‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Star Karen Gillan Says She Improvised ‘A Lot More Lines’ in Marvel Threequel

“I don’t know if they’ll make the cut but I hope they do,” the actress tells TheWrap


A script for James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was definitely written — but the actors aren’t always sticking to it. According to Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the MCU, the “Guardians” threequel marks the most she’s ever improvised with her character.

“There’s been way more improv for me this time around than I have ever given before,” Gillan told TheWrap while promoting her new Netflix comedy “The Bubble.”

That’s not to say she hasn’t improvised with Nebula in the past. In fact, one line in particular that fans latched onto from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was when Nebula violently spits out a bite of a Yaro Root and calmly says “It’s not ripe” — and that was improvised. Then of course, there was Nebula and Tony Stark’s journey after “Infinity War,” when they were stranded in space.

“I will say, I’ve improvised a fair bit of Nebula because I don’t know if you saw ‘Endgame,’ which seems like — (laughs) — That’s a ridiculous question. But basically, all of the stuff with Robert Downey Jr. at the beginning was like, that whole montage was improvised,” she said.

“Because all that was written was oh, they play football. They eat, they do this. And then we kind of ended up getting to improvise because he’s an amazing improviser,” Gillan continued. “And so there was all this stuff about them playing the game and how much it meant to Nebula that she actually got to win something. And so she’s been slowly getting more improv-y.”

According to the actress, “Guardians 3” is just taking things to the next level.

“This time around in ‘Guardians 3’, she’s, yeah, she’s improvising a lot more lines,” Gillan promised. “I don’t know if they’ll make the cut but I hope they do.”

In reality, “The Bubble” is actually a large part of why Gillan is improvising more and more. After working with Judd Apatow, Gillan noted that she feels like she’s unlocked a new skill in her work, as there were improvised moments in nearly every scene of “The Bubble.”

“For me, the biggest challenge was like — because I’ve never really done that before — was kind of like switching off the thing in your brain that judges yourself before you say something,” she said. “I think like, that was the main skill I walked away from the movie with, which is that I was able to turn that off, and now I’m improvising in all sorts of movies that I never would have before. So it’s kind of fun.”

James Gunn returns to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which he has described as a concluding chapter in the story of this lineup of the Guardians. The film is currently in production and is scheduled for release on May 5, 2023.