GOTG 3’s Bradley Cooper Describes How He Embodied Rocket’s Grief

Bradley Cooper drew on his memory of a personal loss to portray a moment of deep despair for Rocket Raccoon in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Speaking to Howard Stern, Cooper affirmed that he loved voicing Rocket, as he has for every appearance that the character has made in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his introduction in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. “I actually cried like crazy watching it,” Cooper said of Vol. 3, which released this summer. “And when we did it, there’s a scene where he loses his friend and the sound that Rocket makes, the only thing that I could even relate it to was the sound I remember hearing [in] my own voice when my dad passed away.”

Cooper went on to recall the impression that his scream of grief made during the recording session. “Everybody was sort of like … there was some deep truth to this sound that came out of my mouth … That moment in that movie is kind of like, ‘Holy shit.'”

Rocket’s tragic past and hopeful future in The Guardians of the Galaxy

In the MCU, Rocket is a gun-toting cybernetically modified raccoon whose past remains a mystery until Vol. 3. Through a series of flashback scenes, it’s revealed that Rocket’s abrasive and violent ways trace back to his youth as a lab experiment. When his dearest friend Lylla (Linda Cardellini) is murdered in front of him, Rocket lets out an anguished cry before turning on his creator and making his escape.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ended with the main characters heading in different directions, leaving Rocket as the leader of a new team. Although no future projects featuring Rocket have been announced so far, the door is open for Cooper to continue with the role.

The Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy is available to stream now on Disney+.