Gunn’s movie focused on Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon and his tragic origin story at the hands of the High Evolutionary. The villain is known for his horrific genetic experiments, and the story does not shy away from the nastiness of it all.
Understandably, this can make watching the film a little hard for some audience members. Despite that, however, including those scenes and not holding punches were the necessary step to deliver the emotional impact desired.
The Divisive Animal Scenes That Needed To Be Terrible
In an exclusive interview with The Direct, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 actress Miriam Shor, who played Recorder Vim in the movie, shared some thoughts on why she believes those terrible, hard-to-watch animal sequences were necessary.
Shor was quick to point out that her two kids are animal lovers, and her husband and herself weren’t sure how the dark subject material would land with them:
“I have two kids who are huge fans. And my youngest in particular is, both of them are animal lovers. My youngest in particular, is an animal lover, and my husband and I like we, like, ‘I don't know, how are we gonna do this?’ You know, this is a hard movie for animal lovers to watch at the same because it's as it goes to a really, really, really dark place.”
Despite the heavy animal scenes, the actress feels that there are several “pretty triumphant” moments as well:
“However, I think that it's pretty triumphant for animal lovers, too. And that's because we're talking about Rocket’s backstory, we're talking about, you know, an entity who is grappling with whether or not he is what kind of being he is, is he an animal? You know? His refrain is always not a raccoon, like, why doesn't he want to be one? What is he? What is he pushing against? But there is a moment where I'm like, this moment brought to you by PETA. So there are some animal lovers will have moments of triumph in this movie as well.”
Despite the brutal animal sequences, even PETA thought James Gunn handled it all extremely well. The organization recently spoke out and gave their thumbs up approval to the MCU movie, noting how they’re “celebrating this as the best animal rights film of the year.”
When it came to some of those more intense moments, did Gunn offer any special guidance?
Shor admitted that he didn’t, though James Gunn's direction was simply for everyone “to go for it,” and that at the end of the day, those animal scenes “[had] to be terrible,” and “the stakes have to be that high:"
"No, he just was like, 'You have to go for it. It has to be terrible.' The stakes have to be that high for the story to work. There has to be, you know, and I as a fan, know that for the fans, it has to be. Like, if you're a bad guy in these movies, you can't pull your punches, because it doesn't work. But there was definitely a moment where I was like, I don't think that kids are gonna let me come home after they see the movie.”
Despite how harrowingly terrible the High Evolutionary is, according to Shor, Chukwudi Iwuji himself is “one of the kindest, sweetest, most gregarious sweetheart of a human being:”
“[Chukwudi Iwuji] is like one of the kindest, sweetest, most gregarious sweetheart of a human being, right? So the fact that he's playing maybe one of [the worst people], because he really is like, he everybody who meets him falls in love with him instantly. But he's also like an incredible actor. And he's a stage actor, I come from stage as well.”
She compared herself and Iwuji to “kids in a candy store” when it came to the material they were able to work with.
“So, you know, it was such fun to get to work with him, because both of us were just fully committed. And that's really what you have to do to have a good time. And to make it good to make it count for the fans, you know? So there were moments when James would be like, ‘this is like, let's take it to the Shakespearean level, like go, like you're doing The Scottish Play, go for it,’... we were excited… we were like kids in a candy store.”
The Unforgettable Weight of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
With everything Vol. 3 achieved, one of those things was nailing some of the most emotional scenes in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not only will Rocket be remembered, but so will his close-knit group of friends, who sadly never made it out of the High Evolutionary's ship. While they might be dead now, Llya, Teefs, and Floor will never fade into obscurity.
While the film's end seems to hint that the High Evolutionary died alongside his ship, audiences never see the body. So the chances of Marvel using the character again are fairly high. Sadly, when it comes to Miriam Shor’s Recorder Vim, she is not so lucky.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now playing in theaters worldwide.