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GOTG 3: Chukwudi Iwuji's Evil Performance Was Made Easier By A Lack Of Real Animals

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" star Chukwudi Iwuji takes his turn at bat as the unspeakable villain known as the High Evolutionary. If the trailers are any indication, to say nothing of the comics, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his team are going to face off against a true monster in the final installment of James Gunn's trilogy. It seems like Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), in particular, has a bone to pick with the new baddie. Judging from the footage, the High Evolutionary has a sick affinity for animal cruelty. But Iwuji was able to pull off the sadism permeating his character thanks to the lack of any real animals on set.

"What was helpful was that I was working with Sean Gunn a lot as opposed to any animals, so I was interacting with another actor," Iwuji said in an exclusive interview with Comic Book. "But I have to say, the first time I saw — I was doing an ADR or something and I saw a scene with Rocket's eyes, I literally saw my dog's eyes...I saw his face, and I was like, 'I am going to Hell' when I saw that."

The Guardians have faced off against some powerful adversaries in the past, including Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Peter's planetary father Ego (Kurt Russell), and the snap-happy Thanos (Josh Brolin) himself. But the High Evolutionary might just make fans cringe and squirm in their seats the most when "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" finally hits theaters.

Of course, Iwuji's character didn't harm real animals

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest villain, the High Evolutionary, sadistically terrorizes their heroes in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." And Peter Quill doesn't have an "Awesome Mix" playlist powerful enough to drown out all the terrible things the High Evolutionary has planned. In fact, the High Evolutionary's animal cruelty is so alarmingly wicked that even Chukwudi Iwuji's own agent couldn't handle speaking to her client after seeing the film.

"My agent couldn't talk to me properly for like two days after a screening," Iwuji revealed to Comic Book. "She went home and hugged her dog, and was like, 'I don't know how I can talk to you.'" Naturally, the High Evolutionary's interactions with the animals and animal-like species came courtesy of CGI, but it sounds like Iwuji's performance really sold the bad guy's ruthlessness.

"My sacred mission is to create the perfect society," the High Evolutionary explains in the movie's most recent trailer (via Marvel Entertainment). His mission statement doesn't bode well for any species since he seems to have a Hitler complex. But Rocket makes it clear that the High Evolutionary's aim isn't perfection. For Iwuji, pulling off the kind of evil the Guardian's new villain possesses turned out to be a true acting challenge. "It really helped that when I was dealing with the [CGI] animals, I wasn't really dealing with any animals, because it would have been much harder that way," he said.