MCU’s Nebula star Karen Gillian on unlearning action skills for ‘Dual’


Karen Gillian has had an action filled few years. She has played Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she was also a part of the ‘Jumanji’ franchise and in 2021, she did the ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’, all roles that required her to do some hard care action sequences.

Coming off the action genre, her role in ‘Dual’ was diametrically opposite. In this dark science fiction comedy, Gillian portrays the role of a terminally ill person who decides to clone herself so she can ease the grief of her loved ones.

However, her character in ‘Dual’, Sarah goes into remission and then she is legally bound to fight it out with her clone to retain her identity as Sarah.

Unlike her previous outings, the role of Sarah does not require any action sequences or stunts and so Gillian found herself having to discard her natural instincts of action that she acquired through her stints in popular action movies.

Speaking to THR, Gillian said, “I remember having to run on the treadmill when Sarah was working out for the first time, and I was like, ‘I can’t do my action hero run. So, I had to revert back to my original run, which was much more flailing around, limbs everywhere. So, it was nice to revisit that and see how far I’ve come.”

The movie has been directed by Riley Stearns whose movie credits include, ‘Faults’ and ‘The Art of Self-Defense’. Stearns’ movies are known for their deadpan and incisive dialogues and ‘Dual’ is no different. So, Gillian said she did something she had never done before, which was to channel her director’s voice into her portrayal of the character.

Gillian, shared, with a laugh, “The main thing that really helped me get into it was meeting Riley and going, ‘Oh yeah, you kind of talk like this.’ “So, I’m like, ‘Let me just do a little subtle impression of you.’”

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ star spoke about how it felt to be reprising Nebula for what might be the last instalment of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in the MCU. She said, “I think everybody was so excited to be back together. The feeling was giddy excitement. The whole family was back together and we truly do feel like a family. And it just wouldn’t have felt right without James back with us.” James Gunn was initially fired from Vol. 3 in 2018, but was later rehired by Marvel in 2019.

“It just wouldn’t have been the same movie. So, we were all extremely grateful that everything got straightened out, as it should have. And now, we’re almost finished. So, there’s a little bit of a bittersweet feeling in the air as we close out this chapter of the Guardians as we currently know it,” she concluded.

Gillian also spoke about her co-star for ‘Dual’, Aaron Paul and said that though they only spent about 4 days on set in Finland, she really enjoyed interacting with him and sharing screen space. She said that he was generous and one of the most wonderful people she has worked with.


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