Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Star Explains Animal Cruelty Scenes

Since the first trailer was released, fans knew that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be a more emotional ride than the first two films. They didn’t expect how emotional they’d get during scenes exploring Rocket’s backstory – but that response was exactly what director James Gunn was counting on.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s main villain is a character known as the High Evolutionary, a scientific genius who utilizes his expertise to genetically modify living beings as he sees fit. A flashback reveals that the High Evolutionary’s experiments and modifications are why Rocket is more than a normal raccoon. The flashback also reveals just how cruel the High Evolutionary is, showing the violent ends some of his test subjects met.

In an interview with The Direct, actress Miriam Shor – who played Recorder Vim – explained Gunn’s reasoning behind why Rocket Raccoon’s origin scenes were made to be so horrible. When asked if Gunn gave her any specific guidance on how to perform these scenes, Shor said, “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.” Shor also pointed out that while the scenes may be difficult for animal lovers to watch, they convey an important message that should resonate with those audience members. “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?”

Shor went on to discuss her experiences working with Chukwudi Iwuji, who – despite playing one of the most evil MCU villains the MCU has seen so far – she called, “…one of the kindest, sweetest, most gregarious sweetheart of a human being…” and had a wonderful time working 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.”

Gunn’s decision to lean into the cruelty of the High Evolutionary’s actions and the horrific situation Rocket and his friends found themselves in was risky, but it seems to have paid off. Iwuji has received praise for his performance, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 overall has garnered positive reactions from critics and fans alike. The positive reception of such a blatantly evil character could push Marvel Studios to present less morally ambiguous villains in the future and put their heroes up against more foes whose motives are clearly and inexcusably evil.

That said, Spider-Man: No Way Home enjoyed plenty of success using the opposite strategy. Much of the movie is taken up by Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire figuring out how to cure the villains and return them to their respective universes alive. Perhaps the answer isn’t to make all the villains either unarguably evil or ripe for redemption; perhaps, the success of both movies shows that the key is balance.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is playing in theaters now.

Source: The Direct