At Tupelo Con, Andrew and Kinsey had the AMAZING opportunity to speak with actor Sean Gunn!
Some may remember him as Kirk Gleason from the popular TV series “Gilmore Girls.”
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will recognize him as Kraglin from the Guardians of the Galaxy film series and the recent smash success, “Avengers: Endgame” where he also did the motion capture for Rocket Raccoon!
Check out our conversation below and let us know what you think!
“Avengers: Endgame” came out recently and has been one of the most anticipated films for quite some time. How does it feel to finally have this movie out?
It’s kind of a relief. I’m always worried that I’m going to give something away, but it was gratifying to see something that I’ve worked on for so long come to a culmination.
The film has one of the most impressive ensemble casts. What was the atmosphere like on set with all of that star power around?
It was amazing! I can tell you that there were a lot of days on set where I would look around and I’d be like “Holy smoke! I’m in with the biggest stars in Hollywood.” I look around the room and literally there’d be Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Don Cheadle, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Lizzy Olsen and on and on. Everyone was there, so I was humbled by that. But I also tried to remind myself to take it in and enjoy my time there.
Did you feel any differences in how the Russo Brothers handled the “Guardians” characters compared to how James [Gunn] usually handles them?
[My brother] had done a writing pass at most of the Guardians scenes and he was also an executive producer on “[Avengers:] Infinity War” and “Endgame,” so he had a part in how they were handled. Also, if you know Kevin Feige and have worked with him, you know that he makes sure everyone is on the same page and the ship is moving in the right direction. But they have very different styles as directors, that’s for sure, but it’s not like they do things that would be terribly different from each other.
Doing the motion capture for Rocket Racoon seems like a physically demanding job, being that you do a lot of crouching. How do you prepare for that type of role? What kind of toll does it leave on you?
I just try to stay in shape. It’s a little bit like actors have something in common with athletes in that they use their bodies for their work. So staying in shape is important and I try to do that. I walk a lot. I used to walk upstairs backwards to prepare and to stretch out the back of my legs. It does take a toll and I feel it most in my feet and in my ankles. I don’t know how many more movies I have left in me as Rocket.
How different is the voice that you use for Rocket on set versus the voice that Bradley Cooper adds later?
Honestly it’s weird. The voices sound different, but not hugely different. I’m trying to create a character that the other actors are comfortable with so we all feel like we’re part of an ensemble. The fact that both of us take our cues from James in the characterization makes for some similarities between the two. But certainly Bradley does his own thing when he’s in the booth. He does an amazing job.
They recently announced that James is back on board for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” as well as directing “Suicide Squad 2.” Is there any chance that we will see you in the DC universe?
I think there’s a chance. I always answer when my brother calls so if he has something he wants me to do in that movie, I’d be happy to do it.
Trying to imagine Guardians 3 without James at the helm reminds me of when they did the seventh season of Gilmore Girls without the Palladinos. Was that strange for you being in a situation where such a distinctive and creative voice was removed?
It killed Gilmore Girls really. I think everybody had a little bit of a bad taste in their mouth from the way that show ended because Amy and Dan weren’t a part of the final season. The silver lining is that if Amy had been able to end the show the way she wanted to, we might not have all gotten together again several years later. But we were able to do that only because she was on board. And when people ask me now if I would ever go back and do another season, and I don’t know that we will, but for me I only would if it’s Amy’s show. It’s her show and her baby. So if she steers the ship, same as with my brother, if she calls I’ll answer. But otherwise, I wouldn’t because that last season was a mess.
What was it like stepping back into Kirk after so many years in “A Year in the Life?”
I was a little bit nervous when I first stepped back into Kirk because I wasn’t sure if it would come back, but it did very quickly. The first stuff we shot was actually from the film by Kirk. So the black and white stuff was my first foray back into the character and it didn’t take very long.
Is there anything you learned from your initial seven years doing Gilmore Girls that you still carry with you in your career today?
There’s a lot! The answer to that question would be probably pretty long, but getting the ability to step in and do regular episodic television is really great for an actor. I definitely learned to trust myself. I learned to do tons and tons of preparation, but also to be ready to deviate from that when necessary.
Favorite Kirk job? GO!
I loved being the announcer at the hockey game because I got to tell jokes all day and I got to sit down all day. I’m a little bit lazy, so there you go.
Do you have any upcoming projects you want to talk about?I did a pilot for the SyFy network called “Cipher” with Adrian Grenier and some other folks and I’m excited about it. I think it’s a really cool show so hopefully that goes well and we get on the air. And of course Guardians 3 will be coming out eventually.