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How to become an actor, according to stars from Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy

The accomplished actor had some sage advice for those trying to make it in a creative field.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 still
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Michael Rooker has some important advice for those aspiring to success in a creative field: "Make sure you get paid." The sage wisdom was delivered during a New York Comic Con 2023 panel that featured four other actors who appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Rooker (Yondu) offered the wisdom when he, Karen Gillan (Nebula), Sean Gunn (Rocket Raccoon), Chukwudi Iwuji (The High Evolutionary) and Pom Klementieff (Mantis) were asked to share their best piece of advice for aspiring creatives.

Klementieff encouraged creators to broaden their horizons, suggesting they watch international films, read and maintain their curiosity. "Work hard, train hard, try and be healthy," said Klementieff. "And you can create by yourself with your phone... There's so many ways to be creative and to keep creating in your own way. There's not one particular way to follow."

Gunn suggested creators maintain a sense of perspective. "It's not about you," he said. "Your work needs to be about connecting to other people. And about understanding how people behave and telling stories about that. Your ego, most of the time, only gets in the way of being able to tell those stories."

Iwuji advised creators not to "start at the end." Citing possible goals like appearing in a Marvel movie or on Broadway, or writing a blockbuster, Iwuji advised creators to remember that these accomplishments represent the "end." He elaborated, "You forget, that's your endpoint, right? Remember what you have to do beforehand." While creators place importance on the end goal, Iwuji emphasized that repetition and honing one's craft are essential steps for ascending the ladder to creative success.

Gillan advised creators not to be afraid to fail, echoing advice she has offered on a previous panel.

However, Rooker in particular did not mince words when his time to speak arrived. "This is a very common question, and I know there are a lot of ways of answering it, but I try to keep it as simple as possible," said Rooker. "Just remember: everything you put on your phone and put on the internet no longer belongs to you. You're not going to get paid for it. So, why waste your time? Your work is your work."

True to his word, Rooker summed up his advice with a simple conclusion: "You gotta make sure, when you get a job - and you will get jobs - make sure you get paid."

If you want to hear all of the advice for yourself, you can do so right now here at Popverse by clicking this link and viewing the entire panel.

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About the Author
Avery Kaplan avatar

Avery Kaplan

Contributing writer

Avery lives and writes in Southern California. She is the co-author of Double Challenge: Being LGBTQ and a Minority with her spouse, Rebecca Oliver Kaplan. Avery is Features Editor at Comics Beat, and you can also find her writing on StarTrek.com, The Gutter Review, Geek Girl Authority, and in the margins of the books in her personal library.

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