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[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2]
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of Marvel’s funniest movies yet, so it was quite unexpected that it’s also its most poignant.
The final moments of the film saw Yondu (Michael Rooker) sacrifice his life so that his surrogate son Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) could live, with the blue Ravager giving Star-Lord the only functional space suit.
The complicated nature of the scene was only fully realized during Yondu’s funeral, in which the Ravagers (who previously had excommunicated him) returned to give the blue alien his proper honors. When Yondu’s friend Kraglin (Sean Gunn) realizes Yondu has posthumously been let back into the fold, he delivers a scream that is both joyful and heartbreaking in one of the film’s most arresting moments.
Gunn was all over the film in more ways than one, performing motion reference-capture as the film’s on-set Rocket. And in a conversation with Heat Vision, Gunn reveals the classic film his brother (writer-director James Gunn) asked him to draw upon for that emotional Kraglin scream, the somber mood the cast and crew felt during Yondu’s funeral, and his future with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
My favorite shot in the entire movie is Kraglin’s scream during the funeral. What did you and James talk about drawing from for that moment?
I hope I’m not betraying a trade secret here, but my brother mentioned the moment at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Christopher Lloyd’s character. I knew the moment already, and I watched it again, just in case. At the end of the movie when Chief [Will Sampson] throws the thing out and he’s breaking out, there’s this beautiful shot — it’s only a few seconds — of Christopher Lloyd just cheering like crazy. And so I watch that the night before. For me, an emotional scene like that, I love playing it, but I’m just really careful about taking my time to feel mentally prepared when we start to shoot. I just try to make sure I’m right in the pocket of what my character is feeling at that time and I agree with you. I love that moment. It was my favorite moment of my own, I would say, in the whole film.
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