Today: June 18, 2024
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Nebula (Karen Gillan)..Ph: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2017


One of the year’s most ridiculously fun films Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives on Blu-ray & DVD on 4th September. Returning in the role of Nebula Scottish actress, and former Dr. Who assistant, Karen Gillian tells FilmJuice about the success of the first film, return for a sequel and working with the likes of Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and returning writer director James Gunn.

Talk about the first film.
I don’t know if anyone could’ve expected how successful the first Guardians film was going to be. It surpassed everybody’s expectations. We knew that we were making something good at the time. That was quite clear. And James Gunn, the director, had such an incredible vision, and his identity was all over the film. So we knew that it was kind of special. But we didn’t know if other people were going to think that. Also, it was one of the comics that wasn’t really well known.

I remember when we went to Comic-Con to show a teaser trailer. We played it, and I could just feel that the whole audience was like, “What is this? This is something new.” And that was really exciting. Then the film came out, and it blew up. Everyone was just so excited, and it felt really cool because we got to establish these characters. We got to be the first people to play them, and that felt really special.

Talk about the transition to the second film for your character Nebula.
Nebula was definitely a bad guy in the first Guardians film. That’s what I love about her, to be honest. I love that she has this real dark side, and I get to explore that, which is really cool. In terms of the second film, she’s still a bad guy. But we’re going to get to understand her motivations for being a bad guy a little bit more. And that might not make her such a bad guy anymore, because as soon as we develop empathy for anyone and understand why they’re doing the things that they’re doing they don’t seem as bad anymore. So that’s definitely going to happen with Nebula. She’s going to team up with the Guardians because they’re rooting for the same cause through the film. She ends up becoming a bit of a reluctant Guardian for her time in this film. When I read the script, I was just so excited because she has a much bigger role, and we get to understand her much more. She’s just become a more layered, interesting character.

What did you love about the new script?
When the script was hand-delivered to me, I read it immediately and I was laughing out loud. I thought it was even funnier than the first film. I was crying too. There were real tears. I was like, wow. Everything that I loved about the first film is in the second film. But it’s just heightened. There’s just more of it.

Talk about the music.
Music is so vital to this franchise, I would say. It plays such a huge role. It was so important in the first film. That’s what people came out of the cinema saying they loved so much. And it’s an even bigger role in the second film. All the songs are written into the script. We know when they’re going to play. James Gunn plays them for us on set, which kind of unites us all as actors. We’re all feeling roughly the same thing. We’re having a response to the music. It’s more of a subconscious thing; it connects to a different part of the brain than words or pictures do. That’s why I think people respond so well to it.  There are loads of new songs on the new soundtrack that I’ve never heard before, so I feel like we’re going to introduce some cool, older tracks to a new generation.

Talk about Nebula’s relationship with Gamora.
Nebula and Gamora have always had a bit of a turbulent relationship. Both of them are suffering from pretty severe daddy issues since their dad is Thanos. In the first film, they ended on a pretty bad note. They were in a major fight sequence together, and then Nebula chops off her hand and escapes. So, when we meet them in the second film, Nebula’s still pretty angry at Gamora. And Gamora’s not very happy with her either. Nebula has one very clear mission in this film, which is to murder her sister and then torture her father. These are her main motivations. Gamora’s aware of this. So, she has to hold Nebula captive to restrain her from hurting her. But then as the film goes on they start to be honest with each other and actually talk about their feelings. Nebula opens up about why she feels the way she does and why she’s so angry. And that’s really unexpected from this character.

How is it working with Zoe Saldana?
I love working with Zoe Saldana. She’s like a big sister to me. She’s so incredibly experienced in these types of films. She does a lot of action films, so she knows what looks good. She really helps me out with the fight sequences. If you ever see us acting together on set, you will constantly see her tweaking my position. I’m really grateful for that because I want to look cool.
The other thing about Zoe is that she works on instincts, I would say. I feel like she soaks up other people’s energy really easily. She does impressions of people all the time, and they are so bang on. So, I feel like if I’m feeling emotional, she really picks up on that. She’s really receptive as an actor.

What is Nebula’s relationship like with the other Guardians?
Nebula’s sort of a reluctant Guardian in this film. She doesn’t necessarily want to be with them because she likes to go off and do her own thing. And she has this vendetta against her sister. I think throughout the film she gradually quite likes being with the Guardians and being on a mission with them and almost having a family, which she’s never really had before.

Talk about Nebula’s new look.
Nebula’s got a new look in this film. She has a few dealings with the Ravagers in this film and gets herself a new hand, which is very exciting. She also gets a Ravager costume, a cool red cat suit. She’s still bald, and she’s still blue.

Talk about your transition into this character.
A typical day getting ready for Nebula would be coming in at about four o’clock in the morning. Then I’ll spend an hour having my hair wrapped up, so that I can be bald. Then I will sit in the makeup chair for about two and a half hours while they stick all of Nebula’s skin on me. I basically get into her skin, which is kind of creepy, and then I get into costume. Compared to the last film, which took about five hours, we now have it down to about three and a half, so I’m excited by that.

How do you feel after you have everything on?
I like to think that my personality is a little removed from Nebula’s personality, one would hope, but putting on that makeup really does do half of the job for me. I remember a definitive moment on the first film where I looked in the mirror and really saw myself. I went, “Oh my God, I know who this person is now. I know how to move as this person. I know that I want to tilt my head like this because of the way it looks.” I feel like that was the moment I really figured her out. And that was a look thing. It just really does do a lot of the work for me to just be in that costume, to see the way that people look at me, which is slightly different. It just affects everything, and that’s all you want as an actor.

What do you love about working with James Gunn?
Working with James is the best. I can’t say that enough. He’s knows this inside out. This is his creation. His identity is all over it. I can’t imagine anybody else doing a Guardians film. It’s amazing to be on set with him. He is so loose and free and inventive. And that’s just lovely to work with as an actor because you feel like you can come up with suggestions and you’re not going to be shot down or laughed at. He has this microphone, so it feels like you’re getting notes from God, which is really weird, initially. But it’s actually just really efficient. He’ll be like do it sultry, do it funnier, do it like you’re pissed off, do it like you’re finding it hilarious. It’s just so loose that you don’t even have time to think about it or obsess over it or overanalyze it. It just feels like a really cool, creative experience, which is not always the case for massive movies. But it certainly is on this one.

How is it working on these practical sets?
I can’t stress enough how nice it is to be on a practical set rather than green screen because you don’t know what your environment is if you’re on a green screen. You can look at pictures, but it’s not really the same. On the first film we had a lot of practical sets. On this film we have even more. They even built a forest inside with real trees. That’s honestly the most elaborate set I’ve ever seen in my life. It affects your performance on so many levels to be in the environment and to know that it’s loud, quiet, what the texture is of the floor, everything.

What do you enjoy most about playing this character?
I feel so passionate about playing this character. I really do. I love it because I feel like Nebula’s a little misunderstood, like a lot of villains. She’s a bad guy, but she has a real valid reason for it and it’s because of an even bigger bad guy, Thanos. She has so much pent-up anger and so much sibling rivalry inside of her that is just bursting out. I just feel really sorry for her, actually. Whenever you’re playing a villain, you have to become their lawyer and understand why they did the things that they did and sort of justify it. And through doing that, I really began to care about her. I think she’s a great interesting character with a cool Clint Eastwood voice.

Why is Chris Pratt so right for Quill?
I feel like Chris Pratt broke the mold for Super Heroes in movies in a way. For the first time, we had a genuinely funny, sort of goofy, Super Hero. He looks like a Super Hero but he doesn’t act like a typical one. He seems much more relatable in a lot of ways. It feels like a lot of people who are watching the film will see themselves in the character. So, I feel like that was just quite original and just a breath of fresh air within the super-hero world. I think we really needed that.

What will audiences connect to?
I would say the main theme of this entire film is family. There are so many aspects of that storyline throughout the film. I think there is going to be a piece that everybody connects with in some way. For my character, her relationship with her sister and her father, who hasn’t been the greatest dad. For Peter Quill, he’s exploring his relationship with a father. Everybody’s going to find something in this film that they can connect with and understand. Also, it’s so funny. People are going to have a really good time, and they’re going to be entertained. And they’re going to hear some good music.

MARVEL STUDIOS’ “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2” Available on Digital Download Now and on 4K UHD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on the 4th September 2017

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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