Not long after Disney severed ties with writer/director James Gunn in July, actress Glenn Close said that she "had a wonderful time" working with the filmmaker on the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, where she portrayed Nova Corps leader Irani Rael.
Now Close is expounding on her original comments, thanks to an in-depth interview she did with Empire Magazine for the publication's October issue (now on sale).
“It’s hard to think of [Guardians of the Galaxy] without him. It’s sad," she said. "And it brings up, I think, some very tricky issues around this movement ... What are we going to do, go back to our pasts and make sure that everything we said was politically correct? Who can live like that? I just feel that there’s something wrong about that. We are very flawed creatures. Look at what we’re doing to our f***ing world ... You have somebody that actually has the creative energy to create something like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s a flawed human being. He was a, you know, cocky a**hole back then, and was saying things to provoke people. Does that negate him as an artist? I don’t think so. I personally do not think so. Or else we’re taking down buildings and paintings — you know, take down all the Picassos, he treated women terribly. If it’s going to be a lasting cultural revolution, which is a big change, if … We’ve got to take into consideration human nature.”
Close also recalled her time spent making the first movie, explaining that it was like fulfilling a childhood fantasy.
"I always wanted to be in a movie like that," she said. "And I have to say, James Gunn was fantastic. He was lovely. And what I really thought was extraordinary about him is that in a movie that was storyboarded up the wazoo, because you have to with so many special effects, I never felt I was being pushed into something that had already been worked on in that sense, somehow.”
Gunn was removed as director from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after a collection of his decade-old tweets, involving jokes about rape and pedophilia, were brought back into the spotlight. The tweets were unearthed by alt-right blogger Mike Cernovich, who set his sights on Gunn due to the filmmaker's left-leaning political views and criticisms of Donald Trump, which Gunn often expressed via Twitter.
Close talked about the current American political climate leading to the downfall of Gunn, stating: "We’re in a savage part of time in our history in America. It’s deeply upsetting.”
Despite a lengthy apology from Gunn, in which he talked about how much he had matured as a person since writing those provacative tweets, Disney remained firm on its termination. Celebrity after celebrity then came to the director's aid, voicing their support on social media, with some of them even leaving Twitter in protest. Some of the most vocal people have been Dave Bautista, Selma Blair, and Michael Rooker. The entire Guardians cast also released an open letter asking for Gunn to be re-hired for Vol. 3, which was set to start filming this winter.
After a fan petition and several reports/rumors that there was still a chance of Gunn returning, it was confirmed that Disney would not recant its stance. A meeting between Gunn and Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn as well as support from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige could not save the situation. Finally, the third Guardians movie was put on indefinite hold and the crew dismissed.