Chukwudi Iwuji Talks About Working With James Gunn on Guardians 3
Although Chukwudi Iwuji was not an unknown actor prior to this year, his turn as Clemson Murn in Peacemaker paved the way for his entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Director James Gunn cast Iwuji in Peacemaker, and he subsequently offered him a role in the Guardians sequel. We still don’t know who Iwuji will portray in the movie, but in a new interview with Discussing Film, the actor shed some light on the collaborative nature of Gunn’s set.
“James genuinely loves actors,” explained Iwuji. “He micromanages every stage of his work and literally lives the characters he writes. James speaks to them out loud as he’s writing them. But for all that, I was very aware in Peacemaker that he’s so ready to be surprised and taken to different levels by you [the actor] if you can make it genuine. That gave me such leeway, in the sense of coming onto Guardians. The scope of it was another level up from Peacemaker, it’s as big of a movie as I’ll ever make – simple as that.”
“And because he wrote it, James is hoping that you can evolve it further than his imagination,” continued Iwuji. “When you have a director-writer like that, you’re in very good hands. If you were to narrow down our process, I do a take, and if he feels like it’s spot on, he’ll say, ‘Great, now do whatever you want.’ If he feels it’s not quite there, he won’t let me stop until I find it. If he feels it’s there, but there could be something else, we’ll keep going at it. So it’s as rigorous or as smooth sailing as it needs to be.”
According to Iwuji, the scenes literally evolved as he and the other cast members performed on set.
“The number of times in Guardians that we would start a scene one way, the way I felt it was written, and by the end of the scene, it would’ve flipped completely in its delivery because he saw something I brought,” noted Iwuji. “I heard something he directed at me that I hadn’t thought about, and then we find a completely new scene. It’s collaboration at its finest because it gives me everything I want. I need someone with very strong ideas who will be ready to direct me. But, at the same time, you eat your cake and have it too because it’s someone that wants to explore also. It wasn’t that I was just working for him, even though, technically, I was. We were really collaborating.”
“I felt so proud,” added Iwuji. “There were days I would come home to my wife, who was with me in Atlanta, and I was just so happy. I would say, ‘We found something in the scene together.’ That is the best feeling to ever want to have.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will open on May 5, 2023.
Are you looking forward to seeing Iwuji in the film? Let us know in the comment section below!
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