While not quite as beloved as its predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 became a major critical and financial success.
Building off the best elements of the first film, the sequel proved itself an imaginative, hilarious, and surprisingly emotional superhero movie.
Familiar characters like Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Yondua were made even better while fascinating new characters like Mantis, Ego, and Ayesha were added to the mix as well.
Despite being released only a year before the highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War, the movie wisely acted as more of a personal story for the Guardians rather than mainly acting as setup for future instalments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The mystery of Star-Lord’s father was only a piece of what made this story so personal and emotional for old and new characters alike.
For a movie so expansive in scope and featuring such eclectic characters, behind-the-scenes photos provide rare insight into the making of the film.
These photos can reveal how some of the most important and complicated scenes were filmed. Some of the intricate makeup, costume, and hair design is also showcased.
These elements were particularly important in a movie like this from major characters like Gamora to background characters that are only briefly onscreen like the Love Bots. Also, the photos hint at dynamics between many of the actors, some of which are amusingly similar to their characters while others are a stark contrast.
Let’s launch into space and reveal the 30 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
30 Father-Son Bonding Time In Between Takes
Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell developed an excellent chemistry between their characters. Their joy of finally getting to spend time together and getting to know one another was palpable.
Audiences felt happy for both characters, making it all the more crazy and devastating to later learn of Ego’s true intentions.
That chemistry wasn’t just developed when the camera was rolling, though. Kurt Russell had fun playing with Peter’s guns – known as Quad Blasters – in between takes.
Chris Pratt seems to be having just as much fun watching as Russell is having playing with the props.
29 Gamora In The Air
This behind-the-scenes photo demonstrates how physically taxing filming certain scenes can be.
Being elevated into the air by supports at a precise angle is only one kind of challenge, made more complicated by needing to move and passionately act as directed while suspended.
It requires not only supreme acting talent, but also superb physical shape and being unfazed by heights in this kind of situation.
Zoe Saldana brings all these factors to the table, making her the perfect fit for Gamora not only in this film, but also in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and in Avengers: Infinity War.
28 The New Guardians
The Guardians of the Galaxy team received an important roster update in the sequel.
Along with the five fan-favorites established in the first movie, the sequel added Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis to the team as they all worked together to defeat Ego and foil his expansion across the galaxy.
The three new additions wouldn’t exactly be described as calm individuals – especially not Yondu and Nebula – but in this picture the actors playing them are pretty chill.
They all look pretty happy too, and we like to think it has something to do with their characters uniting with the Guardians for the epic finale.
At the very least, Yondu and Nebula’s blue faces next to one another is a cool sight to see.
27 Ayesha’s Gown
The Sovereign people made sure Ayesha’s gown didn’t touch the snowy ground when they sought out Yondu on the planet Contraxia. The humorous moment plays off well in conveying the snootiness of Ayesha and the Sovereign.
While it’s a meant to be funny, it’s almost understandable when witnessing the intricate design of the golden gown.
Perhaps its because the her getup is so constraining, but Elizabeth Debicki seems to be channeling Ayesha even when the cameras aren’t rolling, proudly standing tall and ornate as four individuals work at her feet.
It turns out she had people attending her needs both on and off screen.
26 Making Star-Lord Fly
Star-Lord flying ends up looking pretty seamless onscreen. It’s easy to forget that he’s not really out there flying among the stars.
It’s actually an involved process. As one would expect, there are supports that hoist the actor into the air and it’s filmed in a blue screen setting.
What this picture showcases and what some might not know is the work that’s done on the ground to control the movements and make such flying possible.
In the end it looks less like Star-Lord flying and more like a Star-Lord puppet on strings.
25 Stunt Doubles
Stunt doubles are integral to an action-packed movie like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In addition to performing the film’s many stunts, they also need to wear the same makeup and costumes as their characters.
In a picture like this they end up looking almost like a perfect cosplay, as close as possible to looking like their characters without actually being them.
This is not the only film where Tony McFarr has performed as Chris Pratt’s stunt double. He’s also worked with Pratt in Jurassic World, Passengers, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
The work that McFarr and the other stunt doubles undertake is an art that often goes unappreciated.
It’s right to give them some love for their critical contributions in creating Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
24 Filming An Action Scene
This behind-the-scenes photo offers a fantastic look at filming the scene where Nebula arrives on planet Ego, her ship firing mercilessly upon her sister Gamora.
While a lot of blue screen was understandably used to create such a cosmic film, the red, dusty surface of the planet was actually physically created for this scene.
As special effects caused the explosions behind them, Zoe Saldana and the cameramen had to dash across the surface.
Knowing those explosions were actually happening behind Saldana makes Gamora’s run seem all the more realistic when re-watching the film.
23 “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy”
Perhaps the most iconic scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is when Yondu tells Peter “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy.”
Yondu then proceeds to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save Peter’s life.
This emotional scene serves as the culmination of Yondu’s rich character development and his relationship with Peter, and might just be the most important scene in the whole movie.
As such, Chris Pratt and Michael Rooker carefully rehearsed every beat of it, even down to the exact way Yondu would carry Peter as they ascended from the exploding planet Ego.
They certainly nailed it as the scene still brings both children and adults alike to tears, even when re-watching the film.
22 A Small Taste Of The Impressive Props
The man in the middle of this picture is Russell Bobbitt, the film’s Property Master. He is given the film’s script and uses it to determine what kind of props will be needed.
This picture features the array of guns used in the movie, all of which Bobbitt and his team designed, manufactured, and engineered from scratch.
The equipment is heavier than it looks, meaning it’s also more difficult to hold than fans might imagine.
Right there is a new appreciation for all the scenes during which the characters are lugging around these weapons.
Also, the picture should help fans appreciate the quantity and quality of props created for the film. Only the guns are featured here. Imagine all the other props that Bobbitt and his team worked tirelessly to create and repair.
21 Taserface’s Partial Makeup
Taserface’s name is one of the movie’s running jokes, a name meant to inspire fear yet found to be hilarious by everyone from Rocket Raccoon to the Sovereign.
The finished look of Taserface intentionally looks somewhat ridiculous.
This picture of the makeup and hair partially done doesn’t look ridiculous, though. It actually looks kind of scary. If Taserface had looked like this, perhaps he would have succeeded in inspiring more fear in others.
The sheer level of detail is impressive here, especially considering that it’s only part of the intricate finished look of Taserface.
20 Chillin’ Like A Villain
Peter and Ego are overjoyed to find one another in the film, father and son together at last and bonding over their unique gifts.
Gamora urges Peter to give his father a chance, until she realizes something is terribly amiss, eventually leading to the dark truth of Ego and what he plans for Peter.
In this photo the actors playing those characters are just normal people chilling on the set, though.
Just like when Mantis puts his character Ego into a deep sleep, Kurt Russell has nodded off while Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt play on their phones.
Just like any regular person, sometimes actors need a few moments to themselves to recharge.
19 Drax’s Makeup Team
Drax’s makeup is among the most noticeable for its distinctive style and because it’s constantly on display.
Dave Bautista certainly wears it well, but it’s thanks to these four gentlemen that the look is pulled off in the first place.
Some actors might find it tedious to undertake such an extensive makeup process.
Bautista has talked about in the past that he actually enjoys the process as all he has to do is sit there while the makeup team does the work as they listen to music, and share some good laughs and conversation.
Over the course of two movies he’s certainly grown close with his team and appreciates their exemplary work that helps bring his character to life.
18 Kids On Set
A parent’s job never ends. Even in her full makeup and costume on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Zoe Saldana found that to be the case.
Having her kids visit on the set was likely a lot of fun, though. In fact, it’s probably one of the most exciting versions of take your child to work day.
The kids do seem impressively calm and unfazed considering that their mother’s skin is green.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Saldana revealed that her kids think she’s related to the Incredible Hulk and she’s using that to her advantage by convincing them to eat their vegetables.
17 Selfie Game
You’d think Michael Rooker would be eager to take a picture with the legendary Sylvester Stallone, but it seems both he and Stallone were more focused on perfecting their selfie game.
It is also an amusing dynamic to witness because of their characters’ relationship in the movie.
Stallone’s character Stakar was bitterly disappointed in Yondu for breaking the Ravager code. As much as it hurt Stakar, he exiled Yondu, even though Yondu felt he deserved “a seat at the table.”
It was only after Yondu’s sacrifice that Stakar felt he was redeemed. This even inspired Stakar to reunite his old Ravagers team in a post-credits scene.
Apparently selfies are the most important part of the Ravager code, though.
16 Love Bots Design
The Love Bots only appear early on in the movie when Yondu and his Ravagers are spending their time among them in exile.
The scenes focus on how Yondu has lost his way, as he’s exiled by Stakar and his leadership is questioned by Taserface and other members of his once trusted crew.
This makes it difficult to appreciate just how intricate the makeup and designs were for the Love Bots.
When creating the design of the Love Bots, the movie’s Department Head and Makeup Designer John Blake strove to bridge the gap between editorial and prosthetic makeup, an in-depth process that ultimately made for a fantastic look.
15 Sleepy Taserface and Kraglin
The Ravagers Taserface and Kraglin are pretty riled up for much of the movie.
Taserface’s frustration with Yondu’s leadership leads to a vicious mutiny during which Yondu is imprisoned and those still loyal to him are jettisoned into space.
Upset by what they did to his friends and feeling what happened was wrong, Kraglin helps Yondu get revenge against Taserface and the others who mutinied against their rightful captain.
When not filming, even though they’re fully costumed, the actors playing Taserface and Kraglin–Chris Sullivan and Sean Gunn – are a bit sleepy, Gunn appearing as though he’s already napping and Sullivan easing his way into one.
It’s such a calm and mundane photo, made more amusing given the natures of their characters in the film and Sullivan’s extravagant Taserface makeup.
14 Goofing Off Before An Emotional Scene
This photo shows Michael Rooker and Chris Pratt laughing and trading banter, even though they are about to film the scene in which Yondu sacrifices his life in order to save Peter.
It’s a bit strange to look at as Rooker and Pratt are about to be hoisted into the air during such an incredibly intense and emotional scene.
Sometimes humor is the best way to prepare for something serious and emotional, not to mention that it’s the final scene their characters would share together.
Rooker and Pratt also likely found humor with how Yondu carries Peter as they ascend.
13 Gamora’s Makeup
Zoe Saldana rocks the green-skinned look of Gamora and makes it look natural. It’s not an easy process, though.
This photo provides a glimpse of how the green makeup is applied to Saldana’s skin. It’s an extensive process, masterfully executed by the makeup team and requiring a great deal of patience from Saldana.
Sitting there for so long while globs of the makeup are applied is probably not the most comfortable or fun experience.
It may look a little icky and certainly not glamorous in this photo, but the final product pays off as the green skin ends up looking so authentic on the big screen.
12 Throne And Gown As One
This photo provides an excellent look at the intricate design of the Sovereign’s High Priestess Ayesha.
Her gown and throne were intended to work together as one object for this scene, which meant the movie’s costume designer Judianna Makovsky and production designer Scott Chambliss needed to collaborate on creating that single object.
Their design was created around the body of Elizabeth Debicki, the actress portraying Ayesha.
This photo offers perhaps the most insight into how the gown and throne worked in unison as one object to bring Ayesha to life.
11 Reference Pieces
Baby Groot mostly becomes a visual reality through computer graphics, but a physical reference piece of how exactly he would look was also created.
The same is true for Rocket Raccoon, whose physical reference piece is also pictured here.
The film’s director, in addition to the actor playing Kraglin – Sean Gunn – sometimes captured the movements of the characters alongside the human actors as well, using their movements as a reference or template when creating the characters via computer graphics.
It’s important to realize that even in an age of CGI and other advanced film technologies, physical designs still play a role.
10 Ravagers In The Woods
In an everyday setting, the Ravagers and other characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy films would look out of place with their outlandish makeup, costumes, and hair designs.
On the set of one of these movies, though, it’s the folks dressed like everyday people that look out of place.
That’s what makes this photo so entertaining as Yondu’s Ravagers look like they belong while the cameraman wearing a sweater and jeans looks like the odd man out.
At a certain point everyone must get used to the fact that some individuals on the set look like they could be anyone on the streets while others are aliens brought to life from the pages of Marvel Comics.
9 Gamora’s Selfie
Gamora was once an assassin for Thanos, known to many as the deadliest woman in the galaxy.
Even after forsaking Thanos and joining the Guardians of the Galaxy she often remained distant and stoic.
That is quite the contrast with this picture where Zoe Saldana takes a selfie of herself in complete Gamora makeup, costuming, and hair.
It’s an amusing idea to think of Gamora walking around the Guardians’ ship when no one is looking, winking as she takes selfies.
It would certainly come as a shock and something that Peter Quill would definitely enjoy knowing.
8 The Patience Side Of Movie Makeup
Keeping still and remaining patient takes on a whole new meaning when looking at this picture.
Shortly before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters, Zoe Saldana posted a Twitter video that compressed the three hour makeup process into a 38 second montage.
The fast-paced video might make it seem like it’s not taking that long. Actually living through it is another matter entirely.
Playing Gamora may be a lot of fun, but the makeup process can actually be quite tedious.
Saldana and her makeup team deserve credit for their patience, attention to detail, and flawlessly executing the look for each and every day of filming.
7 Sylvester Stallone Gets A Picture With Taserface
When sharing the set with a star like Sylvester Stallone, you have to take a picture together. Chris Sullivan was certainly of that mindset as he took a picture with Stallone.
The picture is even more memorable than it could’ve been because of Sullivan’s distinctive makeup, hair, and costume as Taserface.
It’s also intriguing to see Taserface and Stallone’s character Stakar together as they are both Ravagers whose actions are driven by disappointment in Yondu.
Stakar is disappointed because Yondu broke the Ravager code, while Taserface is disappointed for Yondu going soft, especially where the Guardians of the Galaxy were concerned.
Yondu proved them both wrong. The retaliation against Taserface’s mutiny proved Yondu was anything but soft.
Yondu’s final actions also proved himself an honorable Ravager, redeeming himself in the eyes of Stakar.
6 Yondu’s Sacrifice
It can be difficult to nail a film’s most important, intense, and emotional scenes.
That challenge can become even greater when the actors have to execute the scene while dangling by supports in the air.
These factors don’t seem to faze Chris Pratt or Michael Rooker at all as they make the scene one of the most memorable not just in this movie, but throughout all of the stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Pratt’s facial expression is a key component of selling his character’s shock and anguish as Yondu makes the ultimate sacrifice.
5 Run, Gamora, Run
This picture can help fans appreciate how difficult it is to make an action scene feel authentic.
Zoe Saldana is surrounded by a blue screen rather than the visual wonder audiences see during this part of the film.
She has to run with all the intensity in the world while the camera is quite close to her face.
These may seem like small things, but they could be obstacles in preventing a scene like this from feeling natural.
Zoe Saldana proves she’s more than up to the challenge as she brings everything she’s got and more, resulting in every Gamora scene feeling genuine in the final version of the film.
4 The True Side Of Nebula
Nebula is the last kind of person you’d expect to take a selfie.
Perhaps no point drives that home better in the movie than when Kraglin asks her what she’s going to do with her share of money.
She responds with a tirade of the agony she was put through as a child and how she’s going to slay her sister Gamora and then brutally annihilate Thanos. Kraglin replies that he was thinking something more along the lines of a pretty necklace or nice hat.
That’s what makes it so funny to see Karen Gillan – in complete Nebula makeup and costume – taking a lighthearted selfie.
It turns out that both daughters of Thanos can be full of surprises.
3 Chris Pratt’s Omaze Experience
A couple months before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released, Chris Pratt teamed up with Omaze to offer a lucky fan a special behind-the-scenes experience.
The winner was able to tour the set of Star-Lord’s ship the Milano, receive an awesome mixtape, and have lunch with Pratt himself.
Pratt brought his trademark enthusiasm and hilarity to Omaze’s video.
As if there already wasn’t enough excitement for the movie, the hype was built up even further with the opportunities presented, allowing one fan to engage with Pratt and step aboard the Milano before the film came into theaters.
2 Gamora And Mantis As Buddies
Gamora and Mantis are not buddies for most of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
When Mantis tries to touch Gamora to experience her emotions like she did with Peter Quill and Drax, Gamora says the only thing Mantis will feel if she touches her will be a broken jaw. Gamora later grew suspicious of Mantis, believing her to be hiding the truth about Ego.
In this photo Gamora and Mantis both look sweet and like the best of friends, though.
Mantis actually is pretty sweet. Gamora can be, but tends to hide that side of herself for the most part.
It’s always fun to see the difference in dynamics between actors in real life and their onscreen characters.
1 Ravagers Group Selfie
These are not the characters Yondu would be eager to take a group selfie with after the events of the movie.
Pictured here are some of the Ravagers who participate in the mutiny against Yondu and who he dispatches in return with the help of his trusted whistle-controlled Yaka Arrow, Rocket Raccoon, Baby Groot, and Kraglin.
Michael Rooker appears to be staying in character while the traitorous Ravagers are being goofy.
Rooker wears a bit of a sinister expression on Yondu’s face, teasing the retribution that will come against those who foolishly decided to side with the backstabbing Taserface.
What’s your favorite behind-the-scenes photo from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Let us know in the comments!