The female power was evident when Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) and Karen Gillan (Nebula) walked into the room. Each one with their own unique look and personality. I was excited, just as they were, to talk to the women who make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 so memorable.
On the makeup process for each character
Karen Gillan: 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. It’s kind of intense and slightly claustrophobic. [LAUGHTER] It’s definitely become a 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 Klementieff: For me it’s much easier because it’s my skin tones, so it’s like a beauty makeup in a way. I need two hours to get completely ready, hair makeup and clothes. I wear a prosthetics on my forehead, the beginning of the antennas, and then with the CGI they make it much bigger. I also wear contact lenses, really big ones that cover my whole eye which also makes me kind of claustrophobic. It causes tunnel vision, so it makes me feel like in my own world, which is kind of good for the character.
Elizabeth Debicki: I think I’ve got it the easiest because I just sort of sit there and someone paints me [LAUGHTER] and it’s kind of sticky and cold and but I love it- the first day I thought 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 3 AM. And I had a very civil call of like 6 AM and then I thought I am never ever complaining about makeup ever again.
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 [LAUGHTER] 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. So wherever I got placed, that’s where I was for the day.
What’s it like being part of a film that has such a devoted fandom, especially for Karen because you also have Whovians to deal with?
Karen Gillan: 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. You know, but with things like Dr. Who and this, it just has this built in fan base and they’re just so accepting and they’re so passionate, they just like they care about all the decisions you make and you just feel like really special for a second. [LAUGHS]
On playing Nebula this time around
Karen Gillan: 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. For me it’s my job as an actor to sort of be her lawyer and explain to everyone like why she is justified in doing these things and I think we achieve that in the movie, which is really cool. 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.
On filming the fight scenes
Karen Gillan: That was amazing fun actually and I’m not the best fighter in the world, I kind of looked like spaghetti [LAUGHTER] and Zoe was amazing and so she was just giving me all these pointers. 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.
What do you want little girls to take away from your female characters?
Pom Klementieff: That it’s okay to be imperfect and to not be like any everyone else- to be just maybe weird sometimes. That’s what makes you interesting.
Elizabeth Debicki: Well for Ayesha- [LAUGHTER] don’t be like Ayesha [LAUGHTER] someone said on the carpet, and what similarities are between you and Ayesha I’m like none, I really hope none [LAUGHTER]
She doesn’t take no for an answer?
Elizabeth Debicki: That’s true. The thing about Ayesha is she is very justified in what she’s doing. She’s very strong. I suppose her moral compass is slightly askew and she’s slightly merciless. But I think maybe her strength and also that I suppose what I like about her is that she isn’t perfect, she’s actually quite fallible.
Karen Gillan: For me in your character I like seeing a woman in a leadership position, a woman can be the boss absolutely.
Elizabeth Debicki: Yes. Absolutely yes.
On getting into the mindset of the character
Pom Klementieff: I think it’s just about listening and being in the moment and just have fun. We talked with James about the character and I brought my touch and maybe what I lived in my past and some weirdness and I had fun with it. She’s an alien who’s bug like and I mean it’s a crazy world around her so can invent whatever you want. So I just wanted her to be like an insect, she’s kind of like nervous and she cleans her hands like a praying mantis and like Mr. Burns in The Simpsons [LAUGHTER]. She also has these really black eyes so you can’t really go through her soul.
What’s it like being in the Marvel family?
Elizabeth Debicki: 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. 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- no [LAUGHTER] There’s so many people there and 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 because it’s rare in life to be a part of something that people love so much and they care so much about.
Strangely enough I wasn’t really nervous about watching the film or being there last night (at the premiere), usually, I get very nervous. I just sort of knew that it was going to be accepted with such love and I had hoped that we would be too because we’re new to it.
Pom Klementieff: I think it’s not just a Marvel movie, it’s a James Gunn movie, I think he’s such a genius. He really reinvented the super hero movie, and he made it something really human and I think it’s really special.
On the future of Nebula
Karen Gillan: Okay I feel like she has one clear agenda, which is to kill Thanos and I really hope that she is the one that gets to do that so I’m crossing my fingers for that would be like therapeutic [LAUGHTER] 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. [LAUGHTER] I want her to be bad but like a little bit good.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5th!
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