Robert Downey Jr. Was James Gunn’s Gold Standard For Casting Star-Lord In Guardians Of The Galaxy

In a 2014 interview with Movie Guide, James Gunn talked about the casting process for Peter Quill, the main character of the “Guardians” films. Gunn would describe searching far and wide for the right person to bring Quill to life, auditioning all sorts of actors, unknown or otherwise. The guiding light for the director was the inspired casting of “Iron Man,” who he saw as an unconventional choice that not only stayed true to the spirit of the comics but also brought his unique angle to the character:

“We had screen tested 20 people of big stars and no names looking for the right person because I really wanted someone who could embody this character and take it beyond what was on the page, the same way Robert Downey Jr. did with Iron Man.”

Eventually, it was Chris Pratt’s audition that resonated with Gunn the most. The director would describe how he was immediately sold by Pratt’s interpretation of the character, distinctly because of how comfortably the actor had made the character his own:

“Nobody blew me away. Plenty of people were really good. Maybe some people were great, but nobody blew me away. Then, Chris came in and started to read, and this is 100% true, that within 20 seconds, I was like, ‘That’s the guy!’ That’s who we’ve been looking for. He had this thing that was himself.”

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