I got to interview Karen Gillan!
The Doctor Who star has traveled throughout time and as of 2014 traveled throughout space as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy universe. Playing Nebula, the embittered sister of Gamora bent on vengeance, Karen is a fierce villain. Zoe Saldana who portrays Gamora said of Karen, “Karen teaches me to bring it! As soon as James says, ‘Action,’ she goes from (makes a sweet face) to (makes a fierce face) and she’s Nebula. Every time I try to do that for Gamora, James is like ‘Don’t do that…’ But (Karen) just like changes everything from the look, the walk, and we’re all behind her going (stunned look) ‘That’s Karen? No way.’ And she brings it.”
Personally, I fell for Karen in the very short lived Selfie which I adored. She played Eliza Dooley opposite John Cho in a modern day Pygmalion adapted for TV. Her character is so different in Guardians you would be hard pressed to recognize her. But during the press conference I did get to ask her a question and she was so sweet and gracious. She’s one of those people who looks right at you when she answers. She leans forward and engages you directly which I greatly respect. Since her character is so dark and filled with anger, I asked how she finds those dark spaces in herself to portray Nebula and given where Nebula ends up at the end of the new film where we will see her again next.
“Ooooooh… well, no spoilers,” Karen answered. “Yeah, the dark space of Nebula. I just feel genuinely so invested in this character, I care so much about her and I feel like I’m her lawyer and I’m here to explain to everyone why she’s justified in being a really mean villain and she is. And for me that is just to do with her backstory and her relationship with her father and her sister and so I was just so excited to explore that in the second movie in such that I felt so lucky to get to portray that side of her. And what’s she going to be doing next? You’ll have to wait and see. I’m not saying anything… Cool stuff.”
Now to be fair, I was in a room full of wonderful people so it wasn’t like a one-on-one, but it was so much fun to hear the cast along with Kevin Feige and James Gunn share their answers to some great questions. When Zoe Saldana was asked about her favorite part in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 she said, “I think that what I loved the most and it may sound selfish but definitely the relationship between Gamora and Nebula… I was appreciative and super excited and in a way anxious because I know that Gamora is a much more reserved character, so we couldn’t make it a soap opera like I would have wanted to. I wanted to be crying with nose goo and everything and James is like, ‘You’re like the Clint Eastwood of the movie,’ and I was like, ‘Who’s that?'”
Someone else asked how it feels to see people cosplay their characters at conventions and Sylvester Stallone responded with a quick wit and a deadpan look, “I really want to punch them out. I mean, seriously. I mean it’s copyright infringement, right?” Zoe answered in such a heartfelt way, “You have like an out-of-body experience each and every time. And you’re always thinking like it’s like Wayne’s World, ‘We’re not worthy.’ You feel grateful. You feel so lucky that you got to play a character that impacted people or you’re a part of something so special that it continuously impacts people so much that their devotion drives them to go to these places and they congregate and they celebrate. And then you’re there. You’re like their best guest and you feel… you feel very humbled.”
I have to tell you, listening to Zoe Saldana is a treat. Not only is she genuine, but she is so intelligent and articulate, I could listen to her all day. Zoe was asked having been part of the Star Trek franchise and Guardians of the Galaxy if there were any other sci-fi parts she would like to play and immediately she answered. “Dune. I was Lady Jessica like every other Halloween. And when I wasn’t Lady Jessica, when I wasn’t a Bene Gesserit, I was a ninja. So I would, I would love to be in Dune. And I heard that Denis Villeneuve is thinking, he’s revisiting and I hope he decides to do it, because I’m one of those people that I think David Lynch did a great job, but I was six when I saw Dune, so… so it would be Dune.”
Listening to the cast and Kevin share their thoughts about their roles and about themselves, it was easy to see why this group of intelligent, funny, and caring people work so well together. Their chemistry comes across so fluidly on the screen that it’s no wonder they were the surprise hit of 2014 and are expected to bring in a treasure for Marvel Studios once again.
- Part two of our coverage of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 press junket comes out tomorrow so be sure to read it!
- And make sure to so and see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 when it opens nationwide on May 5th.