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Interview: Sean Gunn Talks ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ and His All-Time Favorite Marvel Memory

May 4, 2023Ben MK

One of the cornerstones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Guardians of the Galaxy ushered in a new era for the MCU, paving the way for such films as Captain Marvel, The Eternals and, of course, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Now, after a spectacular nine-year run, the Guardians' saga is coming to a close. And just as he's done since day one, actor Sean Gunn will be there to see it through to the end. Best known for his on-screen portrayal of the Ravager-turned-Guardian Kraglin, as well as his behind-the-scenes performance for Rocket Raccoon, Gunn and his brother, writer/director James Gunn, have helped make the Guardians of the Galaxy some of the most memorable and endearing comic book characters ever to grace the big screen. But is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 really the end for this beloved, rag-tag crew?

I caught up with Sean Gunn to chat about his dual roles in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and his experience making the film, as well as to find out what his favorite Marvel memory from the last decade is.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, you're once again reprising the role of Kraglin. We don't really get to learn much about Kraglin's backstory, but how has Kraglin changed between Vol. 2 and Vol. 3?

Gunn: When we end Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we know that Peter Quill has given Kraglin the Yaka Arrow. And Kraglin has been through an emotional journey with Yondu's death, and he's trying to learn how to use the arrow. We get a little snippet in the Christmas special. And so I think that he's trying to find his place within the Guardians, in the hope that he can be a good soldier and a reliable member of the team.

You don't just portray Kraglin in Guardians, you also do the motion capture performance for Rocket Raccoon. Given that we see a much more vulnerable side of Rocket in this installment, what was it like stepping back into that role? And which character do you enjoy playing more?

Gunn: I don't really look at it as having a favorite. I love both characters, and I think part of my job as an actor is to find what I love about them and to understand the world from their point of view. I'm an actor, so I like having my face on screens, so maybe I prefer Kraglin. [laughs] But playing Rocket over the years has meant a lot to me — I've done it in six movies now — and I'm only one little section of the whole. It takes a team of people to create Rocket, from the writer to the visual effects team, and then, primarily, Bradley Cooper, who really fleshes the character out and makes him whole. But I like my little corner of it. It's been a fun experience over the years.

There's very much an animal theme running through Vol. 3, and Kraglin is paired with Cosmo the Spacedog in many scenes. Are you a dog person? And what was it like working with a real-life canine on set?

Gunn: I'm an animal person. I have cats, so I'm probably more of a cat person than a dog person. But I adore dogs. I love animals in general, and I think that there's a theme in this movie that the animals are worthy of being respected and loved and taken care of in the same way that the people are, which is something that I believe. I loved working with Cosmo, and the real dog, Slate. Man, that's a cute dog.

Of course, a lot of the cast and crew are friends and have worked together before. How did that camaraderie come into play on the set, especially when tackling some of the movie's more emotional scenes?

Gunn: The fact that this cast has such a wonderful rapport with one another, that we've worked together so long on these three movies, it just brings such freedom. I feel so comfortable to work with [them]. We really have a great group of people working on these movies, and I trust them implicitly as creators and performers.

Was there a particular scene in the movie that was the most memorable for you, personally?

Gunn: Probably my favorite scene in the movie to film isn't some big emotional scene. But there's a scene where we're all playing cards, and Cosmo is there and a few of the other people who live on Knowhere are [there]. And it was just so fun. I had a bunch of old friends sitting at that table, and it was just a great little day on set, so I'll remember that one. I love that if you go around, you can find each one of those characters that's sitting at the poker table. We've seen them all before. And so I think that was probably my favorite one.

Last but not least, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being billed as the finale for this particular Guardians team. Do you have a fondest Marvel memory from the past ten years?

Gunn: This last decade of working on these films is always gonna be a lynchpin in my career. I'm never gonna try to recreate it, it'll never happen again. Guardians is a one-off. And there are so many moments that I will treasure over the years, but I think none more than being on the red carpet when the first movie was done, on opening night, and being there with my brother. And having him turn to me and say, "I think we pulled this off. I think we made a really good movie here." It was just one of the greatest moments I can remember.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in theatres May 5th.

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