When Guardians Meet Gilmores: Sean Gunn at Dragon Con 2017
Dragon Con is one of my favorite times of the year, and this year one of the highlights was attending a press conference with Sean Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy and Gilmore Girls fame.
What I love about Sean Gunn is that he is part of two amazing series/franchises like GotG and Gilmore Girls, but he is still that guy who loves to do things like the PG Porn webseries…even if he and brother James Gunn now work for Disney and probably won’t be able to produce more episodes of a webseries that has the word “porn” in the title. (His words, not mine, sorry PG Porn fans!)
But while he and his brother might not be able to make more PG Porn, it seems pretty clear that they love working together and are going to continue doing so. One of our readers suggested a question that I got to ask, which was if, now that Yondu is gone, Sean Gunn’s character Kraglin would have more of a leadership or commanding role in the future. Although Sean could only answer as a fan, he definitely has hopes that Kraglin’s role will continue to grow:
In Hollywood with any character you play you just never know what’s going to end up on screen until it’s done anyway. So, I try not to project or anticipate. But I’m very excited to see what it is and I think as a fan there are interesting things to think about – like Kraglin has the fin now and we know he’s on the ship with them at the end of the movie. So, I’m interested to see where it goes. We know Kraglin is a great pilot so it’s possible he would stick with them for a little while. I don’t really know when the next movie comes out.
This led into another question about how Gunn, as a performer, has changed how he portrays Kraglin from the first Guardians movie to the second:
A great deal actually. We didn’t know who Kraglin was in the first movie. We shot as many scenes as I was in and we shot in many different ways. The line that people like of mine from the first is repeating the stuff that Yondu says. The funny thing is that when we shot it, we did versions where Kraglin repeated tons of stuff that Yondu said. So, he’d always come in with these repetitions. We also did a lot of variations where Kraglin was a little more of a maniac where he was cackling more and seemed a little crazier. That character, to be honest…He’s there to add. To help move the story along. Whether it’s to be menacing or to be funny or whatever the story needs. So, we shot things a lot of ways and then finally when it was edited, Kraglin became this character that had a more unique feel. But I didn’t know that until I saw it. You see all the pieces put together and then you kind of see that’s who that character is.
And then the script and story for the second movie came in and then everything falls into place. All these pegs come down and find all their right holes.
Of course, Kraglin isn’t the only character that Sean Gunn plays in the Guardians movies – not technically, anyway! He also does the motion capture for Rocket, and one of the questions was about the physical challenges of doing this and whether those changed at all going into the Infinity War movies.
That’s an interesting question because that’s, in some ways, the main thing I’m dealing with in my career. I’m in my fourth movie, playing Rocket on the set. So, I play Rocket on set and the VFX team uses my movements when they’re starting to animate my character. I did it for the two Guardians movies and now doing it for the two Infinity War movies which we’ve shot back-to-back. Right now we just started on the second movie so I’m in my fourth movie playing Rocket and I love it but it’s physically challenging.
But enough about those Marvel movies! Oh, they’re awesome and I love them (especially Guardians), but we hear plenty about them from so many other sources, and in Sean Gunn’s own words, the most interesting thing is that Guardians and GG fans are “more similar than…different”:
And I think outsiders might not immediately recognize that or think that if they aren’t into the culture of fandom…What’s interesting with my experience doing all these cons is that Guardians gets me through the doors. It’s the thing that promoters respond to. They say ‘Oh! You’re in this big Marvel franchise and that’s why we want you here in the convention.’
Yet a lot of times, a majority of my fans are [Gilmore Girls fans]. And they’re a unique brand of fan…It’s interesting to figure what it is that makes any particular show the type of show that would spark this intense fanbase. I don’t know what the answer to that question is, about Gilmore Girls, but it’s something. The Gilmore Girls fans [are] an intense fan base.
And while he didn’t know for certain whether there would be more GG revival seasons/episodes, from what we know – via the president of Netflix – they would love to do another season. Sean Gunn clarified that “there’s probably demand for it and I’d love to do it, because I love playing Kirk”. This was a perfect segue into another reader-suggested question that I wanted to ask – that being of all the jobs Kirk held on Gilmore Girls, which one was Sean’s favorite?
That’s a hard question. There were so many. A lot of my favorite episodes are the episodes where I’m not working. I really liked being a hockey announcer. I think I fancy myself as someone who can be a sports announcer, I don’t why. It was fun to do. I got to sit down the whole time. From my perspective it’s different from a fan. I’m sitting there and having jokes to tell in a booth with a microphone. It’s pretty fun. So, I liked that a lot.
But even with all of the great insight Sean Gunn gave into his roles in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Gilmore Girls, the most perfect and poignant answer he gave was in response to a question about what advice he would give to “other kids trying to get out of the state of Missouri”:
Try not to look at it as getting out. I love Missouri. Because of the internet and the speed of information and everything, small towns aren’t small as they used to be. You can be in a small town in Missouri and have access to the same things people have in New York or LA. I’d love to see, rather than more people get out of Missouri and go to California, I’d love to see more bits and pieces of what we have sprout in Missouri. I’d love to see theater make a comeback, honestly.
To answer your question, finish what you start. When you have a dream about making something then you start to criticize yourself and say that it’s not good enough compared to other people and you think about doing something else. The best way to move forward is to finish it. You’ll have something you’ve finished and you can say ‘I made this, and now I’m going to make this’ and that becomes the process that leads you to where you want to go as a career as an artist.
As a creator myself, I have to say that I very much agree about finishing what you start and not comparing yourself to others. (I also feel like all of that is very much a mindset that Kirk would have…)
Thank you again to Sean Gunn and Dragon Con for providing us with this amazing opportunity. Now I have to ask…Gilmore Girls fans, what was your favorite job of Kirk’s?
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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