For 'Guardians' movie legend Kurt Russell it's always been about character, not ego

KurtRussell
Kurt Russell stars as Ego, the Living Planet, in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

LOS ANGELES - Kurt Russell has been making movies for more than 50 years and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may ened up the second biggest box office hit of his career - behind Furious 7.

In an exclusive interview, Russell said his career "has been a heck of a ride."

"It's been excellent," exclaimed the actor. "It can create a lot of whiplash, but I (have always) wanted to remain interested in this business and explore different genres and directors and characters - and try to create some memorable ones.

"Maybe sometimes it would be confusing and maybe sometimes it would be out of step and maybe sometimes it would be wonderfully fresh and new - which it has been in many instances," he continued. "Sometimes, they're found later. I don't know when they're found. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to have the fun of being in the Fast and Furious franchise and now this movie."

Russell plays Star-Lord's father, Ego.

"My hope is that these movies can hold up, like any other movie I do," he added. "I'm going to try and create a character that...(someone) will see many years later and go, 'I've never seen that! That's great! I really love that!'"

Russell said that he is sometimes amazed - and always appreciative - of how even younger audiences today seem to enjoy his older films.

"I've been fortunate that with TV and DVDs and tapes, different audiences have come around and recognized different abilities ... along with different genres that allow the audience to get emotionally involved."

He said Ego was special role for him.

"Every once in a while you have these fantastic things, you know? Crazy things ... big characters that you don't want to back off of (because) they're larger than life," he said. "I mean (how do you get bigger) than Ego, The Liveing Planet!? The most fun for me is in one film to play a character called Mr. Nobody and then the next character is called Ego, The Living Planet!"

While Russell admits this film will likely expose him to new fans, he said that has been true throughout his remarkable career.

"Yeah, I have different generations," he said. "I had TV generations. I had action generations. I had drama generations. I had revenge thrillers and now there's this one. There's a largeness to it, you know?"

He said embracing the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians is a challenge he was ready to meet.

"As an actor, I think it's really important as a criteria to understand the genre you're in and who your audience is going to be, and blend," he ssaid. "I've (never wanted to be in a position) where a director said, 'He doesn't belong in in a Western. He doesn't belong in science-fiction. He doesn't belong in suspense. He doesn't belong in noir. He doesn't belong in romantic comedies. He doesn't belong in broad comedies. He doesn't belong in black comedy, either.' You know? those are the things I wanted to do - and I had the opportunity to do them."

But Russell acknowledged that avoiding being typecast is not easy.

"I understand that we live in a world where, I think, not just studios - but reviewers and moviegoers - want to see something where they go, 'That's great! I love that! Now I want to see more of it!'

"I get that - but..it's not exactly what I want to do," he stressed. "I want to keep moving around. Because I always want to be excited by what I'm doing. As an actor you have to say, 'Okay, I'm pulling the wagon' and be relatable in a different way, because if I get tired of what I'm doing, other people are going to get tired of watching it."

Russell said that Disney films like Guardians do "have a special atmosphere" - and that he is thankful to director James Gunn and star Chris Pratt for bringing him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the father of Pratt's Star-Lord.

"James said, 'How about Kurt Russell?' and Chris said, 'Aw, I just don't think he'd do it', Russell revealed. "I often wonder why he said that, because I would do anything - especially something that harkens back to some of the way Chris is approaching this role!"

"But, in the end, I'm really happy they did it, because my first response was, 'Oh, yeah! I get it!' It fits perfectly!"