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Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Elizabeth Debicki: The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview

Thank you to Disney and Marvel Studios for hosting me during the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Event.

Louise Bishop |

Mantis, Ayesha and Nebula have some of the best scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Between Mantis’ conversations with Drax and Nebula’s sibling rivalry, it’s hard to choose a favorite. And I can’t even talk about my favorite scene with Ayesha because it’s a massive spoiler. One thing’s for certain. You can tell these ladies had a blast working on Vol. 2.

What was the process like for their character transformations? 

Karen: Well mine takes about four hours in the morning, and essentially I have the character’s skin glued to my face, which is really as close as I could possibly get to her which is pretty cool.  And it’s kind of intense and slightly claustrophobic.  And it’s definitely become part of my ritual, in terms of like getting into character.  Like one time I did a rehearsal without the makeup and I did not feel like her at all, so it’s sort of become a vital part of the process for me, which is kind of cool. 

Pom: For me it’s much easier because it’s my skin tone, so it’s like a beauty makeup in a way.  And so I need two hours to get completely ready, hair makeup and clothes.  Basically I wear a prosthetics on my forehead-it’s just the beginning of the antennas, and then with the CGI they make it much bigger. I wear contact lenses in my eyes, really big ones that cover my whole eye. It’s like there’s no white in my eye almost.  I feel like kind of claustrophobic-yeah I have tunnel vision-so it makes me feel like [I’m] in my own world, which is kind of good for the character, too.  

Elizabeth: I think I’ve got it the easiest because I just sort of sit there and someone paints me, and it’s kind of sticky and cold and but I love it. The first day I thought, you know, it was a bit overwhelming the whole paint situation.  And then I came to set and I said hi to Zoe, and I said what time did you come to work and she said like 3am.  And I had a very civil call of like 6am.  And then I thought I am never ever complaining about makeup ever again.  I also asked her for some tips. And she said you just have to be very Zen, just be very patient… I think it’s about an hour and a half with the wig cap as well. Actually, for me the most time consuming and hectic part of Ayesha is the costume and that gold dress is almost entirely metal.  And it weighs so much… We used to call it the Ayesha Taco because the whole bottom of the dress is like a great big circular metal thing and they would fold it up like a taco and then I would walk up the stairs. Wherever I get placed, that’s where I am for the day. Someone said, “What does it feel like?” I said, “It feels like a small child is hanging onto my back.” The bustle is so huge.  But at the same, it so informs who you are and how you feel.

©Marvel Studios 2017

What’s it like to be a part of a movie with such a devoted fandom? 

Karen: It’s such a cool sensation, actually, to be part of something that people actually care about because that’s not always the case. Usually you’re trying so hard to just make people care about your project.  But with things like Dr. Who and this, I mean it just has like this built in fan base and they’re just so accepting and they’re so passionate, they care about all the decisions you make and you just feel really special for a second. 

Elizabeth: It’s actually a huge privilege as an actor, like Karen said, to be a part of something that people really want to see and that they care so deeply about.  And I suppose the first interaction I had with it was at Comic-Con last year and it really was on my birthday, so it was all about me. [laughs] And when we went into it, and there’s so many people there and they’re so-it’s sort of like pure joy that just shoots out and it’s incredible.  I found it very overwhelming and I sort of kept getting very emotional in interviews just after, because it’s rare in life to be a part of something that people love so much and they care so much about. 

Pom: I think it’s not just a Marvel movie, it’s a James Gunn [movie]. I think he’s such a genius. And he really reinvented the super hero movie, he made it something really human. And it really talks about family…there is action, it’s also hilarious, and it’s also so moving and heart breaking it’s so many things at the same time… I mean it’s so many emotions I think and I think it’s really special. 

How important was it to Karen to show some of the motivation behind Nebula’s actions?

Karen: In the first movie we saw her and she was this sort of “evil super villain watching from the sidelines” a little bit. But in this movie we really understand why.  And for me, it’s my job as an actor to sort of be her lawyer and explain to everyone why she is justified in doing these things and I think we achieve that in the movie, which is really cool. And it was just so important to me to give her those layers, because it’s not really interesting to just have a bad guy for no reason. 

©Marvel Studios 2017

What was it like fighting with Gamora? 

Karen: That was amazing fun, actually, and I’m not the best fighter in the world. I kind of looked like spaghetti and Zoe was amazing and so she was just giving me all these pointers, and she was like, “If you turn your head like this and strangle like this, then you’re going to look really cool.” Yeah, so it was great… I really enjoyed it. I did a version of all the stunts and then an amazing stunt double came in and made me look cooler. And it was cool because it was emotional as well. It was physical and emotional, this battle between the two sisters and it was just really interesting to me. 

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..L to R: Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

What would they like little girls to take away from the movie? 

Pom: That it’s okay to be imperfect and to not be like any everyone else. To be, just maybe, weird sometimes and it’s you.  And that’s what makes you interesting. 

Elizabeth: Well for Ayesha, don’t be like Ayesha. Someone said on the carpet, “And what similarities are between you and Ayesha?” I’m like, “None, I really hope none!” I think the thing about Ayesha is she is very justified in what she’s doing… And I think, you know, she’s very strong.  I suppose her moral compass is slightly askew and she’s slightly merciless…. Yeah maybe her strength-and also, I suppose, what I like about her-is that she isn’t perfect. She’s actually quite fallible.  I mean, the irony is they’re genetically modified to be perfect and she’s extremely imperfect… I would say you could look at Ayesha and then decide to be compassionate.

Karen: For me, in your character [referring to Ayesha] I like seeing a woman in a leadership position. A woman can be the boss. Absolutely. 

Louise Bishop |

What does Karen want to see in future films for her character Nebula? 

Karen: Okay I feel like she has one clear agenda, which is to kill Thanos. I really hope that she is the one that gets to do that, so I’m crossing my fingers for that. [It] would be therapeutic. That would be cool. I’d like to see her relationship with Gamora maybe get a little healthier, however not so healthy that they don’t still try to kill each other because that’s so much fun. I want her to be bad but, like a little bit good.

Make sure you follow along with all of my Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 event coverage right here!

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

As The Bunny Hops®