Karen Gillan got her start in the MCU back in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy. Her character, Nebula, was a daughter of Thanos, but her relationship with him was that of fear and hate. She pretended to be loyal, but when the opportunity came to break free from Thanos by helping Ronan, she took it. She still struggles with the trauma Thanos had done to her, but now she has a better relationship with her sister, Gamora, and a place where she belongs, the Guardians of the Galaxy. From trapped henchman to hero, she’s come a long way. In an interview with Collider, Gillan talks about Nebula and the directors that helped shape the character.
Gillan On Nebula’s Journey With Gunn, The Russos, And Waititi
The start of Nebula in the MCU was with James Gunn in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
I think a lot of the reason that Nebula is the way she is is because of James Gunn. 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.
With Joe and Anthony Russo, she starred in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The Russo brothers did an amazing job with her character and Gillan agrees:
I think we all, in the Guardians cast, were like, ‘Ah! Oh my gosh, we’re going off and we’re gonna do this character without James. How are we gonna cope? Are we gonna still know how to do this?’ But the Russos were amazing, and they kind of just really allowed us to bring our knowledge of the characters to it. They were so receptive to it. I would sort of be able to say to the Russos, ‘I feel like [if] Thanos is in the scene, Nebula would be feeling very emotional right now if her father is there.’ And they’re like, ‘Yup. Yup,’ and then they completely used that, and it’s completely in the movie, which was really nice.
Joe Russo played Thanos with me, 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.
Karen Gillan’s description of Taika Watiti with Thor: Love and Thunder:
And then Taika really brought out the bonkers side. 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.
A character doesn’t have to be goofy to be seen as funny. I love Nebula. With Thor: Love and Thunder coming May 6, 2022 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023, we will get to see a lot more of Nebula.
What are your thoughts on Nebula and her character development? Leave us a comment below.