‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Star Sean Gunn Says Rocket Raccoon Has Always Been the ‘Center of the Story’

The actor also shared challenges of doing motion-capture work for a small, sentient woodland creature

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” star Sean Gunn says Rocket Raccoon has always been the “center” of the Guardians’ story. And Gunn, who provides the motion-capture for Rocket (who’s voiced by Bradley Cooper) and is reprising his human-sized role as Kraglin, says he’s known that since the very first film.

The final installment of his brother James Gunn’s galactic Marvel trilogy focuses on Rocket’s backstory. The enhanced space raccoon with advanced weaponry expertise originated from The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) experiments, which tested various animals’ ability to take on humanoid intelligence.

“I’ve always been pretty aware of where Rocket’s place within the story was. He’s always been, in some capacity, the center of the story, which is something my brother James [Gunn] told me from the very first movie,” Sean Gunn told TheWrap. “And so even though it doesn’t always look like that, we get to kind of see how that all gets pulled together in this final film.”

Gunn shared that there are both physical and emotional challenges to the job of motion-capturing the furry hero.

“Anything where Rocket’s walking a long distance and talking was really hard on my feet and my ankles. There was a video that kind of got leaked of the Avengers walking where you can see me doing my weird crab walk,” he said. “I was definitely sore at the end of that day, but it’s different from the emotional stuff. So if there’s ever anything that is both ‘I’m on my feet all day, but also doing an emotional scene.’ That can be really hard.”

The third film in the MCU franchise watches the Guardians assemble after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” in which the version of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) loves vanishes. The Christmas special, starring Kevin Bacon, revealed that Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is Peter’s sister, and it also introduced us to Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova). Will Poulter will make his MCU debut as Adam Warlock, son of The Sovereign High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki).

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” arrives in theaters May 5.