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Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Karen Gillan Discusses Her Nebula Fight Scenes & Wind Machines


Karen Gillan, of Doctor Who fame, is about to take a huge step in her career by appearing in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Here what she has to say about the villainous Nebula. 

The actress was at South by Southwest promoting her other upcoming film we’re very excited about, Oculus, and was of course asked about Guardians. MTV News got a few interesting tidbits out of her. Gillan said seeing the reactions to the first trailer were very exciting.

I mean, I always had total faith in the project, because the people who are making it are so brilliant, and have a long history of great films so I knew it was in good hands but by the same token it’s a brand new franchise. Nobody knows the comic as well as say Spider-Man or something like that so it was like we were totally establishing something. I just think it’s a new direction for Marvel, it’s really, really funny. It’s not taking itself seriously at all. It’s tongue in cheek. And just to see people be excited about that new tone is really cool.

She also mentioned that while she finds her character Nebula “hilarious,” Nebula wouldn’t be scary if she was actually funny in the film. Speaking of scary, there’s that fight scene between her and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora which we saw briefly in the trailer.

“Yeah, there’s a big girlie fight sequence, but it’s not that girlie. They made sure to make sure there was no like, any nice pirouettes or anything like that,” but, added Gillan, “[Saldana’s] really experienced in the physical stuff and she was a ballerina so she’s really amazing at all of that stuff. She barely required any rehearsal, she was like, ‘I can do this.’ I required two months of rehearsals every day that I wasn’t shooting, because I looked like spaghetti when I started.” But she also said there’s a history between the characters so it’s more than just physical.

And what about her new, bald look? Gillan said “t was the saddest thing in the world” while shooting. “They’d use a big industrial wind machine when filming her, and then when it was on me, it was like, ‘Turn the wind machine off,’ and it was like beeeeup.”

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."