'Guardians of the Galaxy' Blast Into Space with JJ Spotlight!
The actors star in the highly anticipated new Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy alongside their co-star Vin Diesel, who voices the role of loveable Groot in the flick.
The flick takes place in the far reaches of space and follows an American pilot named Peter Quill (Pratt) who finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters everywhere tomorrow so make sure to check it out. It’s getting rave reviews and our staff highly recommends it – it’s the perfect balance of great acting, action sequences, and laughs. And the music is great too!
FYI: Zoe is wearing a Tory Burch cardigan.
Click inside to check out what Zoe and Chris had to say about the movie…
Zoe Saldana Interview
JJ: Were you a fan of the Marvel franchise prior to signing on to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy? Were you familiar with the comics?
ZS: No, I was not familiar with them. I didn’t grow up with an affinity for reading comic books. I grew up in an all girls environment. That said though, I’ve always had an affinity for unimaginable stories; simple stories that are told in unimaginable places. That obviously enters the category of science fiction and that’s where Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy comes in.
JJ: Talk about the character. What was it about her that you connected with in terms of fleshing her out?
ZS: I don’t have anything similar to Gamora, obviously, but I was very moved by her being an orphan and being taken violently from her home and being subjected to a life of violence. Therefore, she grows up to be this stealth assassin. But she has a heart of gold and really just wants to break away and become free.
JJ: What has it been like working with Chris Pratt?
ZS: I have so much respect for what Chris has done because it’s like how I feel about the craft as well. If you want something really bad and you understand this character, then that means that you’re willing to assume any responsibility or duty that comes with it. And Chris has definitely embodied that role. I have a lot of respect for that. He’s a very considerate and serious actor who understands what he has to do for a part and he’s willing to put the work into it.
JJ: We see some great banter between the two characters, but your first encounter is an action scene. Talk to me about the physicality of the role.
ZS: Their first encounter is rough. Gamora really raises the bar for Quill to catch up. They’re sworn enemies and they’re after what they want, so they’re going to be fierce creatures about it. So you’re meeting them at their best and at their worst and that’s what I love most about that scene, when they meet at the shopping district in Xandar. When it comes to training, I am getting older, so it’s becoming a little like homework. But I like it…as a woman who grew up loving action movies and films that were set in supernatural, unimaginable places. I take being a woman in the film industry who is able to do action movies very seriously because I’m making the kind of movies that I wanted to watch as I was a kid and that inspired me and are the reason as to why I am here. I really hope that this raises the bar and also sets a standard for the future generations of women who want to pursue a life in this profession. They don’t have to just be the damsels in distress. They can actually do a Marvel movie and play a badass character if they’re willing to put the work into it because it’s tons of fun. The reward is better than getting compliments like, “Oh you look so good in that movie.” But hearing, “You kicked ass in that movie,” that’s different. Women are meant to be pretty but we’re not really meant to be powerful. So when I am considered powerful with what I do, I regard that very seriously.
JJ: Talk about your makeup process. Were there any challenges?
ZS: It’s a 5 a.m. pick-up, then five hours of make-up and prosthetics. It was challenging because we were trying to find the right green for Gamora. We wanted something that wouldn’t put people off but was also vibrant and youthful and would engage people without losing the element that she is an alien. And once we find the right color, how do we make it stay without hurting my skin? When I tried on the wardrobe, it rubbed the makeup off because you’re using leathers and fabrics that make the body sweat. Fortunately, we were working with the most amazing people, who have done Marvel movies before and also have done special effects makeup and have worked with different types of skin. So any kind of inquiry that we had was easily solved just with the desire to reach that solution and that to me was amazing. I didn’t really have to worry at all when it came to this movie.
Chris Pratt Interview
JJ: What was your initial exposure to the Marvel Universe? Were you a fan growing up?
CP: My first exposure to the Marvel world was through comic books as a kid. I bought a bunch of comic books but they were pretty expensive so I didn’t have a huge, extensive collection. But I did collect some “Infinity Gauntlet” stuff, in fact some “Guardians of the Galaxy,” some Punisher and “Punisher 2099” and some “Spiderman.” I was an artist and painted murals on my wall that had some comic book heroes in them. I still have books and books full of comic-book drawings and stuff that I liked to do as a kid. So, I was definitely a fan, but more of the artwork than the stories. Just the look of the Super Heroes was something I really liked and was something I was into at the time.
JJ: What is it that attracted you to this film?
CP: What attracted me to this role was really James Gunn, the director. We were sort of circling around each other for a little while. I had carved myself out a niche as an actor as the sidekick and I thought that was an avenue to have a career and I could just keep doing those more comedic roles, so I didn’t audition. After I did “Zero Dark Thirty” I changed my mind about the kinds of characters I would like to play, so my manager got me an audition. In the process of the audition, something clicked and both James and I felt like it was going to be right.
JJ: What’s it been like working with Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the whole team?
CP: This has been a great cast to work with. I feel like I’ve learned something new every day about how to do this job. I’m still essentially pretty new at this and working with a cast like this, veteran actors like Benicio Del Toro and Glenn Close and John C. Reilly, I pick up on the differences in their styles and what they do and how they breathe their own presence into these roles and their processes.
It’s really amazing. Then you see someone like Dave Bautista, who is pretty new to acting in films, but he’s got something that is so good. He’s got such special moments in this, and he has this physicality that defies the gentle person that he is on the inside and that is really compelling to watch. And Zoe Saldana is just a pro; she nails it. It’s been great working with everybody.
JJ: Talk about your outfit. Does it make you feel a little more badass when you’re in full Star-Lord gear?
CP: Between the combination of the hair and the makeup and the wardrobe there’s something that happens. I’ll sit in the chair for an hour while they’re doing all the makeup and darkening this and they’re fixing that and blow drying this. All of the sudden, I’ll just look up and look in the mirror and I’ll catch Peter Quill looking back at me. I really feel like the character is born in the hair and makeup trailer. Then all of the sudden I feel like I’m talking differently, I’m walking differently and my confidence goes up to a level that’s probably unnatural for anybody. Then I put on the costume and my walk changes. Peter is confident and cocky but hopefully not in an ugly arrogant way. There’s enough charm to it to where you could forgive a character for being that way. But it all starts with my hair, my makeup and my wardrobe, and when I put the combination of those things together, I just can’t help but walk, talk and act differently.
JJ: Talk to us about your physical transformation for this role.
CP: It took about 5 1⁄2 months to get to where I needed to be. We collaborated on the things that I like to do in terms of getting in shape and then I met some of their trainers and their nutritionists. The big thing for me was getting the right nourishment and the right diet. With this team, I was eating exactly the right stuff and taking all the right supplements and vitamins and doing it right. I was really closely monitored. They just said, “Eat when we tell you to eat and work out when we tell you to work out,” and I just completely put myself into their hands and did exactly what they asked me to do and more. I have a work ethic that was probably born in the wrestling room that I grew up in, being a wrestler, and we were always cutting weight and working really hard. I took that work ethic with me and for five months I literally worked my ass off. I was working out four hours a day.
JJ: Do you like doing the stunts?
CP: I do but I’m not doing all my own stunts. There’s a great stunt crew here and a great stunt team that I have that do the majority of the really hard stunts for me. There used to be a lot of machismo and bravado in my choices regarding stunts—I wanted to do them myself—but the truth is you just can’t afford to shut down production if you get hurt. At some point you have to put your ego aside and let a stuntman do it.
JJ: What’s it feel like to now be a part of this Marvel Cinematic Universe?
CP: I don’t know if I fully understand what it means to me yet to be part of this Marvel Cinematic Universe. I certainly won’t know until the movie is out and I see how people receive it. Being on set and filming a movie is old hat to me, but promoting a movie like this or seeing how people react to it or seeing how crowds react or seeing how I’m treated when I walk down the street after this movie comes out, is all new to me. Maybe nothing will change, or maybe it’ll be so different than I can’t even imagine it.