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Karen Gillan Explains How Marvel Directors Helped Her Develop Nebula

Over the course of seven years and four MCU films, Nebula has gone from an obscure character to a household name. This is largely thanks to the way Karen Gillan has brought Nebula to life onscreen. However, Gillan wants to remind fans that the four directors she’s worked with also played a role in Nebula’s newfound popularity as well. While speaking with Collider, Gillan described how each of these filmmakers helped her craft her performance.

“I think a lot of the reason that Nebula is the way she is is because of [Guardians of the Galaxy director] James Gunn,” said Gillan. “He’s the sort of creator of her and I think he really connected with the character personally. I remember when we would do scenes between me and Gamora, he’d be like crying in the rehearsals and stuff. He’s so invested. So it’s largely down to him, I would say.”

After collaborating with Gunn on two Guardians films, Gillan confessed that she and her Guardians castmates were a little nervous about going to work with Joe and Anthony Russo on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Regardless, the brothers were very accommodating. According to Gillan, “they kind of just really allowed us to bring our knowledge of the characters” to both films.

“Joe Russo played Thanos with me,” added Gillan. “So I was acting with the director, which was amazing because he really was in the scene with me and so he was seeing things that were happening between us that I don’t think he would see from the outside. And so he was kind of like, ‘Oh! I know how to shoot this because this is what’s happening.’ So that was a really cool experience.”

Nebula and her fellow Guardians won’t get another standalone adventure until 2023. But in the interim, fans can look forward to seeing the Guardians in Thor: Love and Thunder, which recently wrapped production. According to Gillan, not even a stoic presence like Nebula was immune to director Taika Waititi’s trademark whimsy.

“Taika really brought out the bonkers side,” continued Gillan. “I think everyone is just really, really funny and bonkers and wild. […] “I don’t know if it’s personal [levity]. Like I don’t think she’s finding herself funny or being funny, but in her seriousness I think we will find her funny, and just the pure aggression that we’ve tapped into.”

Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on May 6, 2022.

Which of Gillan’s MCU appearances is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers

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