During our dreamy, super secret set visit, we interviewed several cast members; but this Kurt Russell interview was a shocking surprise. We had no idea he’d be available and wasn’t even on our list of possible interviews. We’re in for a lot of fun with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I can’t wait to learn more about Kurt Russell’s character.
Kurt Russell Interview
Our little group of mom bloggers was walking around on set and we entered a big blue filming area. We looked like we were on a field trip and stumbled off the planned course. Our “guide”, if that’s what you’d call him, said, “Oh, there’s Kurt, maybe he will talk to you.”
We stayed put and all gawked at each other in disbelief, trying to remain composed and professional as this legendary man walked towards us.
I’ve gotten pretty good with not being a star stuck idiot–not the case here. I must’ve looked like an owl the entire time he spoke to us because I seriously couldn’t believe he was standing right in front of me. He’s such a badass. Like THE badass. If you look “man” up in the dictionary, he’d be listed in the top five. Kurt Russell just exudes that cowboy, chill, confident, I-can-handle-ANY-situation type energy. Sadly, we weren’t able to get any photos with him because he was covered in purple dots for the CGI. But he was polite and just so cool.
Can you tell us a little about your role?
Kurt Russell: “Yeah. I’m his father. He’s a man of adventure and it’s a very full role. You have to play a lot of different types of scenes where we are emotionally very different. We get to explore a lot of Peter Quill’s past. You’ll learn a lot about where he comes from and why he is what he is and he’s coming from a position of having wondered about who his father was his whole life–and it’s me, so…”
What made you want to take this role?
Kurt Russell: “I was doing a publicity trip for Hateful Eight and suddenly all the reporters and whoever else I ran into, was asking me if I was going to do Guardians of the Galaxy. I’d never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy. Are you going to be Peter Quill’s father?”
He explained that he asked Sam (Samuel L. Jackson) who played Nicholas Fury, and he said, “Oh, that’s a little different stuff… big audiences.” Kurt then asked if it’s fun and he said, “Oh, yeah.”
Kurt (cont.): “I started learning from people. And I never had been asked about a character before I’d done it as much as that and I suddenly realized that this movie must have been very popular and for some reason the audience cared about who his father was going to be. So I said, ‘Well, gee, I don’t know. I’ll see what it’s like.’
I didn’t know anything about it. I read the script, and said, ‘Well, I need to see the movie.’ I could see–I watched it for about eight or nine minutes–I was watching it with Goldie and I just immediately–as soon as he [Peter Quill] kicked one of those things, I said, “I love this kid.”
I watched the movie and I got the gist of the feeling of what the Guardians of the Galaxy world is like. I’ve done a lot of movies in the past, connect some dots there. I get very much why I’d be a good person to play the dad with the script that I had. So I thought this is going to be fun to do and it has turned out to be a blast–really fun. Chris is great and the whole cast is great. James is really–it’s fun to always work with someone who really knows what they want to do and what they want to show and pull off and try to create.”
How long have you known you were going to play this role?
Kurt Russell: “I think it was January when they asked me if I wanted to do it. We started in March. So it was about two months I guess.”
Have you gone back and watched all the Marvel movies?
Kurt Russell: “No. I knew from talking to James what was important… I knew why they wanted me to do this.”
Peter’s mom has the storyline of music and it evolves around the movie. Does your character have any connections with music?
Kurt Russell: “It will be quite important.”
Anything else you can give us on that?
Kurt Russell: “A lot more. But you’re going to have to see the movie… there’s a strong connection to music, particular songs. It’s a big part of this world and he continues that theme very strongly.”
Standing in a room that’s obviously blue screen, what is it like to have a set like this?
Kurt Russell: “I was doing Disney gags. We call them wire gags and this is where we were. We’ve just been the last few days–you can see some of the wires that are left. Wire gags have always been the same ever since probably the 30s and 40s. But the technology around the wire gag itself has improved so much–and the wires have improved…
Well, they’re on computers now sometimes so you work out what you’re going to do and they dial it in. You’ve got much better precision but the technology of what they can do, around you, that’s improved greatly. It used to be that you’d get a line around you and if you moved too much you’d get some rippling effect. It wasn’t very good. But I started doing those in the 60s, early 60s with Disney and they haven’t changed that much. But having said that, we’re getting further and further into this world where it’s this [points to the big blue room], and this will look obviously completely different right.
And it’s difficult to–I’ve always been an actor, like many actors, who respond to their surroundings. If you and I are playing a scene together and I see you have this [starts playing with Tara’s lanyard], and I’m talking to you, and I kind of want to play with that–if you don’t have that on, I’m not kicked off to do that. So, the spontaneity is different. On a movie like this is really understanding. When we did Tombstone, there was a scene when I was walking with Dana Delany. The wind was blowing that day a little bit and it was blowing some of the cottonwoods around. One was going to blow on her face so I just picked it–it was just part of the scene and it was very organic. It was very good.
That won’t happen here. So you have to invent that. That’s kind of fun to do. Like we did some stuff, Chris and I… when we first got together and he really knows that he’s my son and that I know that I’m his father–we did this really cool thing and there’s nothing there. He and I looked at each other and we were imagining things but we were imagining the same things so that was fun to play with. It’ll be fun for us to see that physicalized. We told them what we were thinking so then they’ll include that.
That was fun because only he and I were knowing what was happening and it’ll be fun to see that brought to life. But you can’t think of it. It’s something you’re just doing a scene and something happens. It might not even be right or wrong, but it happens and you go with it. A tree falls down… a moth flies by… you play with it and you continue on, or it stops and gives it a whole different–gives the scene a whole different feeling and meaning. I worry about that being lost. So, in a movie like this, you have to have it because it’s just so chalk full of things that don’t exist–but it’s fun to imagine.
Will you get to see any of those bits come to life before the movie’s done?
Kurt Russell: “They have this thing now, called the pre-vis. It’s very valuable. It’s a cheap version of what you’re gonna get that you can look at. So, you say, ‘Oh, I see.’ And that can kick your imagination off too. However, you’re kind of locked in to what it is there. There’s pros and cons here. It can be cool because it makes you feel like you really know how to improve it… But it confines you in other ways…”
What do you hope the audience gets out of your character?
Kurt Russell: “Number one, when you’re planning a character, I think you try to find things that’ll be entertaining and do them in a way that’s entertaining–that’s fun to watch… but there’s two worlds I think that allow you to ask these big questions. One of them is westerns and one of them is science fiction. You can get away with asking big, American, political questions it’s so deeply engrained in the American persona, even in children. Cowboys are a certain thing to us. The women who are connected to cowboys are a certain thing to us, et cetera, et cetera…
In science fiction, you can ask these–is there a god, type questions. What would you do if you were invisible? They let you ask these huge questions. And within this, the confines of this one–this story, what if you were Peter Quill and this happened to you? This Marvel comic book world that Guardians of the Galaxy is, and you never knew who your father was, but like in real life, you’ve created in your mind someone who you’ve put on a pedestal, which I think is a very important thing to talk about when you talk about children who don’t know who their parents are. Their father has left, or their father never existed, or their father was never in their life, or maybe he was there for a short while and left… are you responsible for that? All those very real human things.
So, when you say, ‘what do you get out of that, hope to bring for the audience,” I do hope to have all that entertainment value that you should get in a movie like this, but underneath it is the reality aspect of the relationship that is important to that person–that’s real, that has consequence, that’s not comic book, that’s not cartoon. It’s not funny… even though some of it is going to end up very funny, but that’s life. That’s, I think one of the reasons James Gunn wants to get Kurt Russell to play the part. Because I’m going to go in there and do that.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The cast couldn’t get any greater. The storyline couldn’t be any more magnificent and powerful. You’re going to want to see it. Duh.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5th!
Check out all our other cast interviews too!
Peter Quill – Chris Pratt
Baby Groot – Set Visit
Zoe Saldana Interview
Dave Bautista Interview as Drax
Michael Rooker Interview as Yondu
Karen Gillan Interview as Nebula
Director James Gunn