Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn reveals past suicidal thoughts

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
Gunn… has revealed he had suicidal thoughts as a young man – Credit: PA

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies might well have elevated their director James Gunn to the top of the tree in Hollywood, but there was a time when things were not so good.

In a lengthy post to fans on his Facebook page, the helmsman has revealed that as a young man, he struggled with ‘suicidal thoughts’.

But he goes on to say that it was the world of music, comic books and movies that made him feel like he belonged somewhere.

“I would be lying if I said I don’t get distracted by the numbers. The first thing I do in the morning is roll over in bed and check my phone for the morning box office reports,” he said.

“But, in the end, it’s not what matters to me. I write this now to let you know, but also to remind myself. Because I’m human and I sometimes forget.

“When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts. I never felt like I belonged, had an incredibly difficult time connecting to other people and, despite having love around me, I had an impossible time experiencing it, or taking it in.

(Credit: Marvel/Disney)

“But I found my respite in popular entertainment – Marvel comics, science fiction and horror films, the music of The Sex Pistols, The Replacements, and Queen. Suddenly I could see past the bland suburbs where I lived into a more magical world, a world more aligned with what I imagined.

“Sometimes these works were simply escapist fantasies that distracted me from the difficulties of my internal life. But other times, in the strongest moments – maybe through the words of Alice Cooper or Freddie Mercury, through Cronenberg films, or even in Chewbacca’s growl, I experienced something deeper – the realization that I wasn’t completely alone. Someone out there was as weird and strange and whacked out as I was.”

Pleasingly, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is going great guns at the box office.

Up 54% on the first movie, it’s scored a massive $427 million (£329 million) over 13 days on release.

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