The first thing I do is ask Sean Gunn to give me a little leeway with my initial question during our chat at the London Hotel for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” He agrees.
The question is whether or not Gunn sees “Guardians of the Galaxy” as an intergalactic version of “Gilmore Girls.” The actor who plays Kraglin in the action film sequel that opens Friday, May 5, may have thought the question to be the rantings of a mad man but he doesn’t go running from the room. He asks for reasons behind the theory.
The first is obvious, Gunn stars in both. Along with playing the right-hand man to Yondu (Michael Rooker) in the “Guardians” movies, he plays the equally quirky Kirk Gleason on “Gilmore Girls.”
That can’t be the only reason for making such a comparison. If just having an actor appear in two diverse project was enough then “Forest Gump” would just be a more manly wardrobed version of “Bosom Buddies” because Tom Hanks was in both.
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There are more similarities between “Guardians” and “Gilmore” than just the casting of Gunn. Both feature a strange group of people who come together in an offbeat world. Many of the characters in both are dealing with parenting issues and when they talk about those issues it is done in a very quick and witty dialogue.
Gunn’s not buying the whole comparisons but agrees that there are similarities.
“I can see it - I guess,” Gunn says. “I do know that I’m very fortunate to be part of two magnificent franchises. When I think about what they have in common is great writing.”
And, he’s not just saying that because the film’s director, James Gunn, who happens to be Sean Gunn’s older brother, was also one of the writers on “Guardians.” He has worked with enough writers and directors to know that the kind of solid writing he has seen with “Guardians” and “Gilmore Girls” isn’t the norm.
Gunn describes the writing for both projects as very taut, well-crafted storytelling. That vision is why when he was cast as Kraglin in “Guardians,” he didn’t look at it as being cast in a comic book movie but as being selected to be in a James Gunn film. He knows his brother’s work well enough that he knew “Guardians” would be just as strong a story as it is visually.
He’s seen the same strength of writing with Amy Sherman-Palladino with “Gilmore Girls.” Actors treat a Sherman-Palladino with such reverence that there is rarely any improvising.
“There’s not a syllable uttered in ‘Gilmore Girls’ that is not on the page,” Gunn says.
Gunn does feel a little more comfortable telling his brother he would like to do a line differently but because the scripts are generally so strong there’s little room to come up with new material. There’s also the problem with time as when Gunn is not performing as Kraglin he fills in on set for Rocket. The character is added later through special effects but Gunn gives the other actors someone to work with when doing the scene.
Such double duty is a big difference between Gunn’s work on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Gilmore Girls.” There are a lot of similarities but not enough for Gunn to go with the theory that Kraglin and Kirk are related is some weird cosmic way.