Actors often say that they have to defend their characters through thick and thin, including villains. Well, Chukwudi Iwuji on his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Badass, advanced evolution.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Mastermind James Goo En was filming Peacemaker the indelible opening dance and offered him the role of a villain in what will likely be Gunn’s last project at Marvel Studios. Iwuji still has to test the rest of Marvel’s leadership, but he quickly won over Kevin Feige and his lieutenants as well.
Advanced Evolution doesn’t want to end civilization like most superhero enemies do; he just tells himself that he’s trying to “do it” through scientific experiments on animals and children Perfect” it. However, the perfection he strives for is never truly achieved.
“What he didn’t realize was that the flaw was in him. He was very dissatisfied with himself and projected it externally,” Iwuji told Hollywood Reporter . “He’s always going to see a flaw that he needs to fix. It never stops. It’s a tireless, never-ending pursuit.”
So you don’t Found Iwuji repeating what many other actors have said about not judging their characters and being their lawyer. He knows that the High Evolutionary is the most ruthless Marvel villain can be, and he makes no secret of it.
“I don’t believe you have to defend your character. He’s a sadist,” Iwuji said. “His way of thinking has taken us to some of the scariest times in our history and humanity. People who think they know the right answers, people who want to purify, people who think they want to find perfection. So I can’t defend him, But I can make a case for playing him, because that’s the gift of the actor’s character. In Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DCU, his Peacemaker character Clemson Clemson Murn still wonders if his John Wick: Chapter 2 character Mr. Akoni will show up again one day.
“I still hold out hope that he will achieve more in the future,” admits Iwuji. “They can have a continental airline in Africa. That’s what I really thought at the time, because Akoni was the head of an African cartel. But there’s a reason I keep wishing they kept me alive. So I need to work on the Chad Stahelski case. ”
Below, in a recent conversation with THR
, Iwuji also discusses how he got into The character’s disturbing headspace, before explaining Sean Gunn’s invaluable presence on set as Rocket’s motion-capture performer.
Well, you played with a sadistic puppy.
(Laughing .) Have fun!
So there’s an early shot of a hand reaching into the young Rocket’s cage. Can you confirm this is your best performance yet?
is the pinnacle of my craft. It will never get better than this. (laughs.) This What a beautiful shot. I remember them setting up the lights and telling me the correct speed to move the lights so the camera would actually capture the action. It was actually a very complicated job.
I was the first to hear about you during Peacemakerprotector
Oh man, this costume is awesome. It was the last part of figuring out how I was going to start this journey with this character, because that costume was awesome. It sustains you in a certain way. It flows a certain way. Somehow it sings when you move with it. When I arrived on set, James had a lot of confidence in me, but all these people didn’t know me yet. We’re in this big scene in the final chapter of [Guardians of the Galaxy ], but at the end of the day, you have to turn off that noise and go back to what James originally hired my reason. That’s my job. I had to put aside the awe side and focus on being this really twisted character. So that’s great, but I’d say the magic of it is putting on that suit, flashing yourself in the mirror, and saying, “Okay, I’m an advanced evolutionary.”
I know you’re a very down-to-earth actor, so how do you deal with someone who actually plays God?
A large part of it is classical music. He lived his own opera. He is going through his own tragedy. So during the filming of Peacemaker, I listened to a lot of arias and operas while walking around Vancouver. Listening to that music took me to a very real place of solitude, and it was only when I was studying the script that I realized that this man was very specific to him. So that’s all I have to play. In fact, it’s psychological simply because of looking down on other simple beautiful people who don’t understand his mission.
James was helpful not only in writing what I would actually say, but in my acting. He’ll just say, “He’s serious. He’s not being sarcastic. He’s not being sarcastic. When he says, “I’m not trying to destroy the world; I’m just trying to destroy the world,” he’s serious. I’m trying to perfect it. Don’t pay attention to that. That’s what he means.” So that’s really key to how I play this guy, it’s as simple as that. It’s 100 percent believing that what I’m doing is the right thing to do, and nothing else matters.
He said he wants to improve society, do you think he can always find flaws? Will he keep moving the goalposts?
Absolutely. I can recognize it from the outside, but what he doesn’t know is that the opening is in him. He is very dissatisfied with himself and projects it externally. Says Rocket, “He doesn’t want things to be perfect; he just hates things the way they are.” That’s reflected in High Evolutionary, whether he knows it or not. I didn’t really try to figure it out, but the truth is he’s full of real self-hatred, and he’s projecting it outside. So you are right. He will always see flaws that need to be fixed. It never stops. It’s a tireless, never-ending pursuit, which is why I had this guy not sleeping in my head. He just doesn’t sleep. He believes that the work that needs to be done will not stop.
The phrase “perfect is the enemy of the good” probably won’t do much for this person.
Yeah, if he actually admitted it, he might stop. (laughs.) He had to tell himself what he told himself. In the film, his followers are almost religious. His work had a monastic following, and in his head, he thought, “This is the right way.” So it’s almost religious, it’s beyond science.
We learn a lot about him based on the way he makes a difference to another character who solves a problem he can’t reaction. What’s your take on his constant breakdown?
Well, this supports my idea that it all comes from self-loathing. It’s just not possible to say, “Here’s the solution to this problem, and this problem has been around for a long time,” and be happy. His inability to do that tells you a lot about him. If a shark stops swimming, it drowns. Well, with a guy like him and his psyche, he has to believe he’s working things out. This has nothing to do with actually finding the solution or stumbled upon it. If he stumbled across it, he might find it a terrible thing because it was by accident. He must consciously and explicitly address the problem and resolve it. Rather than the idea of him doing it making it imperfect, it’s the narcissism that exists within him.
Actors often say to defend their characters no matter what, but can you find any way to defend yourself? For such a sadistic person?
No, that’s it, I don’t think you have to defend your personality. I think you have to simply enjoy playing them. ( laughs .) So I don’t defend him. He is a sadist. His way of thinking takes us to some of the most terrifying periods in our history and humanity. People who think they know the right answer, people who want to purify, people who think they want to find perfection. So, no, I’m not going to defend him.
All I know is I love playing with him. I love digging into that side of humanity that we in society shouldn’t and shouldn’t. So it’s nice that I can do that with impunity and take it to the extreme and then finally help this story come to life. So I can’t defend him, but I can defend playing him because that’s the gift of the actor.
Because you have so many scenes with Rocket, were you closest to Sean Gunn when you were filming?
Yes, Sean is such a nice guy. It’s almost impossible not to get close to Sean because he’s such a sweetheart. He was very helpful and Sean was instrumental in handling the relationship between High Evolutionary and Rocket. I don’t always have to perform in front of tennis balls or stuffed rocket dolls. I actually acted in front of Sean and looked him in the eye. He could speak his lines and I could grab him, hold him, and have Rocket physically appear in front of me. This makes a big difference.
So working with him on Rocket was a great collaboration, he made it all happen, really. When James cast Sean as Rocket in previous films, he knew he would. Action is reaction. You can have all the thoughts in your head, but when you’re in a room with another actor, something happens. They watch you, they react to you, and you can’t practice at home no matter how much you prepare at home. So having Sean there to react was a real gift.
You mentioned to me earlier that you wanted to bring a little drama to the movie, I was in a Shakespearean monologue from High Evolutionary This is definitely felt. Do you feel you accomplished what you set out to do?
I think so. When I think of wicked acting, I think of actors like Gary Oldman, Peter O’Toole, and Alan Rickman, who have in common that they’re never afraid to bring drama to the camera. They understand, at least in the way I imagined, that acting isn’t about real life; it’s about truth. So you can make a character all you want, but you have to believe in it. As a result, they are able to push the boundaries of what we perceive as behavior because they are 100 percent committed and do so with complete honesty. So that’s what I mean by bringing the drama into it.
So there are aspects of this character that are so huge and so actionable. Like I said, he’s living his own opera, so I’m not going to try to downplay it. He had to push the boundaries in anger. Even in his stillness, he has to push the boundaries, and how still he is. So it’s important to be 100% committed to it, and to be honest, even if it’s big at times. So it’s a very fine distinction between truth and real life. I love the pursuit of character and truth. If you put those things together, people will trust you.
How do you pass the time when you’re done working on your Advanced Evolution’s prosthesis?
I honestly find it relaxing to touch my head and face, I usually sleep on a chair with.They do a really good job, but I wish they took longer sometimes, especially in When shooting in the morning. So I find it’s a very relaxing time to settle down and take a nap before the work really starts.
I have to compliment your line, “There is no God; that’s why I stepped in.”
(Iwuji offers a quiet version line.) “There is no God; that’s why I stepped in.” That’s my favorite line. If you’re looking for key quotes, you’ve found it. When you ask about getting into the role, it’s that
narcissistic single-mindedness. James was like, “You mean that. It’s not just you being angry. You mean ‘There’s no God; that’s why I stepped in.'” That’s the High Evolutionary T-shirt. (laughter.)
so you Ever half-jokingly whispered to James about the possibility of bringing the late Clemson Murn into the DCU?
Than the character we end up seeing in the final cut? Claudia Gerini’s character, Gianna, strips your character of her territory before John Wick assassinates her, a tribute to her brother Santino (Riccardo Scamarcio) ) obligations. And then we later see your character Mr. Akoni shaking hands with Santino, so they’ve been colluding?
No, they actually aren’t! Well, it’s not in the script, but I like the idea. We should give it to Chad Stahelski. (laughs.) Akoni does have a pretty big setup, and they had a hard time getting me over there to shoot. So, to be honest, there wasn’t much more of my character in that movie, but I still hope he will have more in the future. They could have a continental airline in Africa. That’s what I really thought at the time, because Akoni was the head of an African cartel. So, that’s pretty much what you’re seeing, but there’s a reason I keep wishing they kept me alive. So I need to work on the Chad Stahelski case.
I will do the same.