‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Star Kurt Russell on Joining the MCU and Watching the First Movie [Interview]
Posted on Friday, March 24th, 2017 by Peter Sciretta
This Kurt Russell interview is worth your time.
Well, of course it’s worth your time. This is Kurt Russell we’re talking about! However, on-set interviews are usually not great. They usually happen under the worst possible circumstances, on a soundstage between set-ups when a tired actor has an 8 minute break. Told by the publicists not to reveal anything (even though we are embargoed and the interview won’t run until a couple months before release), the actor is forced to field questions from journalists who are just trying to get a sense of the movie and the role without having seen much at all.
It’s much easier and usually more rewarding to interview an actor at a junket after you’ve seen the movie and the talent is allowed to give substantial answers. As a result, set interviews often come off as journalists trying to pry any detail an actor will share, while the star recites the same four talking points that we’ve heard in our other interviews from the day (likely because they were on a list of talking points given by the unit publicist on the way over from the trailer).
Our interview with Kurt Russell on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 happened on the exact same circumstances, and like a few times before, we got the exact opposite result. I repeat: this Kurt Russell interview is worth your time.
Aside from producer Kevin Feige, no one was willing to tell us much about the movie. In fact, as Russell came over to speak with us, we didn’t even know who he was playing in the movie and were told that he wasn’t playing Peter Quill’s father. Kurt wasn’t allowed to reveal much about the movie itself (although he nonchalantly admitted that he is playing Quill’s father in the film), yet it is a must-read because Russell is just such a great talker. He’s so smart, introspective and likable.
What’s it like joining the Marvel cinematic universe?
Kurt Russell: Well, you know, generally, when you’re in this business for a long time, you get the opportunity to do a number of things. And then, they sort of always…at the end of the day, acting is acting and stories are storytelling. And you’re going to work with people that you hope are really kind of creative and fun, and directors that are on top of their game and know what they want to do. And then, sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
So the great fun is, for me, I didn’t know anything about this world, the Guardians world, you know? I was doing publicity for Hateful Eight and suddenly, people started saying, “Is it true? Are you going to play Peter Quill’s father?” And I’m like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I just wasn’t aware of it. And then, all of a sudden, for the first time, this was a character obviously that people really wanted to, they were interested, they were all very positive, though. It was nothing like, “Seriously? You’re not going to do that, are you?” It was like, “Whoa, are you going to do that? That’s perfect.” You should do that. And I didn’t know what they were talking about.
So when I had the opportunity to see Guardians of the Galaxy, I got it. I understood what it was, and I could see the reasons why people were interested in that. And the fun part has been tapping into all of that, bringing the right baggage, and having the opportunity, still, to explore with James Gunn and Chris [Pratt] and the whole gang. And then, the fun is that you find that Chris is just a sweet guy and is just a great, great sweet guy, and James is just a load of fun and really, really knows what he wants to do. And then you’re back to the opportunity to play a character that you hopefully can find things to make it fun and entertaining and interesting and memorable.
What can you tell us about your character?
Kurt Russell: Not much. [Laughs] Unfortunately, not much. We were just talking about it. It’s a little hard to bite your tongue and do that, but there’s a lot about the character that we want to keep under wraps I guess, and for a certain period of time. But the good part is, he’s no letdown. [Laughs] He has a great, adventurous spirit that he shares with his son. And you know, the idea of being able to find someone that you’ve wanted to see for a long time, and I think the whole thing basically being seen through Peter Quill’s eyes, we can all understand how you’d want to meet your dad, if you didn’t know who your dad was, and you’d heard these things about your father and you’d been told certain things by your mother, and you’re trying to put it together.
We all have a tendency to, I think when it comes to parents that are missing, we have a tendency to put them on a pedestal. And Peter is living in that world. But to finally have the opportunity to meet that person, and then begin to compare who they had in mind and what they’re really getting is a lot of what we’re doing.
What’s your relationship and rapport with Chris, as you develop that father/son relationship?
Kurt Russell: He says funny things. He says funny things. We were rehearsing one time and he said, “No, I want you as my dad. I want you to be my father.” You know, it’s fun. They’re all very welcoming and very sweet. And the cool thing about it was, when I did read it and saw the movie, I said, “Yeah, I bring the right notes, the right garbage, the right baggage, all of it. I bring the right things.”
And as I read it, look, I connected the dots from some of the things I’ve done in the past. And it’s fun to be living now in a time when a younger generation understands what I was doing. You guys get it. The older guys, my age, they didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. They really didn’t. And it was like, you can go back and read about it. It was like, “What is that?” I think it’s funny. Whatever. I just did it for a lifetime, so to be at this point in my life and be able to not only kind of like have a generation that accepts you for what you were doing before anybody else was with other people like you, to be able to take that and grow that, it’s nice, because it has a lot to do with my personality and the way I look at life and stuff. And so, it’s a nicer time for me than it was 30 years ago.