This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Marvel Studios
We moved through the dark and cavernous space behind Hall D23 quickly – catching glimpses of technicians whose faces were illuminated only by the cool glow of their computer screens. I likened it to the inner workings of the Imperial Death Star, a skilled crew making sure that the technical aspects of the presentations on the main stage at this summer’s D23 Expo went off without a hitch. Like The Emperor’s Royal Guards, they would also serve as silent protectors – Guardians preventing untimely leaks of footage from upcoming films that in some cases are more than two years out from their official release. As our group made its way through the backstage labyrinth of makeshift green rooms crafted of black pipe-and-drape, we arrived at our destination for a meeting with a mysterious figure known called “Josh Snow.”
Snow was an enigma – someone said to have high-level knowledge of the inner workings of The Walt Disney Company, with particular interest in Marvel Studios. As it turned out, like a plan from Thanos himself, Josh was but a ruse – a man who did not exist, but whose purpose was solely to hide the fact that a bunch of Guardians and Avengers were in the building.
Instead, we came face-to-face with Mantis and Nebula – specifically the actors who inhabit said characters, Pom Klementieff and Karen Gillan. Fresh from the Expo stage where they showed off footage from AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR for the very first time in a public arena, the duo was excited for the in-home release of their latest effort, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, and what the future holds.
“It just felt like everything that was so good about the first film was kind of amplified in the second one – like we took it to the next level,” said Gillan. “It would seem that the fans agree with that, which is always the most important thing, so that’s cool.”
With AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR currently filming and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 being penned by filmmaker James Gunn, one of the big challenges for the franchise cast in doing press is that the most recent film has been out long enough that most questions have been answered, while the next chapters of the saga are protected by a high level of secrecy so there’s not much that can be said that hasn’t been already. What’s clear, however, is how much both women identify with and love the characters that they’ve been chosen to play.
“I love her innocence,” explained Klementieff of Mantis. “It’s kind of refreshing, and it brings a lot of funny moments, too. She tries things and discovers things — it’s kind of funny to play, like an animal a little bit.”
For Gillan, the charm of her character is anything but innocent. “I really like the fact that my character can fight so well – she is just riddled with rage,” she says. “It’s just overflowing – the most rage ever, and she’s got serious daddy issues which just fuels that rage. I just like embodying that.”
On-Set Pranks and Yondu’s Butt:
As someone in the room mentions actors pranking one another on-set, Klementieff notes that she thinks such things are more common for her male co-stars “a bromance thing.” But Gillan is quick to note that’s not entirely the case, looking at her counterpart with a smile: “Michael Rooker showed his bottom to you. That’s a prank.”
Rooker has been known to display his bottom on occasion (MALLRATS, anyone?), and was once shown on Gunn’s Facebook page showing Dave Bautista and Chris Pratt “the exercises he does to keep his butt in shape.” Also known for being a funny guy, it’s not surprising
“It’s true. I forgot, but it was not during the shoot, It was during the rehearsals,” Pom recalls. “I was with James Gunn and Dave Bautista, and we were rehearsing a pretty emotional scene. You remember in the movie when I touch him and I see what he went through in his life? It was emotional, and there’s Michael Rooker showing his butt against the window!”
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is available now on Digital HD, with the Blu-ray Combo Pack arriving August 22nd.
Top Photo Credit: Chris Pratt – as posted to his Facebook Page back in April. Apologies to Michael Rooker on the crop.