Kraglin In Cape Town
Images copyright Marvel and Disney

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’s’ Kraglin gives advice to young SA actors

10and5 caught up with Kraglin, from Guardians of the Galaxy fame, known here on earth as Sean Gunn, he shared this advice to share with aspiring actors… 

This is your first trip to South Africa? How is it different from your expectations? 

“It’s really beautiful here. I live on the coast in Southern California, and I’m surprised how much Cape Town actually reminds me of home and where I live. I’m sorry I can’t spend more time here but I’m between so many jobs now, I’m so busy, that I’m just in and out and I’ve only had one full day to explore. I’m going to make a point to come back and bring my wife and really get to see a bit more… But I got to see the penguins and that was important. 

You have a big family and most of them work in the industry, how did you get into the entertainment industry?

The interesting thing is, I have four brothers and one sister and all four my brothers are in the entertainment industry in some way or another but for the most part they are writers, they’re not all writers but most of them are… and I’m a performer. The interesting thing about our family is we all entered the industry from different angles. So, I wasn’t really following in anyone’s footsteps. 

I’m an actor and I’ve always been acting. My whole career trajectory was to be a professional actor and I went to school for it. So, I went to university to an acting school in Chicago and I started to work professionally and that’s when my siblings, who had always been creative and artistic in different ways, started to find their way towards the industry because that was what we were all drawn towards. But yes, it is very unusual, it is strange to have a big family from the middle of the US, in Missouri to have everyone end up in the entertainment industry but here we are.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Kraglin - Sean Gunn
Sean Gunn as Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Do you believe every actor needs that one ‘big break’ to make it big? 

Well, everyone will have something that feels like their big break if they make it. There will be one thing that feels like that but that is always in hindsight, it doesn’t necessarily feel like that at the time. 

If I look back over my 27-year career I would say Gilmore Girls was my big break, but it didn’t feel like that to me at the time. Gillmore Girls was the fourth big TV show I did in a row where I did one role and they asked me to come back to do more. I was already recurring on other shows, they just weren’t hits, but I didn’t know Gillmore Girls was going to be a hit and I didn’t even know I was going to recur. 

So, I came on the first episode, and it was cool, but it was just another TV show I did and even then, I thought it was a side job to what my big job was going to be. But then I ended up staying and I became a regular in Season 3 and so then that felt like now I’m becoming a serious regular on a TV show. You uplevel everything careerwise.

Advice to young actors in the industry? 

The main thing I would say is Finish what you start. You can’t move on to the next thing until you finish what you’re working on. Also, you want to not be too critical and keep making stuff. It’s not about you, it’s about the work and if you keep that the focus of your career, eventually you’ll get there

I think you do want some positive reinforcement that you have talent and that people like what you do. If you’re doing it for a long time and you’re not getting that reinforcement, then sometimes it’s good to sidestep into other parts of the industry. 

There are a lot of people, particularly in LA, who start as actors but end up producing or becoming casting directors. There is a whole industry of people who are in the business of storytelling, and they are not all performers. 

But if performing is your thing, keep doing it, do it as much as you can, you never know where the thing is going to be that is going to elevate you to the next level and a lot of the time it is just about the people you work with and who wants to work with you again.

10and5 caught up with Sean Gunn at the Cape Town Comic Con festival. The festival is still ongoing and the last day will be tomorrow, 1 May.