Take an insider look at Ego the Living Plant in this exclusive Kurt Russell interview. Kurt Russell Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview | A Healthy EGO? This post is sponsored by Disney. All galactic opinions are my own
Kurt Russell Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview | A Healthy EGO?
Interview photos courtesy of Louise Bishop of MomStart.com
The first time I met Kurt Russell, he was covered with hundreds of white motion capture dots on his face in the middle of a giant green screen warehouse. Surreal. At the time, he seemed very uncertain about his character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And now to see him in “normal clothes,” relaxed and talking excitedly about the sequel and his role as Ego the Living Planet, you can tell that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 finally had that big impact on him.
I got a healthy ego. I do. I think that’s important in our industry and our business and as a human being to have control of your ego. But I think you should have a healthy one. If you don’t have a healthy one you’re gonna have other problems.
And well, a healthy ego. Sit down with us in this Kurt Russell Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview as we learn more about how he became Star-Lord’s dad, his concerns from the get-go, and why CGI and Kurt Russell don’t always mix.
Concern from the Beginning
With so many years of acting under his belt and a whole new Marvel universe to explore, I could understand Kurt Russell being hesitant to jump into the role. His story about taking the role of Ego was really interesting. I loved hearing about his honesty.
I was doing this publicity stunt for Tarantino’s movie, The Hateful Eight. One day all of a sudden, boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom, [phone] started to go off, which is very rare for me. I don’t have a lot of telephone action. I don’t do media stuff on it. Literally, they were all the same thing. “This is great! This is exciting! Are you gonna do this?” Then the people in the interview started to ask me, “Are you gonna do this Guardians of the Galaxy? Are you gonna play Peter Quill’s father?” I literally had no idea what they were talking about ‘cause I hadn’t seen the movie.
The next day I got the official word. I said “Well, 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. 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.” I realized that I would bring the right baggage here. As I read the screenplay, it was even more so.
Because I was gonna do the movie, because of the reaction that I got, I was concerned that the audience would go in thinking, ‘Oh great, this is just right. We’re so happy that [Star-Lord] is going to have adventures with his dad, and it’s Kurt Russell!!!…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. It has to have the right amount of comedy. I 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. The [movie] has that right note of comedy and yet correctness to it. I love all the layers of that stuff.
What’s in a Name?
I would have to agree with Kurt Russell, a cool character name can make all of the difference.
I love names and characters. You can go back through my litany of characters and you’re gonna find at least twelve great names. I think that’s important. And if they don’t have a great name, I give ‘em a great name. I was very disappointed when I read [that] the character’s name was J’son. I said, well fifteen Marvel people will know who this is. That’s a weak-a** name. And then later on being to find out that well actually his name is Ego the Living Planet. And I went “that’s more like it.” If you’re gonna play God, let’s go big. So I think this movie has a lot to say about that.
Not Everything is CGI
There’s a scene in the Guardians sequel (hey, I’m not spilling the beans. You’re going to have to look yourself), where the effects on Kurt Russell were IMPRESSIVE. But were they really?
Dennis Liddiard, he’s been my makeup man for twenty-eight years. We’ve done a lot of movies together where our goal was to, without the audience knowing it, help me arrive at what I need to do to set the tone for the character, the look for the character, the feel for the character. And I think we’ve achieved it many times, very subtly. On this one, I’m really proud to point him out because we assumed, all of us, that we were just gonna do heavy CGI special effects. [But] he’s got some tricks up his sleeve and he pulled them all out. They did some CGI and stuff there, but mostly that guy right there.
This is amazing. This really looks real. It’s because there’s not much CGI here.
Why Guardians? Why Now?
Considering all of the movies he’s been in, all of the fandom he’s been a part of, all of the spotlight that has been put on him and Goldie, I was really surprised to hear him talk about why it was important for Kurt Russell to take on Guardians of the Galaxy – a genre that’s outside of his comfort zone.
I was just an actor who didn’t wanna do the same thing – for some reason that just repulsed me. We have a tendency as human beings, if you see something, like it and then want to see more of it. That also applies to movies – where you see a movie you like, so let’s do it again. So my job was to skip around genres, skip around characters, find stories that I liked, that I wanted see, characters that I wanted to play, try to challenge myself. That’s what keeps me going. It keeps me fired up.
Catch up on Everything Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Love everything Guardians of the Galaxy? Catch up on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Red Carpet Experience & Press Event:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
- Walking the Purple Carpet of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Premiere + Photos
- Chris Pratt Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Zoe Saldana Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Dave Bautista Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, & Elizabeth Debicki Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Kurt Russell | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Kevin Feige & James Gunn Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
And check out our exclusive on-set interviews earlier this year – in COSTUME!
- 50 Things I Learned On Set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Chris Pratt Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Zoe Saldana Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Dave Bautista Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Michael Rooker Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Karen Gillan Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Kurt Russell Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 James Gunn Interview
Find out if Kurt Russell has a healthy EGO in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, now in theaters.
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in exchange for this posting. All Marvel-loving opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more of your of the latest Disney movie updates, celebrity interviews and more!
I think this is a cool role for him and I’m really glad he stepped out of the box and did it. I agree, the Ego name is much better than J’son! What a cool experience and interview!
Cindy S. says
I love Kurt Russell! He’s a great actor and seems like such a nice guy. I would love to see him in this movie.
Sue E says
I have to admit that I felt a twinge of jealousy when I read this article! Kurt Russell was my first star crush ever since I was a young girl! I think I have seen all of his movies! I can tell by your review and the other reviews that I read about him that he is still a down to earth guy! I would have never thought that he considered the character’s name when taking a role! Ego is a great name and he looks awesome as this character!! His career just keeps on going!! Congratulations to Goldie and Kurt on their Walk of Fame stars!!