Karen Gillan on Her ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Character and Her Expanded Role in the Sequel

Actress Karen Gillan

“That was something that I thought, I can grab onto that. I can run with that.” – Karen Gillan on Her ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Audition

When it comes to acting, sometimes the part you sign up for isn’t the part you end up playing when the project is finished. Actress Karen Gillan had that experience while working on the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, in which she stars as Nebula, the villainous sister of the heroic Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Except according to Gillan, Nebula wasn’t exactly a villain when she initially tested for the role. However, Nebula’s part is expanded in the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Gillan tells Moviefone that it gave her the opportunity to explore aspects of Nebula’s character that she didn’t get the chance to do in the original movie.

Gillan explains that the explosive relationship between Nebula and Gamora is what attracted her to Guardians of the Galaxy in the first place, so she was happy to explore that relationship in more detail in the sequel. She explains, “When I was auditioning for the character of Nebula, this is what I found the most interesting and what attracted me to the role, the relationship between these two women and the abuse that they suffered. That was something that I thought, I can grab onto that. I can run with that.”

In fact, Gillan points out that it wasn’t clear that Nebula was a villain when she did her initial screen test — as the character was in the first film. She continues, “We had talked about the character before I did the screen test and we had talked about this relationship. In the screen test, the scene I performed was very much geared towards that vibe, instead of a villain-y vibe. In fact, it wasn’t villain-y at all and I had to make it more villain-y for the first movie. But that was something that we discovered in the screen test. It’s so cool, because in the second movie we’re finally getting back there. And he said, ‘I finally saw what I saw in you during that screen test.’ It was like: yay!”

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