"I love Rocket Raccoon so much," the actor said during a Q&A at the Santa Barbara Film Festival
Cooper voiced the beloved Rocket Raccoon in multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe films beginning with Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. He reflected on his character -- a raccoon that underwent tortuous experiments -- during a Q&A at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where he was awarded outstanding performer of the year for his work in Maestro.
"I love Rocket Raccoon so much," said Cooper. " And I love doing that third one [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3] because [that's] when James [Gunn] told me what was going to be the origin story. I just got so excited that I cried a lot." Cooper praised Gunn for making the process fun.
"It's the greatest, and James is wonderful, and we would do it like a play, actually. And we were trying to figure out how best to do it because I do the voice after the movie's already been shot, and first they would show scenes, and then eventually James would just read all the other parts, and we would do it like a play, and it was actually really fun," he said.
Getting to the third and final movie of the MCU franchise was something that he also thought they would never get to do.
"It just kept on giving. Couldn't believe it. We made the first one. We'd never in a million years think I would play it for over a decade," he said. "It's crazy."
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 premiered in theaters on May 5, 2023. During a special screening before its premiere, franchise star Chris Pratt, who plays Star-Lord/Peter Quill, told PEOPLE that the cast planned to stay in touch via a group text thread.
"I know the text threads will keep going and stay strong. We'll be checking in on each other, like marriages and families and all the life things that happen. We'll be there for each other," he told PEOPLE. Pratt said the cast became close throughout the filming of the franchise and has "been through a lot."
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"It's Pom's [Klementieff] birthday today. She's down in Miami. We're a very close cast. We've all been through a lot. James is one of my dearest friends, and that's the type of relationship that I will continue to foster," he told PEOPLE.
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