As one might expect, Marvel is being super secretive when it comes to Kurt Russell’s character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but as we inch closer to the film’s May 5th release, little glimpses of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father are starting to drop. We caught him in a recent trailer and now there are some photos floating around as well. During the April 2016 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set visit, however, Russell was still in top secret mode but was a total pro when it came to avoiding particular plot details and spoilers while also still making the chat an unforgettable roundtable interview.
Russell spoke about his personal and working relationship with Pratt, his experience working with director James Gunn, what it’s like joining the Marvel Cinematic Universal and also about how back in the day, many folks didn’t “get” the character that he’s most famous for today. You can read about it all in the interview below.
KURT RUSSELL: 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 gonna 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, you know, sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t, so the great fun is when – for me, I didn’t know anything about this world, the Guardians world. I was doing publicity for Hateful Eight and suddenly people started saying, ‘Is it true? Are you gonna play Peter Quill’s father?’ And I was 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. It wasn’t like, ‘Seriously? You’re not gonna do that, are you?’ It was like, ‘Whoa, are you gonna 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 The Guardians of the Galaxy, I got it. 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 to still explore with James Gunn and Chris and the whole gang. And then the fun is that you find that Chris is just a sweet guy, just a great, great, sweet guy. And James is just a load of fun and 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, you know?
So what can you tell us about your character?
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 wanna keep under wraps, I guess, for a certain period of time. But the good part is, he’s no letdown. He has a great, adventurous spirit that he shares with his son, and the idea of being able to find someone that you’ve wanted to see for a long time. I think the whole thing being seen through Peter Quill’s eyes, we can all understand how you’d wanna meet your dad if you didn’t know who your dad was and you’ve heard these things about your father. And you’d been told certain things by your mother, and you’re trying to put together a picture. 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?
RUSSELL: He says funny things. [Laughs] We were rehearsing one time and he said, ‘No, I want you as my dad. I want you to be my father.’ [Laughs] 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, you know, I connected the dots to 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 don’t know what the f*ck I was doing. [Laughs] They really didn’t. You can go back and read about it. It was like, ‘What? 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 have a generation that accepts you for what you were doing before anyone 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. So it’s a nicer time for me than it was 30 years ago.