Following up a massive hit like 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy is a daunting task. And while writer-director James Gunn had the main responsibility to make the sequel bigger and better, the returning cast members were aware of the stakes.

Chris Pratt in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2Chris Pratt in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Leading man Chris Pratt says that there was a big difference between making the first movie and this one. "Yeah, it's a different type of pressure that we're under now," he says. "Before, the pressure was that no one knows you, so what's it going to be like to be the first Marvel movie that fails? I can't tell you how many times I answered that question. It was like, 'Oh God, this is not looking good.' So now that pressure is off, because it's like, hey, we've got a built-in audience! People really liked it. But I think the pressure we're feeling now is how do we do the same thing in terms of wowing an audience, getting people to come in and have their expectations defied. The pressure was on now to do the same thing, which is surprise you and do something different."

For leading lady Zoe Saldana, returning to the role of Gamora meant expanding on her darker qualities while also exploring her tortured relationship with her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). "I just don't know how much darker Gamora can go," Saldana laughs. "You know, when you started with her in the first film, she's a full-blown assassin with a lot of bad habits who, through the friendship with the Guardians, is compelled to sort of turn a new leaf. So in this movie, I think there are some sympathetic values to her character that she's gonna try to sort of incorporate. When it comes to her relationship with Nebula, to see this relationship extensively unfold and see what they're about, I think it's really interesting to open up that window. I always have fun with action scenes, but I get to have a sister on-screen! I don't think many actresses can say that about the characters that they're playing in films lately."

And then there's Dave Bautista, who plays the light-hearted, muscle-headed Drax. He remembers fighting against being typecast as a big, dumb guy. "I wanted to do characters who are, you know, interesting and multi-layered," he says. "But look at Drax and he's one thing: he's super-menacing and muscular, and often times says things that come off as not-too-bright. But to be able to give him heart, that's what makes him lovable."

Watch the trailer and clips from the movie: