'Wait a Minute': Kurt Russell Recalls Response to Hearing Ego's Character Arc in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' (Spoilers!)

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: Major Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 spoilers ahead.

Kurt Russell was doing press for Quentin Tarantino‘s bloody Western The Hateful Eight in late 2015 when the news broke that he was being considered to play Chris Pratt‘s father in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. “I got bombarded one day with this sudden thing,” Russell recalled to Yahoo Movies (watch above). “We’re talking like 50 to 60 emails. And the crew [at the junket] was like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna do Peter Quill’s father?’ I didn’t know what they were talking about. But they all [said], ‘Hey, this is great.'”

The 66-year-old action icon was obviously excited to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to father up to the amiable, red-hot Pratt. And then he learned exactly what writer-director James Gunn had planned for Ego the Living Planet, the initially charming celestial being who ultimately becomes the film’s Big Bad when his true intentions to destroy the universe and remake it in his own image are revealed.

“And now I’m gonna be the bad guy. I was like, ‘Wait a minute. We gotta do this just right.'” Russell worried that unless the twist was handled carefully, it could alienate audiences. He feared he’d play a hand in “ruining” Guardians of the Galaxy. “I didn’t want to be that guy,” he said. “But I wanted to play it.”

Russell sparked to the initial conceit of Ego, “who seems like the greatest guy ever.” And the man behind Snake Plissken and Stuntman Mike always loved the sound of Ego.

“I’ve loved playing characters who’ve had great names. I think it gives you the chance to play someone who’s memorable, because if they fit their name, you remember them… All you had to do was listen to his name.”

Watch Kurt Russell talk about his most memorable character in Role Recall:


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