Toronto Comicon has come and gone, but we are just heading into a huge blockbuster season with films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releasing today, which happens to feature actor Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri. Sean Gunn played Kirk Gleason in the entire series of Gilmore Girls, starting back in 2000, becoming a fan favourite almost immediately. From there, he has had plenty of roles in his seasoned career, most notably his role in Guardians of the Galaxy, written and directed by brother James Gunn.
Sean can be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theatres today, where our reviewer Joe Findlay noted, “Kraglin has continued to grow into his own and is a character you cannot help but root for,” about his character. With plenty of credits in comedies, Gunn has also been featured in titles like Agnes, Lollipop Chainsaw, Tromeo and Juliet, and he even crossed over from the MCU to Weasel in the DCEU—much like his brother, James.
CGMagazine was lucky enough to sit down with a few great actors at Toronto Comicon—fellow DC actor Steve Agee making an appearance here as well. Sean Gunn joined us to discuss what he enjoys about working with family, how he prepares for varying genres and what it’s like diving back into old characters.
Obviously, you and your family work together quite often. What kind of dynamic is that on set? You have several siblings you work with. Are we loving that, hating that? Is it challenging?
Sean Gunn: Oh, I love it. I mean, I mostly work with my brother James [Gunn]. I’ve worked with my other siblings as well on various projects, but it’s very comfortable for us when we’re on set. James is a writer, director, and I’m a performer, so he’s kind of my boss. And being that he’s the oldest of six and I’m the youngest of six, it fits sort of nicely naturally with our roles within the family. And I love it. There’s no one I like working with more than my brother James. So that’s great.
You work across all kinds of mediums and genres. Is there any one thing you prefer doing more than another?
Sean Gunn: Not necessarily. I like great stories more than anything. So, if the story is cool, I love it. It doesn’t matter what the genre is. That said, I basically made most of my career doing comedy and comic-type stuff. And I’ve been doing a little bit more dramatic work recently, and I really like it. I would like to continue to do more.
Do you find a difference in the way you prep for those roles?
Sean Gunn: Well, every role has something unique about how I would approach it just based on trying to find the truth of whatever that character is. So, you know, comedy, in some ways, is a little bit more precise because you’re feeling the timing and the rhythm of it because you have to hit jokes a lot of times and things like that. But in general, it’s pretty much the same process.
Do you have any character that you’ve really connected to? What is your favourite role that you’ve played?
Sean Gunn: Well, I think that’s a little like asking a parent to name their favourite child. It’s, you know, it’s a little bit hard. But that said, I played the character of Kirk on Gilmore Girls for seven years and then again another nine years later. So, if I kind of had to choose one to take with me, it would be Kirk, because I spent the most time with him.
Was that easy to fall back into?
Sean Gunn: Yes, and I was worried about that at first. I didn’t know if it was going to come back. And we did one scene, and I’m like, “Oh, he’s right there. He lives right there inside me.”
I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan. What was it like diving back into that world with the cast? What was it a big happy family again—or was it ever a big, happy family?
Sean Gunn: It was really great. When we did the show originally, Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of the show [Gilmore Girls], wasn’t a part of the seventh and final season. And so, I think that the most special thing about it was that we were back with Amy again, and she was able to bring a satisfying conclusion to the story the way that she wanted to tell it, which I think was the most appealing thing about it for all of the actors. But it was nice doing it for Netflix. We had a little more time and a little more space and a little more money to do it correctly, and that was really cool.
At a place like Toronto Comicon, do you have is there something that you’re most known for, or is there something weird that people come at you with?
Sean Gunn: There’s always one weird thing. I did this movie in the mid-90s called Tromeo and Juliet, which was a crazy Troma film. Usually, at every convention, I’ll have one Tromeo fan come up. Or, at this convention, I had somebody bring me a cover of the video game Lollipop Chainsaw, which I did years ago. And there’s one, but it’s not common. When I first started doing conventions, about 80% of my fans were more Gilmore Girls fans than there were Guardians of the Galaxy fans. And now that’s sort of tipped.
It’s fun to think at a Comic-Con that there are more Gilmore Girls fans than Guardians of the Galaxy fans. I love it.
Sean Gunn: And that wouldn’t get me invited to the con. No, the promoters would be like, “Oh he’s got a bit role in Guardians of the Galaxy,” after the first movie came out, “so we’ll bring him to a convention for that.”
And then the moms come!
Sean Gunn: Yeah, all these Gilmore Girls fans, which is great because they would bring their kids, and they’d be like, “I know you. I don’t know any of these people from the sci-fi or fantasy world. I know you”.
Yeah, my sister said to say hi!
Sean Gunn: It’s the same thing, which is pretty fun, but it’s tipping the scales, particularly since the [Guardians of the Galaxy] holiday special came out. I’m certainly gearing for Guardians three to come out in May. I’m getting recognized for Guardians a lot.
Now at a con, do you have any fandoms of your own? Are you a Star Wars guy, a gamer maybe?
Sean Gunn: Not really. I love a lot of different story worlds, but I don’t know that there’s any one.
You don’t have a nerd religion?
Sean Gunn: No, I don’t. If I had one, it would probably be Rick and Morty.
If you were at a con, do you have one person, alive or dead, that you would love to meet?
Sean Gunn: I wish I could meet Steve Agee. I’ve heard wonderful things about him. If somebody could make an introduction…
Steve Agee: What is going on?
You’re his number one.
Sean Gunn: Oh, she said, “Is there anyone you could meet, anyone living or dead, at a convention, who would it be?” And I said, Steve Agee.
Steve Agee: Steve Agee dead?
Sean Gunn: Yeah. I would like it to be Steve Agee, but I would like him to be dead when I when I did it.
We do some zombie work.
Sean Gunn: Oh, my gosh, who would I like to meet? I don’t even know the answer to that question.
That’s fair. I know you said Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but is there anything else you’re working on right now or hope to work on in the future?
Sean Gunn: I’m doing Creature Commandos with my brother, which is an animated series that I’m reprising my award-winning performance as the weasel in. I got an Oscar nomination for that, didn’t I? I can’t remember. But I think I got one.
I did an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel this season, which will be coming out. I’m going to do another TV show pretty soon, and then I have some more things, but nothing I can talk about.
Top secret. How does it feel being in the MCU and the DCEU?
Sean Gunn: We’re a rarefied group that has been in both, I love it. Honestly, it’s nice to be employed no matter what the universe is that I’m working in.
Do you have a favourite? Are you Team MCU? Team DCEU?
Sean Gunn: I am neutral on the universes. I am firmly in the team “they can both coexist.” If they both make great movies, doesn’t everyone win?