The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast crashed Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday.
Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell and Zoe Saldana popped by the late-night show to promote the Marvel Studios sequel (in theaters May 5). The group appearance came hours after James Gunn announced that he will write and direct a third film in the series.
When the first film in the franchise was released in August 2014—long before it earned $773.3 million at the global box office—audiences weren't as familiar with Drax the Destroy (Bautista), Star-Lord (Pratt), Yondu (Rooker) and Gamora (Saldana) as they were with other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "I remember overwhelming from people in the press, when we were promoting the first movie, the question they always asked was, 'So, you know...no one who's who the Guardians of the Galaxy are. Doesn't that freak you out? You might be Marvel's first big flop. Is that OK with you?'" Pratt recalled to host Jimmy Kimmel. "I got pretty nervous."
Expectations are higher for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is tracking to open north of $150 million in its debut weekend. For several cast members, making the movie was extra special, as their kids are now old enough to share in the experience. "Jack is 4 years old and he's just now starting to get it. That was my favorite memory from this movie," Pratt said. "My little guy got to come to set...We got to tour them around the Guardians spaceship. You saw it in his eyes. He thought, like, 'I've seen it on TV or in the movies, but I guess my dad really does fly a spaceship for work.' I was like, 'Yes, I do.'" Rooker said seeing Pratt's son and Gunn's nephew soaking it in was "absolutely adorable," adding, "You look at their eyes and they're like, 'Wow.'"
Saldana's 2-year-old twin boys, Bowie and Cy, were entranced by her green body paint. "My kids think that I'm related to The Hulk," she said. "So, I'm using it and I'm getting them to eat their vegetables. I even go as far as I go behind this wall and I'm like, 'I'm going to call The Hulk because you guys are not eating your veggies and he's going to come and take your toys. I go behind this wall and [growl] and they're like, 'No! No! No come, Hulk!' They eat their veggies!"
Speaking of families, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star-Lord finally meets his father, Ego (Russell). Adding him to the ensemble was a casting coup. "It was one of those things where I said, 'Let's shoot for the stars. Let's get, like, Kurt Russell or something. Since he probably wouldn't do it, who could we actually get?'" Pratt recalled, adding that his mind was blown when the living legend agreed to play the part. Russell, pretending to share a spoiler, said he was game for whatever: "When I read the script, I'm only in it for about 15 seconds and I die."
After a big laugh, Russell joked, "Oh, I shouldn't have said that!"
Keeping secrets can be tricky. So Kimmel, who'd screened the film before taping Monday's episode, asked, "For instance, can I say Sylvester Stallone was in the movie? Is that OK to say?"
Given that the news is out there, Pratt replied, "I think that's OK to say, yeah."
Later on, Kimmel hosted a game called "Guess the Guardian," explaining, "You've sensed the chemistry between them, you've seen the camaraderie between the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, but how much of that is real and how much is what they call 'show business bull-crap?'" He shared trivia facts, and they each had to write down who they thought he was talking about.
Here were Kimmel's questions:
• "This Guardian collects lunchboxes. Who is this Guardian?"
• "This Guardian was once suspended from school for making and deploying stink bombs. Who is this Guardian?"
• "In high school, this Guardian gave his teacher concrete and told her it was a piece of the Berlin Wall. Who is this Guardian?"
• "This Guardian chopped the tip of his or her finger off with a brick to win the love of a neighbor. Who is the Guardian who went to this stunning extreme?"
• "This Guardian lost his or her virginity in a pup tent in a neighbor's backyard. Who is the Guardian?"
Pratt, Russell and Saldana were tied by the end of the round, so Kimmel read a final question: "In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, how many times does Vin Diesel say, 'I am Groot?' How many times? Whoever gets closest is the winner." Watch the video to see which star won.