Sean Gunn’s Rocket Raccoon Performance From ... - The Mary Sue
You may know Sean Gunn from several places: being the brother of Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, being a secondary character in that same franchise, or as simply as Kirk from Gilmore Girls. What you may not know is that he has a much larger role in Guardians of the Galaxy and, now, the Avengers movies: Rocket Raccoon.
Yes, while Bradley Cooper provides Rocket’s voice and gets billing on posters, it’s Sean Gunn himself who provides the character’s physicality on set, before he’s replaced with a CGI raccoon we’ve all somehow come to know and love. In fact, so much of Gunn’s work goes into how the character comes out in the end—he’s not so much replaced as crucially integrated into Rocket’s animation—that James Gunn was on Twitter this morning pointing out (not for the first time) that he’s much more than just a “stand-in” to hold the character’s place.
The writer/director tweeted, “Contrary to popular opinion, he’s not a stand-in as much of Rocket’s acting and facial expressions are Sean’s. And yes it’s hilarious every time.” (He later corrected “opinion” to “belief.”) It’s great that James is trying to get Sean the credit he deserves, but what’s also great is that he gifted us with some of the most priceless Avengers behind-the-scenes footage ever, right alongside his statement.
It’s only a few seconds long, but the director posted a video of that instantly recognizable Team Strut scene from Avengers: Endgame, with his brother truly getting into character, and it’s honestly exactly what I needed in my day:
I don’t know why Sean Gunn duckwalking alongside the Avengers is so entertaining to me, but by now I’ve watched this play for more loops than I’d like to admit.
Is it the comedic value of a regular person doing something odd in the middle of a Very Serious Superhero March, which honestly rivals the comedic value of his Raccoon counterpart? Is it that Kirk from Gilmore Girls would absolutely get this into character if he were asked to play a raccoon? Is it that, strangely, Rocket Raccoon has made a strong, late-in-the-game play to be my favorite Marvel movie character, and he might be winning, and this just makes it that much better?
It’s probably mostly the first two, but I just can’t not think about the third these days. On the day when Endgame hits digital home distribution and inevitably digs up all the emotions we just barely buried, it’s a bit of levity I really needed in this serious scene.
I don’t know, but in the even that this provides anyone out there as much joy in their Tuesday as it did me, I couldn’t not share it. For your enjoyment here’s some more footage of him demonstrating his professional raccoon acting technique in the past:
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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