Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Karen Gillan Admits Sucking At Action Before Playing Nebula

Nebula getting ready to attack in Avengers: Endgame

Though Karen Gillan was a familiar actress before Guardians of the Galaxy, particularly among Doctor Who fans, he Marvel film put her on Hollywood’s radar. Gillan’s Nebula came off as a tough and vicious fighter who isn’t above a dirty trick. But for the actress, that level of skill took some time to cultivate, as she had to overcome a major learning curve. The Guardians of the Galaxy star recently admitted that she sucked at action scenes before joining the MCU.

Guardians of the Galaxy put Karen Gillan on the path to becoming one of Hollywood’s most reliable action stars. While Gillan shined as Nebula, her beginnings weren’t as skilled and coordinated as fans believed. The actress gave a new tidbit about her early life informing her pre-MCU career. The Gunpowder Milkshake star recalled her high school athletic career has its limits with the following:

I’m a terrible dancer, so not great at [fight] routines. I’ve definitely got better. You should have seen me when I started; I just looked like spaghetti.

At least Karen Gillan was honest about her skill levels before becoming an MCU star. The image she painted was quite hilarious. Given Gillan's career trajectory, tackling action scenes and performing stunts have become second nature to her. Coordination and fighting go hand in hand, as Gillan pointed out, but her improvement as an action star hasn’t been lost on her.

Despite her terrible action beginnings, Karen Gillan admitted to getting better on that front since filming the first Guardian of the Galaxy film. As viewers have witnessed, Gillan has improved quite a deal. Much of her film slate is filled with intense action films such as the latter two Avengers movies and Jumanji film series, as well as her recent release Gunpowder Milkshake. So getting firsthand training working with the MCU has helped her career in so many ways.

While she has improved since the first film, Karen Gillan admitted her Marvel beginnings were quite funny. She recalled how her lack of coordination affected her Guardians of the Galaxy audition. Gillan told The Guardian about showing off her skills (or lack thereof) to Marvel:

It must have looked hilarious, just limbs flying around. They were like: ooookay, you’ve got the role, but you need to learn to fight.

As viewers have seen in recent years, Marvel auditions can be quite a show – the good, bad and, unfortunately, ugly. Again, the image of Karen Gillan’s flailing arms may elicit some laughs. At least, Marvel had enough faith in Gillan’s acting skills to see her as Nebula. Looking at her action roles now viewers would never know.

Now Karen Gillan has an action pedigree many in Hollywood would strive to have. With a Gunpowder Milkshake sequel currently in the works, moviegoers are in store for more butt-kicking Gillan. In the meantime, Marvel fans will get to see her as Nebula once more with Marvel’s Phase Four continuing to roll out.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).