Marvel has used CGI to de-age their actors in a few of their movies, and Kurt Russell’s appearance in the prologue of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 made use of these same techniques. However, what you might not know is that Marvel was able to use a variation of their tricks to make Russell look like he did back in 1980.
In a recent chat with Yahoo Movies, Russell revealed that he was able to convince Marvel Studios that his long-time makeup partner, Dennis Ledger, would be able to help in making him appear younger while also cutting costs:
“Dennis Ledger said to these guys ‘I can age him down, kinda shockingly so.’ He said, ‘I gotta lot tricks in my bag too. I know that you’re thinking of CGI and I know there’s going to be some of that involved…’, so they said ‘Anything you can do to help in that regard would be great.’”
Russell also noted that a big part of the experience boils down to actually acting the part of his younger self:
“You’ve got to give the actor the opportunity to just play young in that regard… It’s very hard to do but it’s a lot of fun, and when you see the result I think it’s a lot more natural.”
The visual effect that Marvel was able to pull off was impressive, but Russell is wise to note that there’s more to it than just that. The 66-year-old actor managed to pull off being 29 again pretty convincingly, which is what makes the flashback work as well as it does.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is playing in theaters right now. The film stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, and Kurt Russell as Ego. Many of these same characters are set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, its sequel, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3.
Source: Yahoo! Movies