sees himself in the most. I could talk for two hours about what he means to me. »
Not much has been revealed about Rocket’s origins in the previous two GOTGs. We know that he was subjected to excruciating experimentation and that he underwent cybernetic modifications. With the literal and figurative scars still visible, he prefers not to talk about his past.
James Gunn called Rocket the “secret protagonist” of his trilogy. He concludes this one by revealing that a man called The High Evolutionary transformed a baby raccoon into a brilliant creature capable of piloting a spaceship. His intentions, however, were far from noble.
“He only lives for his obsession, which makes him a very dangerous person,” Chukwudi Iwuji said. He’s a classic villain. It reminds me of those of James Bond, the mad scientists or Doctor Moreau. Or almost all the roles of Gary Oldman in the 1990s. I did not believe my luck to be able to offer my version of all these performances that I love and that inhabit my memories. »
The High Evolutionary has been trying for years to build a perfect society by genetically modifying animals. Rocket – which he calls 89P13 – is the result of one of his earlier experiments successfully escaping. When he learns that he is still alive, finding him becomes his priority.
Another challenge was pretending to chat with a little raccoon on two legs, when in reality Chukwudi Iwuji was talking to Sean Gunn, a Rocket doll or a tennis ball! “Sean helped me a lot, because when we were filming the first takes, his presence allowed me to react to his emotion. He made me angry or exasperated me, which allowed me to deliver a better performance. »
After briefly battling with Thor in Love and Thunder and then celebrating Christmas – on Disney – in Holiday Special, the Guardians reunite for one last time. At least, the version of the team that director and screenwriter James Gunn brought to the screen.
“It’s always sad to end something, but there is also this joy of finishing a creative project in order to give it to the public”, rationalizes Sean Gunn, who admits all the same to having lived a “torrent of emotions during these few months.
“I could only watch it, since I had just joined them when they had been together for 10 years, but you could feel that everyone had taken on the responsibility of ending it on a high,” Chukwudi said. Iwuji. Chris, Zoe, Dave, they were all so welcoming. It was a very friendly set. There was pressure, not from them, but from me. I didn’t want to be the one to ruin everything. It was a real joy to participate in the final point of this adventure. »