Sean Gunn is likely best remembered for his role as Kraglin Obfonteri in Guardians of the Galaxy. Sean was also the onset actor for the characters Rocket Raccoon and Thanos. He also appeared on Gilmore Girls and in the film Super.
What was it like growing up in St. Louis? What are some of your most fond memories from that time?
I love St. Louis. I am a very typical suburban product of the 80’s. My fondest memories come from my family, and sharing new discoveries with my siblings, whether it was music, a movie, TV shows, whatever.
Do you consider yourself lucky to have came from a rather large family?
I guess so. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to. More than the size, I consider myself lucky that my siblings are all close, and that we aren’t competitive with one another.
When did you first discover your love of acting?
Very young. I honestly have no idea. Acting discovered me before I discovered it.
Did you ever want to be anything else?
How does it feel to be able to step outside of your self and into character?
When I’m comfortable in the character’s skin it is the greatest feeling in the world.
Is there one character you have enjoyed bringing to life more than others?
Tough question. When the character comes easily it’s usually going to be more fun to do, but at the end of the day it’s kind of like being asked to name your favorite child. I love them equally, but in different ways.
How does your work in film differ most from your work on television? Do you enjoy one more than the other or do you love them equally?
The thing I love most about television is the opportunity to play a character with an open-ended history. Guardians of the Galaxy is the first franchise-type movie I’ve done (“Humanzee II” notwithstanding), so it’s the first time I’ve done a movie that I didn’t necessarily have to say goodbye to my character when it was over. But I do love the grind of the TV season, when a character grows a little and changes a little over time, and my performance helps shape the way the writers see him. I prefer that.
Are there any little known things about yourself that your fans might be surprised to learn?
I’m a Hip Hop music scholar. I’m a Clippers fanatic. I love to cook. I have several cats and am involved in cat rescue. I read a lot, but only non-fiction. Shall I go on?
Do you have a dream role you’d most like to bring into being?
The short list: Stanley in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, Iago in Othello, Harold Hill in The Music Man. Oh, and I think I’d make a really good Bond villain.
What was it like being the onset actor for Rocket Raccoon and Thanos? What is the most challenging issue you faced in doing that? Did you enjoy it?
Well, Thanos was easy because all I had to do was stand on a big forklift and speak in a deep voice. Playing Rocket on set was challenging in all the ways any role can be challenging—it’s emotional, it took physical stamina. The difference was that at the end of the day, I was only doing one piece of the role. The SFX team and Bradley Cooper would still come in and make the character complete. But I loved playing Rocket. I hope to be able to do it again.
Were you surprised that Guardians of the Galaxy has done so well? Why do you think the audience responded to it in such fervor?
If I can say I’m not that surprised without sounding like a jackass, then I’m not that surprised. I had a good feeling we were making something special, and something of quality, throughout shooting. I never could have predicted quite the level of success, of course, but I knew that if post went smoothly that people would like it. I think the audience has responded with such fervor, at the risk of sounding cheesy, because it was made with love and hard work, and because it’s about something important and universal. Starting with my brother, and right down to the last crew member, those who worked on the film really believed in it.
Is it nice to be able to work with family in your line of work? Does it make the work go a little smoother?
It’s great. My brother and I have a shorthand for communicating with one another which always helps. If he weren’t as good at what he does it would be tougher, I’m sure.
Do you have any interesting stories from the set that you might be at liberty to share with our readers?
There are so many. Going to work every day with my brother and Chris and Zoe and Dave was a gift. They are such good people. I do remember one day that Dave Bautista asked me what kind of workout regimen I went through to keep my physique. That’s not a typo: BAUTISTA asked ME that question. I think he was suddenly drawn to the idea of being abnormally skinny. It still makes me laugh.
What direction would you most like to see your career take in the future?
Really all I’ve ever wanted in my career is to have options—to have good options and to work as much as I choose. That will always be what’s most important to me.
What projects are you looking forward to working on next?
Guardians 2! And the great unknown…I’m hoping to stay very busy in the coming year.
Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Just a sincere thanks to all my fans and fans of the movie. And a reminder that giving a shit matters. Apathy is so last century.