To the surprise of many reporters the late-night Marvel press conference on Saturday didn't feature the cast of Thor: The Dark World but instead the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy. Those in attendance were director James Gunn, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace and Dave Bautista.
Here are a few highlights:
James Gunn on the premise of Guardians of the Galaxy: "Guardians is about a family coming together. It really is about a group of individuals who have acted selfishly and only as individuals throughout their life. And they learn something about themselves that makes them heroes."
Gunn on giving audiences more James Gunn: "There’s a lot of James Gunn in this movie, and it’s a strange thing. When I turned in the first draft to Kevin [Feige] and Marvel and Joss [Whedon], and they read the first draft, they were all really happy, which made me happy. That was a really good day. And their biggest note was, "More James Gunn," which freaked the hell out of me. So, I gave them more James Gunn, and that’s what’s in the movie. I think it’s a really unique movie. With a movie like Super, I’m speaking to a specific person that that movie means a lot to. I really appreciate everybody who loves that movie. When I’m doing a movie like Guardians, it really is for a much broader audience. It’s for everybody. It’s a movie we can go see on a Friday night with everybody else in the city, and really enjoy ourselves in a different type of way. And I appreciate both of those types of movies."
Djimon Hounsou on being a role model to his son: "I play Korath, who is a humanoid. I have a four-year-old son who loves all the superheroes from Spider-Man to Batman to Iron Man. He’s got all the costumes. And one day, he looked at me and said, 'Papa, I want to be light skinned, so I can be Spider-Man ‘cause Spider-Man is light skinned.' That was a shock to me. I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Marvel universe, so that I can provide a diverse outlook of superheroes or bad guys in those stories. It’s important for us to be part of that, and specifically for me. That was my in ticket to the Marvel world, and I’m excited."
Lee Pace on playing Ronan the Accuser: "It’s a character that’s been around since 1967, when he first walked into Fantastic Four. So, there’s a lot of incredible story that I’ve gotten to research. If you call reading comic books research. I start work this week, filming the character, and I’m just really excited to create a villain that is complicated. There’s a core to him where you can find something that you can understand. I don’t know. He’s pretty bad, though. It’s the early days, so I’m just putting the first wall up and we’ll start there."
Benicio Del Toro on what he loves about his character: "My hair. I play the Collector. He collects things, like I do. I think it’s pretty cool that he’s got his own personal zoo."
Dave Bautista on joining Guardians: "This part is, by far, the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. To be a part of this is really a dream come true. I really come from nothing. I’m a poor kid from the streets. What I’ve been able to achieve has really just been through hard work and not letting anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something. I always try to encourage people to just pursue your dreams. I’m still a student at this. I’m not afraid to let people know, 'This is new to me. I’m still learning.' I’m not afraid to go up to people and pick their brains and ask for advice. To me, that’s how you get better. That’s how I’ve gotten better at everything I’ve ever done. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. I’m learning a lot, every day, on this film, from the director and from the crew and even from the producers. That’s what it’s all about for me. To me, that’s how you stay young. If you’re pursuing something that you love and you’re learning something new, every day, that’s the key to youth."
Zoe Saldana on turning green: "I play Gamora. The weirdest thing about her is that she turns green when she blushes, she turns green when she’s mad, and she turns green when she’s turned on. And what’s wonderful is that she has grown up in an environment that has misrepresented how she truly feels inside and she’s gonna discover that, hopefully."
Saldana on taking on Thor or Captain America: "I do believe that Guardians have bigger powers, in a way. If we were up against Captain America or Thor, we’d totally kick his a**."
Chris Pratt on sleeping with aliens: "For Quill, without blowing too much of his origin, there’s a petulance to him. He hasn’t really been held accountable as an adult. He’s been able to be free in space and do whatever he’s wanted to do. That’s really fun because it means that he’s slept with all these super weird aliens. That’s my favorite weird element of the character. But, my favorite moment that I’ve had was when I first donned my full wardrobe in the costume department. I put it on and it was just like, 'Wow!' I wore it, and I thought that was pretty wonderful. All of a sudden, my walk changed, a little bit, and I had a little extra bob in my head. That was pretty cool."
Pratt on training for his role: "Oh, man! It was about six months, and a combination of different things, like lifting weights, cardio and really strict nutrition. It’s some really boring stuff. Basically, I cried 40 pounds off, and the rest was being hungry and running a lot."