Very few outside of the Guardians had the courage to stand up to the High Evolutionary, but Miriam Shor’s Recorder Vim certainly did. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s thrilling third act, Recorder Vim defied the High Evolutionary as his madness consumed him. She attempted to take control of the ship from him, but the High Evolutionary killed Recorder Vim and the others around them with a massive blast of energy. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Miriam about Recorder Vim’s moment of resistance.
“Come on, it was so great. First of all, like I’m taking over the ship? That’s the thing you played in every backyard and basement when you were a kid, right? It was a thrill,” Miriam said.
She continued, “I love to dive as deep as possible in whatever role I’m playing. I love to over intellectualize everything. I’m a sci-fi nerd, so I do that anyway. I look for something I can connect to on a really personal, deep level. With this character, it really was: what is that thing that allows people to follow the worst people in the world with the worst impulses in the world? How do people follow those people? And what is that moment when they realize, holy shit, I’m gonna go right off this cliff with this person because that is like, of course, all the villains and all the movies but it’s also like a real thing has happened throughout history, and it’s happening in front of us these days. It’s really at the forefront of my mind. How can people follow people with the worst intentions? What is that? And my character is nothing if not a zealot and a believer and what is that moment when the blindfold’s ripped off and you really see the lunacy. What does that look like and feel like for that person? I had a moment to do it, but James [Gunn] gave me a great moment.”
Prior to this moment, Recorder Vim had been the High Evolutionary’s right-hand woman for years. She supported his radical attempts to create the “perfect society.” While she realized the extent of the High Evolutionary’s obsession (especially with Rocket) too late, Recorder Vim did ultimately see beyond the High Evolutionary’s facade.
“We all see it coming but you somehow don’t, and what’s that moment of realization. It does takes guts to stand up to it,” Miriam told HollywoodLife. “I’m not sure she had any kind of altruistic reasons like I’m going to save everyone more than I’m just going to save my own ass, but at the same time, it takes guts to stand up to someone as powerful as the High Evolutionary. It doesn’t end well, but she tried.”
Miriam added, “I think it’s more complicated than her being a hero in that moment, but I do think she sees for the first time something. She really realizes the depth of it. There’s a horror to it. There’s like realizing how insane this being that she helped extol. There’s culpability there, too.” The actress stressed that “darker things” were driving Recorder Vim at that moment. “As a true zealot, she believes in the cause, and she believes this is hurting the cause,” she said.
Before Recorder Vim had a chance to take over the ship, the High Evolutionary obliterated her and everyone in his vicinity. HollywoodLife asked Miriam if Recorder Vim expected to die in that shocking moment.
“I think she’s thinking, I’m going to die if I don’t do this, so I have a choice to make. I might as well try to save myself. But also, there’s the insanity of it. All for this one being?” she said.
Miriam also acknowledged this “deeper connection” between the High Evolutionary and Rocket, who was created by the High Evolutionary. “I think there’s actually something to that relationship that the High Evolutionary is not questioning about why he is so obsessed with Rocket,” the actress told HollywoodLife. “I think there’s a lot of complicated things involved there. I think there’s something almost human and parental. There are so many things. James is really a fantastic writer because he layers so many things on top of each other. You can just watch this movie and be fully satisfied. You can go so deep into the layers of it as well in questioning our creator and questioning our destiny and why we were created and do we have to fulfill that destiny for the way we were created? All those questions are huge philosophical questions. He’s created a scaffolding with his story that holds all those questions, and that’s what great sci-fi fantasy does.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the heartfelt final chapter of the Guardians trilogy. While it’s designated a superhero film, there’s an extra dose of magic in the Guardians films that elevate them beyond the genre. Miriam credits that to the man at the helm of the trilogy, director James Gunn.
“He is a true, true lover of this genre and a true lover of the emotional impact that storytelling can have,” she said. “I don’t think that’s true of all directors, creators, of any movie, let alone a superhero sci-fi, sci-fantasy genre. People can get really bogged down in the technicalities of it all. His throughline is always, always, always the emotional tie.”
In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Miriam has also been cast in Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro. Miriam has technically already worked with Bradley since he voices Rocket in the Guardians films, but this is the first time she’s actually worked with him in person.
“First of all, it’s such a delight to get to watch Bradley. He’s really such an artist,” Miriam raved. “His attention to detail, his obsession in the best sense of the word, with the creativity around the process of creating Maestro… I mean, writing, acting, directing, and talk about makeup. Like hours of makeup before writing, being on set, and directing and acting. It was so all-consuming. He also created a feeling on set that was just like you walked into a constant play, constant improv of just trying anything and kindness and welcoming and creativity. So that was unlike anything I had experienced. It was a delight. It’s not a huge role, but every role was embraced and was a part of creating this vision that he has which I’m so excited to see the final product. I haven’t seen it yet, but what I have seen is unlike anything else.”