I recently had the pleasure attending the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 World Premiere! After the premiere, we had the opportunity to interview several cast members, including Kurt Russell.
This event was hosted by Disney (all expenses were paid in exchange for press coverage).
Can you believe I got to meet the legendary Kurt Russell?! Kurt Russell! So what did he have to say about his role as Ego, Peter Quill’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? You may be surprised…
Rumors About Playing Peter Quill’s Dad
It all started with a rumor. Can you believe that before taking on the role, Kurt Russell had never even seen the film, and knew nothing about what the film was about?!
When he was doing press for The Hateful Eight his phone started going crazy with calls and messages. The press were all asking him if he planned to play Peter Quill’s father.
“I literally had no idea what they were talking about because I hadn’t seen the movie. [So] I just said, no. It was like, wow, whatever this is they’re excited about it.
The next day I got the official word and I said well guys, I need to read it and I need to see the movie.When I saw the movie, right away I fell in love with it – and it just got better and better. But more than anything else, I was watching Chris and saying, yeah, I get that energy. I get that style.
And I realized, from movies that I had done in the past, I would bring the right baggage here. And as I read the screenplay, it was even more so.”
Fans Are Going To Hate Me
After taking the role, Russell had some major concerns about the story and how things were going to play out. When you step into a Marvel/Guardians movie that has a pretty loyal fanbase, you have to be careful, and I think Russell realized that. He was worried about taking on this role, getting people all excited, and then everyone being super upset with him for ruining the story for them.
Russell on Playing Ego (SPOILERS):
“Because I was gonna do the movie, I was concerned that the audience would go in thinking ‘We’re so happy that he’s gonna have adventures with his dad, and it’s Kurt Russell and he’s working…and I hate this movie.’ And Kurt Russell’s responsible for killing this for me.
I said, I just wanna make sure we hit the right notes here, James [Gunn]. I said it has to have the right amount of comedy. We started talking about it and I felt very comfortable with James. I thought his hand was really solidly on it. He really knew what he was doing.”
So why does Kurt Russell feel like he’d be responsible for killing our love of this father/son relationship? Well, if you’ve seen the movie you know that Ego is not really the great guy we all think he is from the previews, and we come to find out that Peter has some tough choices to make after finding out the truth about how his mom died (turns out it really wasn’t a tough choice as he made a decision fairly quickly).
“You know, it is a son, killing his father. So you gotta be very careful with that. I mean, you know, when you watch the movie that doesn’t look like a problem. It’s perfect. You hate him, you wanted to get him- you know, it’s like put him out.”
Young Ego and CGI
When you first see Ego, he is cruising along in his convertible, long hair whipping in the wind, and he is younger — much younger. It literally looked as if they pulled a clip from Kurt’s early career for these scenes.
When we saw this scene at the Hollywood Premiere everyone was laughing and oohing and awwing, it was just a fun and light moment in the film. Kurt explains the process of becoming much more youthful for these scenes.
“We assumed, all of us, that we were just gonna do heavy CGI special effects like they normally do. Before we start going, Dennis (Kurt’s makeup artist) said to James – I know his face really, really well. I can really do a lot here to bring him down. If I de-age him some, does that help you? And they said, “Yes, that helps very much”. When he was done, I got the right hair going, and the right wardrobe.”
Then after getting the look, he started to feel younger and it was time for him to get into the role, to actually play younger.
“You lighten your voice, you move a little quicker. I think the reason this one worked, everybody has said, this really looks real!”
He explains how his makeup artist did most of the work and the head of the CGI department said there was very minimal CGI to make him look as young as he did. Color me impressed!
Guardians Vol. 2 Is In Theaters Now!
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Photo credits: momstart.com