WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Imagine you’re an actor. You get a call from your agent one day and find out you’re going to be the star of James Gunn’s next movie. You’re excited, but then you find out your character is a dog. Are you still excited?
Maria Bakalova was. In fact, during the press conference for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 the Academy Award-nominated actress revealed that learning she would be playing a dog made her “even more” excited.
Bakalova plays Cosmo the Space Dog in Vol. 3, a character who first made an appearance in Vol. 1, but wasn’t officially canonized as a member until last year’s Holiday Special.
“To be honest, when I was auditioning for the part, I was like, “How can I play this?” And it
was so interesting, because you can [dare] to be a little bit more over the top because she’s a puppy and she has more energy,” Bakalova said.
Despite her excitement, Bakalova didn’t expect to physically be on set for the role. She was happy to just be supplying the voice of Cosmo. But when she found out that she could be on-set in a motion caputre suit, she was excited.
She said the experience was reminiscent of being a child, “I [used] my imagination to be like, ‘Okay, today I’m going to be a dog. Tomorrow I will be a flower. The next day, I’m going to be a butterfly,” she said.
She reflected on the entire experience by saying that it made her realize how we lose our imagination as adults. “We tend to forget about imagination when we grow up,” she said. She described the feeling of regaining that creativity “incredible.”
When asked if she watched dogs for inspiration, the actress replied, “ABSOLUTELY.”
“I was trying to speak with them, bark with them, [I was] on my knees and I enjoyed playing in the
James Gunn lauded Bakalova’s performance and her commitment to the role she arrived to the set two whole days early ready to work.
He said that even when she wasn’t working, she would come to the set just to watch the actors.
“She would come, [do] her bit as Cosmo. And then she [would sit] with me all day long,” he revealed. “So, even though she’s not the biggest character in the movie, I spent more time with Maria than almost anybody here.”
And for those wondering if she’s as wonderful to be around as Cosmo, Gunn confirmed, “She is an absolute joy to be around in every way – unlike Nathan [Fillion].”
Last we saw the Guardians was during Thor: Love and Thunder, where Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket (Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) were joined by Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as they search for Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who disappeared following the final battle with Thanos and his army.
In Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
Will Poulter (The Revenant) also joins the cast this time around as Adam Warlock, with Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji as the villainous High Evolutionary.
Guardians of the Galaxy is in theaters now.