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Let’s Watch Karen Gillan Act Out a Whole ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Scene by Herself

Nebula smirks at someone offscreen against a black background.

Karen Gillan, also known as Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has done all of us Guardians of the Galaxy fans a great service: she’s put together a video showing us one week in the life of playing Nebula.

The video, which compresses several very full days of filming and press appearances into about 25 minutes, has a lot of fun stuff: shooting an improvised scene with Kraglin (Sean Gunn), going through the ordeal of costume and makeup, getting fitted for a press event outfit, choreographic an iconic fight scene, and more.

“I’ve decided to make this vlog because I essentially snuck my iPad onto the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, and I decided to film all this behind the scenes footage, and I totally got in trouble for doing it,” Gillan explains at the beginning of the video, with her dog gnaws on a bone in the background.

One of the best parts of the video, though, is when Gillan explains how she learns her lines for the day. Like many actors, she records herself saying her scene partners’ lines so that she has something to bounce off of—meaning that she essentially acts out the entire scene herself.

The scene starts around the 18:21 mark:

The scene she’s rehearsing is one in which Nebula boards the High Evolutionary’s ship to save her friends, only to find out that they’re not on it anymore. Do you love the perfunctory “I am Groot” that Gillan throws in?

Nebula has always been a great character, but in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, we got to see some surprising new sides of her, as she stole Bucky’s arm as a gift for Rocket and then took over Knowhere as one of its new caretakers. Ever since she first donned the blue makeup in the first Guardians movie in 2014, she’s made the character unforgettable, and seeing behind the scenes footage like this is a treat for fans.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at