Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

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INTERVIEW WITH 
CHRIS PRATT & ZOE SALDANA

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While Marvel may wish that I was saying this about the latest Avengers film, or Spider-Man, there is little doubt that one of the most eagerly anticipated comic book movies of 2017 is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. The succsess of the original movie even seemed to take Marvel itself by surprise… after all who expected a film based on characters that only the hardened comic book fans knew about was going to become just a raging juggernaut. Despite audiences at first raising an eyebrow at the film which contained a talking tree and a racoon the original Guardians film became one of the Marvel’s biggest pay days at the box office.

Now Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 has landed and to the producer’s credit they’ve been able to keep director James Gunn at the helm while the core cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista also remains.

Aside from box office success Guardians also announced Chris Pratt as a genuine star. The one- time funny man was now a bankable star – something he has continued with Jurassic World and Passengers. But even he admits the rise of the first film even surprised the cast. “I think that everybody was at least a little bit surprised at the amount of success that the first movie had,” he says seriously. “I know that in making the movie we all thought we were doing something special and it was a great script but you just never know with projects that you are on. And this being an untested title and not one of Marvel’s quote-un-quote ‘first tier’ superhero stories… you know we were surprised.”

Pratt is also well aware of the huge gamble that Marvel took having him play the lead role of Star-Lord. “It’s hard looking back now and seeing what Star-Lord has become through the collaboration of James and myself working on it and what it was to begin with,: he says. “It is hard to imagine the differences, but what appealed to me the most was that this was a character that I could bring my own personal brand of humor to and bring that into the character. 

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“It was something that I knew I could do that was unique to me and I had been dying for a situation like that and I thought it could be more of an action hero with comedy. After seeing myself in Zero Dark Thirty I was forced to realise what I was capable of as an actor because there was a certain physicality with that role that I had never had in previous roles. I saw that… because you are constantly re-evaluating how you see yourself and how people see you in roles… so I saw that in Zero Dark Thirty and I thought I want to do something that is physical but also has comedy – something I could bring my own brand of comedy to. So then I met James and had an audition and I felt like this was going to be a comfortable space to do that. That’s what was so exciting for me… I could just do me. The best version of my own stuff and that was okay with him… that was pretty cool.”

So what does Pratt believe that audiences should expect from Vol. 2 “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 picks up a few months after the first movie so it is very much a continuation of that story,” he says. “We find Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in that role that he adopted at the end of the first movie, the role of looking after this band of misfits and being the ‘hero’ of this group. He’s doing that but still having to deal with Rocket and the way that he is and Drax, and all of the characters with the way that they are but he’s taken on a leadership role and is just a little inkling more responsible.”

…continued below…

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While Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is very much the story of Peter Quill (Star-Lord) delving into his past and working out exactly who he is there is also someone very much in his present – the faithful warrior Gamora played by Zoe Saldana who may or may not (okay does) have a thing for Star-Lord.

While the romance is certainly still there Saldana says audiences should expect to see a different side to Gamora this time around. “I feel that if I could describe Gamora’s story arc from the first Guardians it would have to be through Queen – Break Free,” she says smiling. “She just wants to be free or to die because she is over it. There is a bit of a selfish essence to her and it makes her prerogative very personal. Where as in this film she is one a path of redemption so she wants to be very present in trying to do good.”

A key plotline in this film is also further exploring the strained sisterly relationship between Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Saldana says Gamora has a lot of realisations about it this time around. “Gamora is realising that Nebula’s strength and power is much greater, just much greater than hers. So she wants to be able to inspire Nebula not to put bad feelings into what is already hers and her power because that is a Molotov cocktail… that’s a really dangerous weapon there. I think Gamora is the one that kind of senses that and realises that as the older sibling it’s her role to kind of do that. I think making peace with my sister is part of that redemption – she’s the only family member that I will ever know, there is no other like me – Thanos made sure that he wiped that – so if Nebula is all I have than she is worth the sacrifice and the work and the pain. That is where I feel Gamora is at when it comes to her and her sister.”

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So the romance with Star-Lord where does Gamora stand on that? “I think he likes her more than she likes him,” she says smiling. “But I don’t think that is because he’s not the one for her according to her I just don’t think she has thought that far ahead – not for love for herself. At the moment she is trying to make amends for the wrongs that she has done. The last thing that she is going to feel that she deserves is love from a partner. So Quill takes the position in her brain as just a family member. This film does explore relationships though – relationships with our fathers, relationships with our siblings, relationship with our friends. The big question asked is – what is family to you? There’s also a lot about growing up as an adult and growing up as a young adult. It’s not like I’m a kid and now I’m an adult – it’s your an adult and now how do you evolve from this adult that you are to a better one. I love that about Guardians it gives it a very human essence.”

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is in cinemas now and is reviewed at www.heavy.wpmudev.host

Written by Dave Griffiths

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