Guardians of the Galaxy

After wowing the audience in Hall H, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” team rolled into a press conference to keep the conversation flowing, running through the primary characters, pitting them against more familiar heroes like Thor and Captain America, the necessity for good storytelling, and more. Check out the highlights from the discussion with director and co-writer James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, and Djimon Hounsou below.

Press Conference Highlights

— Don’t expect casting news for Rocket Raccoon or Groot anytime soon.

— Director James Gunn explained, “’Guardians’ is about a family coming together, and it really is about a group of individuals who have acted selfishly only as individuals throughout their life and learning something about themselves that makes them heroes.”

— Chris Pratt isn’t thrilled with his new diet. He said, “Basically, I cried like 48 pounds off it.” Gunn recalled, “His birthday was three weeks ago, four week ago. After dinner, they brought out a tray of vegetables that spelled, ‘Happy Birthday.’” Pratt added, “Yeah, and if there was one that was sharp I would have used it to cut my wrists.”

— Zoe Saldana thinks the Guardians could take on Captain America and Thor. “I feel very excited to be joining the Marvel family of superheroes, and I do believe that Guardians have bigger powers in a way. And if we were up against Captain America or Thor, we would totally kick his ass.”

— It all comes down to story for Pratt. “I don’t think that the reason that all the Marvel movies thus far have been received so well is because they were such famous comic books. I think they were great stories. Iron Man is Iron Man now to people because of Iron Man the movie. It was a comic and certain people knew it, but they love it, they go back to it because it’s great storytelling and I think it’s the same thing with this.”

— David Batista is new at this and he isn’t afraid to admit it. “Going to auditions for me is the worst thing in the world. It’s just terrifying to me and people don’t get it initially. They go, ‘You go out and perform in front of 100,000 people.’ It’s so much more intimate and it’s just so much smaller, and there’s just so much attention right there on you. It’s just absolutely terrifying … I’m still a student at this and I’m not afraid to let people know. This is new to me, I’m still learning, and I’m not afraid to go up to people and pick their brains and ask for advice.”

— When James Gunn knew he and Benicio Del Toro would be friends forever. “We were sitting there talking about something about the character and this is the reason why I know [Benicio] and I are gonna be friends for ever, is because we sat there and I asked you – we were talking about something about collecting stuff and how you get excited when you get something new to collect, and then all of a sudden you look at me really serious and you go, ‘You know, I was the first kid in my neighborhood to have an alligator.’”

Guardians of the Galaxy

Favorite Weird and/or Wonderful Aspect of the Characters

Michael Rooker on Yondu: “I usually get in, I look in the mirror, I go, ‘Ah, what do you think?’ And the makeup girl or guy says, ‘Well, we can do this, we can do this …,’ and I go, ‘Eh, nah!’ … When I get mad, I get red. When I get embarrassed, I get red. When I get turned on, I get red. And I want the audience to see that as well! You know? In the character! So if the character’s getting mad, getting turned on, getting upset or something, you’re gonna see that in the facial tones and the skin tones and that’s what I enjoy about acting is to be very subtle like that … I prefer to have no makeup at all, but not in this one.”

Djimon Hounsou on Koranth: “I have a four-year-old son and one day looked up and said he loves all the superheroes from Spider-Man to Batman to Iron Man. He’s got all the costumes, and one day he looks at me, he says, ‘Papa, I want to be light skinned so I can be Spider-Man because Spider-Man is light skinned.’ That was a shocker to me so I’m extremely excited to be part of a Marvel universe so that hopefully it can provide sort of like a diverse outlook to superheroes or bad guys in those stories. It’s important for us to be part of that, and specifically for me.”

Lee Pace on Ronan the Accuser: “I’m just really excited to make a villain that is complicated and that there’s a core of him that you can find something that you understand, you know? I don’t know, he’s pretty bad though.”

David Batista on Drax the Destroyer: “Drax, he’s full of rage and he’s full of honor. He’s very literal.”

Zoe Saldana on Gamora: “She turns green when she blushes, she turns green when she’s mad, when she’s turned on … What’s wonderful is that she has grown up in an environment that has misrepresented how she truly, truly feels inside, and she’s gonna discover that, hopefully.”

Chris Pratt on Peter Quill: “There’s a petulance to him. He hasn’t really been held accountable as an adult. He’s been able to be kind of free in space and do whatever he’s wanted to do, and that’s really kind of fun because it means that he’s, like, slept with all these super weird aliens.”

Karen Gillan on Nebula: “One of the most interesting things about the character for me is her very strange and complex relationship to Gamora.”

Benicio Del Toro on The Collector: “I think it’s pretty cool that he’s got his own personal zoo.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy” arrives in theaters on August 1, 2014.

By Perri Nemiroff

By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as,, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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