With all the other characters getting so much attention in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 we thought we would feature one of the new cast members, the rather lovely Pom Klementieff, who plays Mantis.
The French actress describes Mantis as “……… a kid who had a difficult and lonely upbringing and then meets people who open a new world to her. It’s a beautiful arc for the character. Mantis is an alien; she has some insect elements in her, like a praying mantis. She grew up pretty much on her own and hasn’t had much interaction with people.”
But over the course of the movie, Mantis develops a friendship with Drax, played by Dave Bautista. “I think they get along because they both have a weird sense of things, and they don’t really have the same sense of humor that everyone else has,” the actress comments. “I think what is interesting is that they’re just friends. There is nothing romantic about it. They just get along.”
Mantis is an empath and in the first scene that Klementieff shot with Drax, a moment is shared that impacts Mantis. As Klementieff explains, “When they talk and when she touches him, she sees what he went through in his life and the people that he lost. She feels all that, and she is really moved by it. It just changes her perception of the world when she understands how someone can love someone else.”
On set, Klementieff worked closely with Kurt Russell, who plays Ego. ‘He taught me how to play Pétanque, which is a French game. It’s funny because I’m French and I never learned to play it. He taught me how to throw the balls. It was pretty cool.’
The look of Klementieff’s character, Mantis, is reflective of her name and how her character operationalizes. “As far as my look, I have my natural skin color, which is amazing for the makeup because I don’t have to spend hours in the makeup chair. I think it brings humanity to the character too. I have antennae. So there are prosthetics on my forehead. Also, I have huge black contact lenses. My costume is beautifully made. The color is green, but it’s a little bit shiny but not too much, and it seems to change color. It makes me think of an insect. Like a beetle.”
Like the rest the cast, Klementieff was surrounded by the songs that will eventually form the basis of the movie’s score. “We would wear an ear piece, so we could all listen to the same song at the same time. It was great. It’s just inside of your ear, so nobody knows that you’re listening to the song. But it brings something.’
Although she found all the Guardians interesting and fun, Klementieff had a particular feeling for one. “When I read the script, I thought Baby Groot was going to be the star of the movie,” the actress says. “And he’s amazing, and he’s so funny and touching. When I saw him, I just wanted to adopt him. Seriously, I just wanted to hold him and keep him with me. He’s so cute.”
In a brief chat with Pom this is what she had to say about the film and its production….. had
Q: What did you love about the script and this character?
A: When I had the audition, I had no idea how big the character would be and that it would be a really fun and moving and special character. She makes me think of a kid who had a difficult and lonely upbringing and then meets people who open a new world to her. It’s a beautiful arc for the character.
Q: Who among the Guardians does she relate to?
A: Mantis develops a friendship with Drax. I think they get along because they both have a weird sense of things, and they don’t really have the same sense of humor that everyone else has. I think what is interesting is that they’re just friends. There is nothing romantic about it. They just get along. Yes, it’s possible for a man and a woman to be just friends!
Q: What is it like working with Dave Bautista?
A: Dave’s really nice. He’s a gentleman. He’s a big guy, but he doesn’t need to show it, which is usually the case. He’s really a pleasure to work with.
Q: What does Mantis see in Drax?
A: In the first scene that I shot, when they talk and when she touches him, she sees what he went through in his life and the people that he lost. She feels all that, and she is really moved by it. It just changes her perception of the world when she understands how someone can love someone else.
Q: How were you ingratiated into the cast?
A: I was a little bit stressed out when I had the table read the first day because I was the new one. But they made me feel comfortable and at ease. Chris Pratt is just the nicest guy on earth and everyone else is really cool too. I’m good friends with Karen Gillan now. It was really family-like. James Gunn has a big heart, and I think he chose talented people who are good people and who are easy to work with.
Q: Were you a Marvel fan?
A: I watched all the Marvel movies and am a fan, but I never read the comic books. I love characters with super powers. I wanted to do that one day in my life—have super powers or to be an alien with super powers. And it’s happening, so it’s pretty awesome.
Q: Did they show you your character in pre-production?
A: I saw some images before I started shooting. The way the character looked was really like a Super Hero fantasy, with the hair like blowing and all. The guys who do the CGI, who are amazing, showed me what the antennae would look like. It’s really cool. They did an awesome job on that.
Q: Have you ever worked with music like this?
A: When we did the table read, James played different songs that would be in the movie as we read the scenes. It was great. Some of the songs everybody knows and some of them are less known, but so cool. James is amazing with music.
Q: What have been your favorite scenes?
A: One of my favorites is the scene when I’m with the Guardians and I am explaining my super powers. It was hard because I had to laugh at some point during the scene. It looks like fun to laugh when you shoot a scene but actually it’s really hard because you need to keep it fresh. But it was a fun scene to do.
Q: Was becoming a Guardian really exciting?
A: Yes. I love this character, and I love working with these people. I can’t wait to work with them again.
Q: What about your big fight scene?
A: It was great. I love to train. I love to do martial arts and physical stuff. I didn’t get a chance to do a lot of fighting and a lot of action but what I did was fun.