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James Gunn Has High Praise for Chukwudi Iwuji

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 star Chukwudi Iwuji got some serious praise from James Gunn. The director of the MCU trilogy told Variety that the actor’s talent stacks up to beloved names like Benicio Del Toro and Viola Davis. While Iwuji might not garner the same kinds of accolades like those two do, fans have absolutely been raving about his skills in both Peacemaker and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. For his part in the swan song for the Marvel heroes, he plays an absolutely detestable figure that gives audiences a chance to root against a wildly evil villain.

“He was, along with Viola Davis and Margot Robbie and Benicio Del Toro and a few others, one of the best actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Gunn told Variety in email. “I had a feeling Chuk could bring something unique to the role.”

“I jokingly said to him, ‘James, is this when you tell me that you actually had meant to hire Chiwetel Ejiofor, and you got our names mixed up?’ He said, ‘Actually, what I want is for you to be the main villain in “Guardians of the Galaxy 3.”‘” Iwuji said in a daze. “It was like that moment in ‘The Simpsons’ when you confuse Homer Simpson, and he just sort of blinks. I just kept staring at him.”

How Did Iwuji Craft The High Evolutionary’s Character? managed to speak to the actor after the Marvel Studios panel in Hall H at Sa Diego Comic-Con. In the conversation we had with Iwuji, he explained that he didn’t want the villain to tip into full-scale villainy. Instead, there had to be a balance achieved between being despicable, but not so far from the shore that audiences couldn’t wrap their head around him.

“I think you’ve got sort of a nice range of the charming, crazy, arrogant, dangerous sociopath … I don’t know how else to describe him, but he’s all those things.” He observed, “I think one of the things [James Gunn] said to me is that this guy, he’s a very powerful, villain but I need you to to to ground him … It should be sort of weird that, yes, he’s a Marvel villain, but I need him grounded, so I think he’s he sort of crosses genres. There’s something of the James Bond villain in him, there’s something of the mad scientist in him, there’s something of a Marvel villain in him, and then there’s something — and I say because my background is Shakespeare — there’s something of King Lear going mad in him, and Richard III. It really straddled all the parts of my career that I enjoyed and I could bring to the role.”

Did you hate The High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Let us know in the comments down below!

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