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05 The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Interview, Chronic, Critic

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast discuss the long-awaited blockbuster

Cinema

The new and final installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, released on Wednesday, May 3rd, is undoubtedly one of the best Marvel movies in recent years. Finding the perfect balance between humor, emotion, and spectacular shots, the film features a group of marginal superheroes who unite to save an endearing raccoon, and the world. In the French capital, Numéro has met the cast of this very human blockbuster, addressing a complicated love story with an underlying criticism of animal suffering: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, and Vin Diesel.

  • Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Disney. Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Disney.
  • James Gunn, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.

    James Gunn, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney. James Gunn, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Joseph Sinclair/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney. Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cecile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Pom Klementieff at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cécile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.

    Pom Klementieff at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cécile Burban/Getty Images for Disney. Pom Klementieff at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by Cécile Burban/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Vin Diesel at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.

    Vin Diesel at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney. Vin Diesel at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 European Gala at Disneyland Paris on April 22, 2023 in Paris. Photo by StillMoving.Net/Getty Images for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney. Zoe Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.
  • Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.

    Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney. Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.
  • Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.

    Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney. Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cast at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 press conference at the Bristol in Paris on April 23, 2023. Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney.
  • Baby Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Baby Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Baby Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
  • Chris Pratt and Pom Klementieff in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Chris Pratt and Pom Klementieff in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Chris Pratt and Pom Klementieff in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
  • Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

    Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

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1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: a perfect balance between humor, spectacle, and emotion

 

No need to mince words. Out on May 3rd, the third and final opus of the Guardians of the Galaxy is a huge success. The cheekiest saga of the MCU is arguably one of their best releases in the past five years. We meet again the same group of outcasts, alien superheroes of all kinds gathered around the attractive Earthman Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt at the top of his game and sex appeal. Their wild intergalactic adventures skillfully combine zany humor, with a nineties-inspired rock soundtrack (including a track by Radiohead), inventive fights, spectacular settings, and moments of pure emotion. In the opening scene, Star-Lord feels depressed as the elite assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is no longer who she used to be. After her death, she became an altered version of herself, and she doesn’t seem to remember loving him. It will take her some time to rediscover, as she goes along the way, the feelings she once had for the Guardians of the Galaxy’s hero.

 

During a press conference at the Bristol in Paris, which Numéro attended, Chris Pratt came back to this special love story: “I’m really grateful to the director, James Gunn, who gave me the opportunity throughout this trilogy to explore a love affair that really goes in the opposite direction of what we are used to see and that subverts the typical romantic trope. Because of Gamora’s identity and because she doesn’t know who she is, it offers an original take on the traditional love affair. It is a powerful exploration of the feeling of losing someone you love, while that person is standing right in front of you. I’ve never seen that on screen before.”

 

Obviously moved by the end of the trilogy, Chris Pratt added: “All these characters are so damaged. I, or rather Peter Quill, got to witness how Gamora became a better, happier, and more fulfilled person through their relationship, but also through the love of her family, the Guardians of the Galaxy. As a guy who desperately loves her, he wants her to recapture that so badly.” Actress Zoe Saldana shared his insight into her character’s complicated relationship with Star-Lord: “It has been truly refreshing and interesting to enact this love story because I don’t know who that man is, I don’t have any shared experiences to draw on, yet he feels so familiar. This confusion makes it an unconventional love story, but it still is a love story. There is an ongoing chemistry between them, even though she still finds it annoying at first when she meets him again (laughs).”

Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

2. A pamphlet against animal suffering

 

If Peter Quill feels distraught at the beginning of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he still has to gather his team to save Rocket, the coolest raccoon of the galaxy, who remains between life and death after an attack, and (in addition) to save the universe. This narrative arc makes this new Marvel heartbreaking and brutal at times. The film tells the story of Rocket’s dark and emotional past. Like many other animals, such as an endearing otter, walrus and rabbit, Rocket had been abused and used as a guinea pig in the experiments of an evil man specializing in genetic modification, the terrifying High Evolutionary (played by Chukwudi Iwuji). Volume 3 therefore contains many violent and sad scenes relating to animal suffering, with an underlying criticism of the madness of a humanity capable of the worst actions towards other beings.

 

American director James Gunn explained: “Being explicit was important in this film. Rocket’s story is the centerpiece of this trilogy to me. I wanted to be able to tell the full story, including its more brutal elements. But I’m also very careful not to show everything. I think a lot of the crude components in this film are actually stuff that plays out in your mind rather than on screen.”  For James Gunn, the focus of the three Guardians films is empathy: “We start with this incredibly innocent little animal who will eventually become the character we know, a mean, bitter little raccoon. Throughout his journey, we witness him opening up to compassion. [...] Guardians of the Galaxy is about how we open up and close off, perhaps out of selfishness, or because of our life experiences, [...] whether they’re traumatic or just negative ones, and how we use them as an excuse.”

Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

“As I get older, my body hurts badly every time I do my stunts.” Zoe Saldana

 

3. A transformed and impressive Zoe Saldana

 

Among the Marvel saga’s most complex and fascinating characters, broken creatures, and outcasts, is the dangerous elite assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Still very combative, she doesn’t appear as lovable as she used to in this new chapter. Zoe Saldana shared her take on the martial art expert superhero: “I think Gamora is still in a badass mood, but this time she’s a little bit different. We all know how she ended up in the last Avengers movie (in Avengers: Infinity War, the heroine’s father Thanos sacrificed her in order to retrieve the Soul Stone from the planet Vormir, ed.), and that she’s from another multiverse. She’s rougher, a little wilder, and she gets a little more loose too. It was fun to play that new Gamora.”

 

Zoe Saldana took her role seriously and invested in this very physical character, who gets into a series of fights. “I feel that the only reason I was able to get into this kind of action was thanks to my athletic background (the actress used to be a ballet dancer when she was younger, ed). There were many rehearsals and conversations with James (Gunn) about what he wanted my character to do. Then, I worked with the stunt department, which provided incredible trainers to assist me. I had a great time.” The Avatar star, who is the only actress in the world to have starred in four films that have topped 2 billion at the box office, added: “As I get older, my body hurts badly every time I do my stunts. This time, I really want to share the whole process (by shooting videos that I will post on social media soon) because it was fun. It was exhausting, it took a lot of hard work, but the end result is so wonderful.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

4. Great endearing losers embodied by Vin Diesel and Pom Klementieff

 

Aside from the heartbreaking Rocket and the badass Gamora, each one of the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 have their share of emotional moments. In this third installment, we also find Mantis, an empathetic superheroine played by French actress Pom Klementieff. She is one of the funniest and most endearing characters of the trilogy. The actress noted: “Mantis went through hard times before she met the Guardians, and she was very lonely. The Guardians of the Galaxy are the family she has always dreamed of. It feels good to see that. Besides, she has also found a brother in Peter Quill. It was really fun to be able to play with a larger palette of emotions in this installment, to be able to kick some ass and unfold a side of Mantis that is sometimes feistier and wilder.”

 

Another key character in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Groot, a fun, tree-like alien who utters a single sentence but with a thousand different intonations. The charismatic Vin Diesel, who lends his voice to the creature, explained: “Groot is such a special character. I am so lucky and so grateful that James Gunn created this archetype. I will always cherish the character. He’s fascinating, as he appears on a different light in each movie. Sometimes he’s baby Groot, other times he’s Alpha Groot. But what makes Groot work so well is not just the script, but the whole cast. They bring Groot to life because he reacts to what they say and do. He’s able to say three monosyllabic words that mean something to the audience thanks to their incredible performances.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 © Marvel Studios

“You have to work with assholes and deal with a lot of problems on many sets. People fight behind the scenes, and you would never know about it. It wasn’t the case on this set.” Chris Pratt

 

5. A beautiful story about friendship that advocates for the power of the collective

 

The reason why the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is so moving is because a strong friendship binds the characters together. Each one of them emerges greater thanks to the help of another alien. Chris Pratt insists on the chemistry that also unites the actors off the set. “On many films, it isn’t that great. You have to work with assholes and deal with a lot of problems on many sets. People are fighting behind the scenes, and you would never know about it. It wasn’t the case on this set. The relationships between each one of the persons involved in this saga were, for me, the most enjoyable aspect of playing this character. The bond I’ve formed with James Gunn, who constantly makes us laugh on set, is also very strong. Getting to know everyone, seeing the birth of their children, attending their weddings, being part of their lives for real, is an amazing and quite rare thing. There aren’t many jobs that put you in a time bomb situation, forcing you to create strong relationships with people. It’s a melting pot where you’re going to build very close relationships with people.”

 

The other actors are equally emotional and nostalgic when it comes to talking about the end of the saga. In fact, each of them has kept (or rather stolen) a souvenir from the set. Pom Klementieff has kept a spinning-top, a ukulele, a pair of socks and underwear that belonged to her character. Karen Gillan (who plays Nebula in the film) has also kept a pair of socks, while Chris Pratt has swiped several costumes, boots, his superhero gloves, as well as the first Star-Lord uniform that he wore to meet children in hospitals. Zoe Saldana said: “Everything about the film is so top secret that taking something out of the set and getting called out by Marvel terrifies me. But I’ve taken all the film’s merch hoodies and T-shirts. I always ask for them in L and XL for my dad and stepdad. I also got caps and posters. Every time we went on a promotional tour, I tried to get a poster signed by all the actors. That way, if my kids come across it one day, they can sell it to buy sneakers or something, if they don’t use them to raise money for charity.”

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (2023) by James Gunn, out on May 3rd, 2023.