My Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Experience
My Facebook messenger app dinged and I saw the message asking if I was free on certain dates. The dates ran together with my arrival for my first Disney Social Media Moms Conference but I had a feeling I didn’t want to say no. I responded yes I was free and shortly after received an invite I never expected. Over the past fifteen months, I’ve shared about my Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 experience, that started from that message. After writing my last post for the Blu-ray release I decided I needed to put it all in one post.
I still can’t believe that it’s been over a year since I flew down to Atlanta in secret for one of the best press trips in my life. I spent a day and a half in Atlanta but we did so many amazing things during the visit. The hardest part about going on a secret set visit is keeping that secret. For months I’d find myself counting my Disney press trips and having to remember to leave one out. Finally, the teaser trailer dropped for GOTGVol2 and we got the green light to share a teaser about our trip.
Our first post was just a teaser to let people know we visited the set. It didn’t include any information about our visit or say anything about what we had done. The main theme was the teaser poster and trailer for the movie.
Our second post months later was about the set visit experience and our time chatting with Property Master Russell Bobbit and Producer Jonathan Schwartz. It was in this post I shared about the news of Kurt Russell being Quill’s biological father and the addition of Mantis to the cast. In addition to holding baby Groot, we also held some Lazer Cannons and Quad Blasters.
Set Visit Interviews
While on set we interviewed several of the talent from the film. Kurt Russell was a surprise addition, once he found out we were on set and he wasn’t on our list he specifically asked to speak with us.
Although we weren’t allowed to take photos with Zoe Saldana when we were on the set, we did talk to her for about ten minutes. It was one of the best interviews I’ve participated in. She was so down to earth and real. She was bummed about having to leave once our brief time was up. One of my favorite quotes from Zoe was about marriage.
Talk about everything, no assumptions, no reserved feelings. I love sharing this because I know this is a good routine where people can get information and feel identified through all of our similarities when it comes to the challenges that we face. Just last night, Marco says, ‘I understand we’re super busy, let’s practice still connecting, conversations. I don’t care what we’re talking about. If you’re in the bathroom while I’m in the shower, let’s share five things. It could be five anything. ‘ And I love, love that. You just have to constantly keep it open. Just because you’re so tired, you shouldn’t start getting lazy with the most important work in your life, which is your home, your life. – Zoe Saldana
Since meeting Dave Bautista on set, I’ve deemed him the gentle giant. For someone as large as he is, he has a very gentle personality. He’s soft spoken and at times appeared reserved. He’s nothing like his wrestling personality. He was excited about hanging out with us, as much as we were with him. He even took a photo of us with him on the set with his own phone.
When we interviewed Karen Gilman I didn’t even realize who she was until after the fact. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who you know she played Amelia Pond. I loved her in that show, but her makeup made her unrecognizable.
We were in Chris Pratt’s wardrobe before meeting him. We got up close and personal with Peter Quill’s outfits including his underwear. He shared a lot with us, even about how he keeps his son humble.
James Gunn wouldn’t let us leave set without chatting with us for a few minutes about the upcoming film. He actually took a break from filming to squeeze us in for about 10 minutes before we left the lot and finished up for the day.
One of my favorite interviews during the set visit was with Michael Rooker. He didn’t share much with us at all. He was actually very tight-lipped, but he did tell us about Kentucky Blue People, showed us the teeth he uses for this character and asked us a bunch of questions about where we were from and our blogs.
Walking the Red Carpet and Premiere Interviews
A few weeks after our set visit interviews were completed I received an invite to walk the red carpet for the premiere and to talk with more of the stars of the film. Of course, I said yes, I wanted to see the finished film and be able to talk to the stars about the finished movie and everything we had learned from our set visit.
Chris Pratt jumped right in talking to us about how he felt about the film. A bulk of our conversation revolved around the Star-Lord and Ego plot. We talked to him about his family and how he hoped the film would be received well by audiences. He ended by touching on his faith and even gave a nod to Russell Wilson.
Our interview with Karen Gillan “Nebula”, Pom Klementieff “Mantis”, and Elizabeth Debicki “Ayesha” was so inspirational. It was awesome sitting down with these ladies and hearing them talk about being positive role models for girls. Their passion for working in strong female roles. Each shared their personal stories about getting attached to the film and their hopes for future films.
Dave Bautista is one of the gentlest people I’ve ever met. He’s soft-spoken and surprisingly nothing like his wrestling personality. He shared with us about his hope that people liked the film and how he worried he wouldn’t be funny. If you’ve seen the film you know just how funny his character Drax was in the film. I’m hoping in future films we learn more about Drax’s backstory and learn about his family.
When we interviewed Michael Rooker this time he was with Sean Gunn. They talked to us about the ravagers and changing their course during the movie and working with the Guardians.
For the second time, Zoe Saldana captivated us with her personality. I love sitting down with her and talking about being a mother, a sister, a wife, and a working woman. She was very open and honest during our interview and shared about her personal family life, even talking about how she uses her time in makeup to call her family back in the Dominica Republic. At the end, she wasn’t ready to leave, which makes out time with her even more special.
When we talked with Kurt Russell on the set of the movie, we were all in the dark about his character. Once we sat down with him during this interview my feelings towards his character had changed. He did, however, share a lot with us about how he got into the MCU and how they were able to achieve the de-aging look in the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
James Gunn walked in the room with Kevin Feige and was super excited to be chatting with the bloggers. He declared this was his favorite interview and shared with us how much he loved talking with us about the movie. He even shared with us the scoop on Miley Cyrus cameo in the film and the music for the new Guardians of the Galaxy Ride in Disneyland.
For all you’re Guardians of the Galaxy fans, I shared a cool post about the new consumer products available for purchase. My kids loved getting these goodies when I got back home from the event. Be sure to check out some for your holiday shopping.
During my D23 Expo trip, we received an unexpected surprise interview with Karen Gillian and Pom Klementieff about the upcoming in-home release on Disney Digital and Blu-ray. It was so cool talking to them backstage after the Marvel presentation.
We received an early copy of the Blu-ray to review and I was excited about being able to watch the movie over and over again. I shared my thoughts on the film and the special behind the scenes look at making the film.
This world wind experience came to an end with a special package from Walt Disney Studios, inside was a Rocket Backpack, and Groot Notebook and a copy of the movie on Blu-ray. Thanks to Disney for the invitation and the amazing opportunity to visit the set, walk the red carpet and sneak behind the stage at D23 Expo. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity.