Kevin mentioned that the audition process is pretty long.
Pom Klementieff: It was a first audition with the casting director and then a second one with the casting director and James, and then the third one was a screen test here in Atlanta.
What do you think separates Mantis from everyone else? What does she do differently?
Pom Klementieff: There's something more strange, maybe. She comes from a different world and she's less... I don't know. There's like something less sexual, I would say. Or more awkward, yeah?
So, she's like an awkward sort of presence? Is that why she gets along with Drax?
Pom Klementieff: Yeah, I think so. [Laughs] They're a little bit off, you know?
Is there any romantic dynamic between her and Drax?
Pom Klementieff: You'll see! You'll see!
Does she have a personal character journey, in addition to the big picture mission? Is there anything about her that needs to change over the course of the movie, other than just learning things? Like a personal character arc?
Pom Klementieff: No, I don't think so.
Who's her family? Does she have parents? Is she like an adopted sort of daughter of Kurt Russell's character?
Pom Klementieff: Um--
Unit Publicist John Pisani: We don't want to get into too much of that.
Because I know family is a big theme in this movie, and I feel like every character has some sort of connection to something that they lost.
Pom Klementieff: Yeah, yeah, it's true. Yeah, there's some like adoption and some loneliness going on, but I can't really, like, explain everything.
Can you tell us what's happening today? What you're doing today?
Pom Klementieff: Today, it's not really big for my character. I'm just with Kurt Russell. But I can't really say what I'm doing, right? [Laughs]
Unit Publicist John Pisani: Yeah, it's a little bit of a spoiler. You probably don't want to say that part.
[Laughs] What's it like joining this Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has just grown exponentially in these last few years?
Pom Klementieff: It's amazing! I feel really lucky and really happy. I'm really happy to work with James, he's a wonderful human being. He has a big heart, and he created something really beautiful and really badass and fun and cool. It's a beautiful story.
How does she interact with Rocket and Groot, because Rocket is a very angry character? Does that rub off on her?
Pom Klementieff: Yes! There is a funny moment, but I can't really tell. She's trying to connect with him and it doesn't really work. [Laughs]
We saw some concept art of your character kicking some ass with the Guardians. Can you talk a little about that, about your character with the Guardians in the middle of everything?
Pom Klementieff: I look really badass on it, but am I in the movie? Hm, I don't know.
What's your character's greatest strength and greatest weakness?
Pom Klementieff: Oh my god. [Laughs] Greatest strength? It's her power to be able to read people and to change them, and her weakness, maybe, would be the past. And what she accepted for a long time in her past.
She's haunted by her past?
Pom Klementieff: I mean, haunted, we all have fucked up things that happened to us in the past, but we just, like, go with it, you know?
Two of the best characters in the movies are on set played by guys in green suits. Is it sort of hard to do a scene against Sean Gunn on his knees as Rocket? Is it weird?
Pom Klementieff: He's amazing! It's funny how he can, like, fold himself and he's great. He's a great actor.
No, it's weird, but it's really technical when you are in a movie. Sometimes instead of an actor, you have to talk to something that is next to the camera, because it gives a better angle for the shot. When you're an actor, you have to imagine. You have to do "as if" and you have to imagine things, like, 'Oh there is something coming here!' Or, 'You're in a beautiful countryside. It's beautiful. There is a tree there. There are birds.' And then you imagine stuff, so it's kind of the same. So, it's kind of like an extension of that.
With her powers to not only read but manipulate emotion, something from the comics saw Mantis sort of control the other Guardians in a way that kind of split them up--
Pom Klementieff: Mhmm.
Does she have her own agenda in like, manipulating the other characters?
Pom Klementieff: Hmmm. [Laughs] I don't want to give too much.
Unit Publicist John Pisani: "I think it's fair to say she has somewhat of an arc that they go around to...
Pom Klementieff: He's my bodyguard!
[Laughs] Understood. Thanks!
We'll find out what that's all about shortly! Oh, and Mantis will return for Avengers: Infinity War.
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018