Conventions Marvel MCU

Marvel Stars Talk Characters, Costumes, Coworkers & More at Denver Pop Culture Con 2019

*Some minor MCU spoilers ahead — Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Avengers: Endgame

This past weekend TGON stopped by Denver Pop Culture Con to catch up with all things nerdy, and hear from a few of the stars about their work. Here are all the highlights from the MCU Spotlights:

IMG_6856DAVE BAUTISTA — Drax, Guardians of the Galaxy

On his iconic “Why Gamora?” line: “That was actually improvised! We were doing that scene and [Chris] Pratt goes, ‘You need a line there. I don’t know what it is, but you need a line there,’ so I just started yelling random things, seeing what would stick, and when I got to ‘Why Gamora?’ Tom Holland laughed so hard — I swear he peed himself — we could barely get through the scene! So that was the winner.”

On his intense makeup routine: “On the first Guardians movie it took 4 to 6 hours in the makeup chair — well, actually I wasn’t in a chair, I was standing — and then they couldn’t get it off! Eventually they figured that an hour in the sauna could melt it off. For Guardians 2 and Infinity War they cut it down to about an hour and a half, which is good, but it was still a pain to get off. 10 minutes in a sauna is relaxing, an hour is torture!”

On feeling depressed after watching Endgame: “Did anyone else feel just like, really sad after Endgame?! I was watching in a hotel room and I got to the end and was sitting through the credits waiting for a post credits scene and it never came, so then I just sat there for like 30 minutes just feeling really depressed. But also in awe because that movie was honestly one of the best I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

On his role in What We Do in the Shadows: “I found out that Taika [Waititi] was doing this project and I told my buddy on it, ‘Tell Taika I want a part! I’ll do anything, I’ll do it for free!’ and then later I got a call from my agent and he was like ‘Did you talk to someone about doing this Shadows role for free?’ and I was like ‘…ya…’ and he was like ‘Don’t ever do that again!’ *Laughs* But I got the part!”

On directing: “Honestly, it will probably be something really dramatic and depressing. It won’t be an action piece or anything like that. I’m attracted to really deep, meaningful stories, and those are are inspiring, but at the same time depressing.”


SEAN GUNN — Kraglin/Rocket, Guardians of the Galaxy 

On being a part of Endgame: “There will never be anything like [Endgame] there’s no topping it! My first days on set for Infinity War, I show up and it’s like RDJ and Scarlett [Johansson] and [Chris] Hemsworth, and [Chris] Evans, and I’m like ‘These are the people I’m going to work with today?! I need to try and act like a normal person…’ But really I just like watching all these seasoned pros because I want to learn from them, and we were all there on this massive project, it was incredible.”

On the Marvel 10 Year photo: “That was crazy! There were so many important people, all of the really talented actors, directors, core crew that made these movies. And everyone was actually there, no one was Photoshopped in! But you know what… even more crazy than that was the Endgame funeral scene, because that was all done in one shot with everyone there and there’s like 12 Oscars in that group! An everyone was looking all nice and I’m in my track suit as Rocket. *Laughs*.”

On Guardians of the Galaxy as a family affair: “My brother James [Gunn] likes to throw people in wherever he can, so our parents made a cameo in the first Guardians as like, ‘Old Guy’ and ‘Old Guy’s Mistress’.”

On Kraglin’s role in Guardians Vol. 3: “The funeral scene at the end of Guardians 2 really was emotional, it wasn’t manufactured emotions. Kraglin had this rivalry with Quill, and then by the end he’s lost everyone — so going from ‘what’s next for me?’ to getting [Yondu’s] arrow was really special, and I think it’s going to propel him into whatever role he may play in the next one.”

On working with great scripts: “People always ask what I want to do next, and what I want to do next is a great script! You can find a great script anywhere, in any genre.  Gilmore Girls and Guardians are very different in many ways, but they both start with great writing, and in that way are actually quite similar. I like to chase great writing.”

On acting: “It’s really all about the work, it’s not about trying to be famous. I never thought of it as a dream, I thought of it as a job. I work on these huge movies that people love and it’s crazy, but I’m still getting up and going to work. If you want to be an actor you have to find a way to deal with rejection, and you have to surround yourself with likeminded people who care about the work.”

On being a part of the MCU: “It doesn’t suck!”


BENEDICT WONG — Wong, Doctor Strange 

On getting the role in Doctor Strange: “That’s an interesting story actually! So my mate Chiwetel Ejiofor, who I knew from The Martian and everywhere else got this role in Strange and I was talking with him saying, ‘Man, I gotta get this Wong role, ya know, for the ancestors!’ and I asked him to help me out. I could get this petition going, ‘Wong for Wong!’, and I told him ‘This thing would only need 2 signatures — yours and Cumberbatch’s.’ He wasn’t sure about it but then eventually I did get the call from Marvel, because they found me on the registry for actors in the UK. I didn’t even have an agent at the time — I was working under Wong and Only Management!”

On Asian representation in comics: “I felt like I did need to address the balance [of Asian representation in comics], because Wong was a server, ya know, serving tea. When I got the part I asked Kevin [Feige], ‘We’re not doing that, right?’ and he said ‘No, we’re not doing that!’ I was looking for an East Asian hero, so it’s been fantastic to be that representation. What’s wonderful is be able to yourself represented. Diversity does work, and we’ve got to keep at it in films and television. And now there’s Lots of the Asian rep!  There’s Chloe Bennet, Gemma Chan, Dave Bautista, I could go on. Bang on for Asians Assemble!”

On being a longtime Marvel fan: “I used to go to this comic book store in Manchester (UK), right, called Odyssey 7, and I got all these Marvel comics. Spider-Man and Iron Man and Hulk, ya… and now I’m in a Marvel movie so it’s like, the gods returning back your pocket money.”

On directing: “I’ve been blessed with what’s on my plate, but I’d love to direct, write. Make a British-Chinese indie film, that would be really cool.”

On playing an iconic British role: “I’d love to play Dr. Who, but not a kids version! One who doesn’t remember who he is! The most vulnerable one!”

On his upcoming roles in Dark Crystal (Netflix) & Lady and the Tramp: “I guess I’ve moved away moved away from playing humans recently. I’m playing dogs and aliens and whatever else. It’s fine, I really enjoy doing the voice work and the characters are fun.”

Denver Pop Culture Con is made possible by Pop Culture Classroom. Pop Culture Classroom is an education initiative that aims to inspire a love of learning through pop culture and entertainment like films, television, games, comics, and more. Pop Culture Classroom inspires a love of learning, increases literacy, celebrates diversity and builds community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression.

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