Karen Gillan has starred in some of the biggest movies in the world, thanks to her role as Nebula in the MCU. At the same time, she’s also something of an indie movie darling. For instance, the Jumanji actress stars in satirical sci-fi comedy Dual, which just made its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival.
But, according to Gillan, making the Guardians of the Galaxy films isn’t so different from her smaller-scale roles as you might think.
While speaking to IMDb to talk Dual with co-star Aaron Paul, Gillan opened up about how filming is going on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which finally got rolling late last year. The Scottish star spoke about how director James Gunn brings a “real indie spirit” to his productions and encourages the cast to be “loose and free” during takes, resulting in a lot of improvisation and adlibbing. As Gillan put it:
“What James Gunn brings to it is this real indie spirit … you’re not so aware that you’re making a giant movie. It’s like, it feels as loose and free and as flexible as an indie can feel sometimes … And he always directs with a microphone. And so you’re always just getting this like, booming voice from God essentially. He’s like, ‘Do it again. Do it like this.’ And then he, like, throws out lines that aren’t even in the script. ‘Call him this, do this.’ And then you literally hear him laughing over the microphone, which is also maybe the best feeling ever, too. Like, ‘Yes, I made him laugh.'”
Something that makes Gunn’s movies stand out in the crowded world of superhero cinema is the irreverence and slightly anarchic quality he brings to the table, so it’s no surprise that he’s like that behind the scenes, as well. Though a Marvel movie is a filmmaking undertaking of mammoth proportions, it sounds like Gunn and his actors simply have fun during the shoot, something that stops the end result from becoming a soulless churned-out blockbuster. Just look at Joss Whedon’s Justice League for an example of how an unhappy set can sour the final product.
Karen Gillan was last seen as Nebula on the big screen in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and she’ll soon be back in this July’s Thor: Love and Thunder, alongside the rest of the Guardians. Though Guardians Vol. 3 won’t be here until May 2023, the gang returns in their very first TV outing, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which hits Disney Plus sometime next festive season.