James Gunn is famed for collaborating with a regular troupe of actors and crew members on multiple projects, and his future slate is going to be no different.
HBO Max series Peacemaker sees Steve Agee appear in his fifth Gunn-backed effort, while the filmmaker’s real-life partner Jennifer Holland is working on her third following superhero-inspired horror Brightburn, and last year’s DCEU blockbuster The Suicide Squad.
Chukwudi Iwuji is the latest name to have been added to the Gunn repertory, with the actor being cast in a major Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 role while Peacemaker was still in production, and the two have been lavishing praise on each other anytime the opportunity presents itself.
Last summer, Gunn named Iwuji as one of his favorite actors that he’d ever worked with, putting him up there with The Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie, and Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Glenn Close. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 47 year-old gushed over being held in such high esteem.
“Wow. When it was announced I was going to be in Guardians 3, I sent him a message that said, “Thank you for not only opening the door, but practically kicking it off the hinges for me.” Because as an actor, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how good you think you are. Until you find that person who’s ready to take you and take that gamble, ultimately, it’s a subjective choice. You might never get a chance to show what you can really do.
And somehow, the universe, God, whatever you believe in, has brought me across James Gunn and we work. I feel it’s a true collaboration. He’s already made me a better actor. He’s certainly made me a bigger actor, as it were, with the profile of the stuff we’re doing. So his endorsement means a great deal to me. In this world of subjectivity, in this world of luck, in this world of timing and all the other things that come into it, talent only accounts for 10% or 20%, at most. So to be getting these opportunities means a great deal to me. It really does.”
Iwuji’s reserved, dignified gravitas has offered a solid balance to the wild and wacky antics that have defined the rest of the Project Butterfly team in Peacemaker so far, and Gunn is set to be directly responsible for taking the previously-unheralded star’s career to new heights.