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Bradley Cooper Says He 'Cried a Lot' Watching Rocket Raccoon's Story in “Guardians of the Galaxy”

"I love Rocket Raccoon so much," the actor said during a Q&A at the Santa Barbara Film Festival

<p>Courtesy Marvel Studio; Jon Kopaloff/WireImage</p> Rocket Raccoon and Bradley Cooper

Courtesy Marvel Studio; Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

Rocket Raccoon and Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper will always have a special place in his heart for Guardians of the Galaxy.

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.

Related: See the Cast of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' In and Out of Costume

<p>Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/ Everett </p> Rocket Raccoon

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/ Everett

Rocket Raccoon

"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."

<p>Tibrina Hobson/Getty</p> Bradley Cooper

Tibrina Hobson/Getty

Bradley Cooper

Related: Brad Pitt Presents 'the One and Only' Bradley Cooper with Award at 2024 Santa Barbara Film Festival

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."

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Disney (L-R) Chukwudi Iwuji, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Miriam Shor and Bradley Cooper
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Disney (L-R) Chukwudi Iwuji, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Miriam Shor and Bradley Cooper

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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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