Karen Gillan was first cast as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Nebula way back in May of 2013, and it would be fair to say that the character has been on quite the journey since then. First introduced as the cold, unflinching right hand of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, the twisted family dynamic between the Mad Titan and his two daughters has seen a huge focus placed on the relationship between the Infinity Saga’s big bad and his two wildly different offspring.
Nebula has gone from villain to antihero, and then back to villain again before firmly siding with the good guys across Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, while her presence in the MCU is only set to increase over the next couple of years. Gillan recently wrapped Thor: Love and Thunder, and will appear in at least one episode of Disney Plus animated series What If…?, before production kicks off on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 later this year, during which the Holiday Special will also be filmed.
In a new interview, the actress admitted that she was nervous about playing Nebula away from the stewardship of James Gunn, but Joe and Anthony Russo quickly put her at ease with their willingness to collaborate closely with the talent to draw out the best possible performance.
“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.”
Unsurprisingly, it sounds as though Taika Waititi has taken things up another notch, with Gillan becoming the latest Love and Thunder alumni to tease that the Academy Award winning filmmaker has created something truly crazy.
“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.”
Nebula’s hardened exterior has thawed significantly since her MCU debut, and it looks as though Thor: Love and Thunder will be adding even more depth her personality when it hits theaters in May of next year.