Meet the Man Who Plays Rocket During Production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is arguably the rudest member of the Guardians; hence his new Star-Munch moniker for Peter Quill (who prefers Star-lord). A new extended version of a previously released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 TV spot is here, features a classic Rocket moment, when the furry, ferocious little hero gives Quill a nickname he doesn't want:

While Rocket is a stunning CGI creation, there still needs to be someone for the actors to play off during production. In fact, more than that, like Andy Serkis has shown in his incredible motion-capture performances as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and Caesar from the new Planet of the Apes franchise, getting the physicality of a CGI creation down on set is a crucial part of the process. This is why director James Gunn’s brother, Sean, is so important to the Guardians family. Sean not only plays Kraglin, one of the Ravagers (led by Michael Rooker’s Yondu), he’s also a ‘motion reference actor’ on set, meaning he’s the one who wears a motion-capture performance suit and acts out all of Rocket’s movements.

Gunn explained this on a Facebook Live chat recently:

Sean Gunn is not a stand-in. He is a motion reference actor. That means we film everything Sean does on set as Rocket. We film it. I don’t stop doing takes of him until we get the performance right and then we use that performance as a basis for much of Rocket’s acting. And he does a fantastic job in that role. He knows it. He understands it.

And also very important, Sean is able to physically do something most actors aren’t able to do, which is waddle around on all fours. He’s always been an incredibly limber guy that can to do a lot of strange physical things. And the fact that he’s able to waddle around on his legs all day long at the exact height of Rocket is quite a feat and quite difficult.”

You’ll be able to see both of the Gunn’s handiwork on May 5, when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 blasts into theaters.  

Featured image: Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Courtesy Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.