James Gunn | The Man Behind Guardians of the Galaxy
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James Gunn | The Man Behind Guardians of the Galaxy

The man charged with telling a story no one really knew pulled it off with a bang and made Guardians of the Galaxy a household name.  Sitting down and listening to James Gunn, Director of Guardians of the Galaxy, talk to us about his inspiration for his characters and worlds gave me a deeper understanding of what he was trying to do and made me love the film even more.

James Gunn: Director of Guardians of the Galaxy

  Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Interview #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent

Do you have a love for dance?

Yeah, I do.  When I say,  Kevin Bacon is a great national hero, I mean it. I love dancing, and, I love pop music.  I love super heroes and I love space adventures. And I love raccoons.  So I have all the things I love in one movie.

Does Kevin Bacon know about this?

Does Kevin know that I love him? You know, Kevin was in my last movie. And he doesn’t know it, so we’ve got to keep it quiet.  I don’t think he knows yet. I was supposed to invited him to the New York premiere. Maybe I’ll text him after I get out of here. But I’m excited, for him to see it.

You’re a director, producer, and you’re an actor.  Is there anything that you don’t do?

Yeah, there’s a lot of things I could never do.  You know.  I think really what I do best is picking other people. And finding what other people are good at, and sort of arranging those in a way that makes a good movie. And I think that’s really what a good director is able to do.

Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Interview #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent

What drew you to Guardians of the Galaxy?

I think the main thing that drew me to Guardians of the Galaxy  was the ability to create a whole new wing of the Marvel universe.   I would find it very difficult to make a sequel to another Marvel movie or even making another earthbound Marvel movie that’s leading directly into The Avengers because you’re working so much within the world that’s already been created. With Guardians,  I was able to create, not just a new world, but new worlds and new characters, new species.  I found that to be just the most freeing thing ever.

When I was  a little boy, I had a box that I would put drawings in. And this box, I was sort of obsessed with.  I was obsessed with the solar system and all the different planets. I would make, drawings for each one of the different planets and of the species that lived on that planet including their pets were, what their houses looked like, and what their water systems were like. This box became filled over time with this sort of universe inside of it, that I created. And that is, that’s where my heart was.  And that’s still where my heart is because that’s what this movie is.

Who is your favorite Guardian and Why?

The one I feel the most connected to is Rocket. I feel the outcast in Rocket. And although I think that Rocket is the meanest Guardian and I think he’s the most selfish Guardian, I think he’s probably the Guardian that learns the least at the end of the movie. He is the saddest.  It’s very strange but I feel like he’s just this little mangled guy that is completely alone in this world. There’s nothing else like him, he’s been torn apart and put back together again. He was originally an innocent little animal, I love animals to begin with. I’ve come to love him.  I probably had the greatest time creating Rocket over any of the other Guardians. Rocket and Groot both.  Because that really, unlike  Star-Lord, Chris and I have to be on the same level.  I write his dialogue, he says it. I pull this stuff out of him, he adds  stuff. We’re creating a character together, with Rocket, and there’s a lot more people involved. It’s much more like conducting a symphony, within one character. To make somebody alive you know?  It tends to become more of a real character to me.

How does it feel to do a PG-13 movie that is geared more towards a younger audience, versus your R rated movie?

I loved it!  When I set out to make this movie I didn’t set out to make a movie that was like the movies I loved as a kid.  RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and STAR WARS, and these films.  I wanted to make a movie that would make kids and adults feel like I felt when I saw those movies.  Something that would actively inspire imagination. I found it in the great opportunity to make a movie that was about family, about friendship.  I think in the world, everybody thinks it’s so important to be cool and important to be hip and show how you don’t care. This movie is the exact opposite. It’s a movie about caring. It’s a movie that allows emotions into a spectacle film, which is extremely rare. Real characters and real people with flaws. Not exactly real people, real aliens, monsters and that stuff.

Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Interview #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent

With the Marvel cinematic universe expanding exponentially, are there any  characters you’d like to see together in a story? Or in a movie?

I would love to tell the Rocket and Groot story for sure. I love them, but you know, at the same time I’d love to tell the Drax story as well, or the Gamora story.   I think they’re all interesting enough to me. I also would love to do a Nebula film. It’s something I actually think about a lot.  I think that all those characters could go off on their own direction.

In the Guardians comics there is a lot of interplay with the Avengers. Was there any interconnection or conversations that you had with Joss Wheedon, on what he has done or is doing, with the Avengers?

Yes, for sure.  I would talk to Joss because I didn’t want to contradict future plans. And really the one piece of connective tissue is Thanos, he’s the guy who’s at the end of The Avengers.  He’s the guy who’s the character in our movie, and he will likely show up in  future Marvel movies. That was something that I had conversations with Joss about all the, the Thanos aspects of things.

What was the most difficult thing to bring to the big screen?

Definitely the most difficult thing was the CGI characters because we had to make them as real and believable and as loveable as the rest of the characters in the movie. I am beyond a perfectionist when it comes to visual effects. I’m very very hard on visual effects people. I try to get the most out of them. My eyes are really difficult and harsh on that stuff. So that was the long road.

Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Interview #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent

Were there hilarious antics that took place while filming?

One of our great moments was in the dance off.  We didn’t tell Dave Bautista. I went up to Chris and Zoe and Lee Pace and said, “When Chris challenges you to a dance-off, take him up on it.” So Chris started dancing. And then Ronan goes, “You got it, pal, you’re on!” He throws down his hammer and he’s doing this ridiculous dance that his six foot five frame in this gigantic metal object could do. He’s dancing, and then Gamora starts dancing. And then they turn it over to Dave and Dave is like, “Oh, no.”  And he did it, he just started dancing.  Then about 200 extras that we had on set started dancing.   My brother who plays Rocket on set, started dancing. I have it all on film!  It will be on the DVD for sure.


Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Interview #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent

Watch James Gunn’s Worlds in Guardians of the Galaxy today!

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Lauren is the owner and writer for Crazy About My Baybah. She is a mom that is crazy about her family, art, photography, getting fit, Disney, and living in Las Vegas.

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  1. So much fun, love reading behind the scenes stuff!

  2. That had to be awesome meeting him. I can’t believe how young he looks.

  3. I can’t wait to see this movie! I love his Kevin Bacon comments :)

  4. I like that they’ve included characters with flaws and emotions. I think that allows for a better connection to them from the audience.

  5. Oh, I’d love to have seen that dance off. Sounds like it would have been a hoot.

  6. I think it’s great that this movie is PG-13. It is just the type of movie our oldest son would love to see. My husband is dying to take him to see it.

  7. I love reading these interviews. I always learn so much!

  8. I love that he takes pride in helping others succeed. By finding what they are best at and pushing them in that direction. That makes a great director.

  9. The more I see about this movie, the more I want to see it! I was going to let my hubby and son go, but maybe I will too.

  10. SO COOL!! I love reading these behind the scenes interviews!

  11. This show is going to be the best! We are planning to see the movie this weekend!

  12. He is such a talented guy clearly. It’s certainly rockin’ the box office.

  13. With how successful this movie has been already, I’m sure James Gunn will be able to expand the franchise. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

  14. I love reading interviews with directors! I can’t wait to see that dance off on the DVD!

  15. What fun you must have had! I can’t wait to see the movie, especially after getting that little Behind The Scenes glimpse and understanding the man behind it all a little better. I love how he shares his journey, his strengths (bringing people together and bringing out the best in each team member) and what made this project so personal and meaningful.

  16. How cool that you got to meet him! It’s nice to have more of an insight into the movie!

  17. Love him, such a good movie!

  18. That is just too cool that you got to interview him! I can’t wait to see the movie, we went out of town before it opened in theaters.

  19. He was so amazing to talk too!

  20. He was awesome to interview! I can’t believe how young and successful he is!

  21. This was a great interview to read. Kind of jealous you got to interview him!

  22. Love learning about behind he scene stuff. It gives me a different appreciation for the movie.

  23. So jealous! LOL! What a great interview! Cannot wait to see the movie!

  24. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings says:

    Great interview! I’m excited to see the movie

  25. Amy Desrosiers says:

    He is cute! Must have been fun meeting him and picking his brain!

  26. That is so funny! I would love to see that dance scene!

  27. he must be smiling all the way to the bank now! Good for him! I wish the movie lots of success

  28. I am looking forward to going to see this movie! I am trying to convince the hubby to take me this weekend.

  29. So much fun. I love the back stories for this movie.

    I also love the Kevin Bacon reference. Is there anyone who doesn’t know Kevin Bacon!? The six degrees of Kevin Bacon is real. LOL

  30. He looks like a fun guy! Awesome movie!

  31. my daughter already saw the movie and downloaded the soundtrack. She loved it

  32. Interesting interview. Looking forward to seeing this movie.

  33. It’s fun to learn more about him. I’m also a fan of Kevin Bacon!

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