Karen Gillan Explains What She Enjoyed About Being On A Smaller Movie Set After Working On Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Karen Gillan as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Last year, when Nebula actress Karen Gillan wrapped on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, probably experienced a feeling that she never had when wrapping on a Marvel movie. This is because it's possible that the upcoming Marvel movie could mark the end of the road for her MCU character, as this film aims to close out James Gunn’s superhero trilogy. But ahead of the third Guardians movie's release, Gillan has an independent movie that's making the rounds in the festival circuit, and she recently explained why she relished working on it after finishing her work on Gunn's movie.

Karen Gillan ventured to Austin, Texas for SXSW this past week to promote her new movie, Late Bloomers, which premiered on Friday. While discussing her work on the indie film with The Hollywood Reporter, Gillan shared how she felt a sense of connectedness while working on it In her words: 

I feel like there’s something to not having this huge trailer that you disappear into with all the snacks you could possibly want… It’s actually nice to just be all in it together, and for it to feel a little more connected, even though, definitely, we feel connected on the Guardians movie. [But] there’s a different feeling to not disappearing sporadically throughout the day and all being in it together.

Late Bloomers (2023)

Karen Gillan and Margaret Sophie Stein in Late Bloomers

(Image credit: Park Pictures)

Release Date: TBD
Directed By: Lisa Steen
Written By: Anna Greenfield
Starring: Karen Gillan, Margaret Sophie Stein, Jermaine Fowler, Danielle Alonzo, Talia Balsam, Winsome Brown, Lori Tan Chinn and Samuel Farnsworth 

While star emphasizes that she and the Guardians of the Galaxy cast are good pals on the sets of the Marvel movies, they still have the luxury of having their own trailers to disperse to should they not need to be part of a scene for a particular day. There’s so much going on during a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. With that, it can be easy for one to get lost in the weeds, even if they're close with the cast and crew.

Whereas a Marvel movie typically costs $100 million a pop, indie movies like Late Bloomers are made on shoe-string budgets of a few million dollars -- if the production is lucky enough to collect together the cash. And rather than taking months and months to film, independent movies are often made in a few weeks, as they usually don't involve tools like a green screen (or a CGI raccoon).

Like many actors, Karen Gillan got her start in a number of smaller productions before becoming part of the Doctor Who franchise back in 2008 and nabbing the role of the MCU's Nebula back in 2013. Since debuting as the adoptive daughter of Thanos in the 2014 movie, the actress has portrayed the character in five major Marvel movies and was also part of The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special and the animated What If…? series. Gillan has shared before that she loves playing “the scapegoated sibling within a toxic family dynamic” with her famed MCU role, and she also relishes her on-set family.

Late Bloomers is a different kind of movie, and it sees Karen Gillan portray a Brooklyn woman who falls and breaks her hip and must go to a physical therapy ward with a group of elderly people. The movie is based on a true story and written by screenwriter Anna Greenfield. Gillan was found for the role through her husband Nick Kocher, whom she had a beautiful Scottish wedding with last spring. It's wonderful to hear that Gillan enjoyed her time making the movie and, hopefully, her fans -- including Guardians devotees -- will relish watching it just as much.

As of this writing, Late Bloomers has yet to land a distributor, so keep an eye on the schedule of 2023 new movie releases to see if it lands a date. You can also check out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when it opens on May 5.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.