As one chapter closes, another one begins. It’s time to talk about my favorite character in all of the MCU. Nebula. Not only because any mainstream representation of curmudgeon-hood makes my grumpy ass feel ever-so-slightly less grumpy, but that is certainly a tiny part of it.
I once audited a class with a dialect coach who works with film actors. Just the initial screening to start to find my ‘base’ dialect was a conversation that took an hour (turns out I have a very general American dialect…the only giveaway of hailing from where I do being my liberal use of “dude”).
Karen Gillen has etched out a character so specific in dialect, movement & emotional tone, that I’d defy you to find another to compare Nebula to. Strip away that blue & purple-faced, black-eyed facade, and you still have a performance (spanning four films so far) that is one of a kind and unforgettable.
The work that has gone into each aspect would be exhausting in itself, but the sum total…I’m not sure how she’s not in a coma.
Do we dare look at the emotional thread? Who in that universe has been more tortured? Literally. Her own (adopted) father. Stripped down and rebuilt to be a better warrior, but what you get from her performance is still very raw, damaged, vulnerable humanity (Luphomoidity?).
It’s true that talented scene partners will elevate your own performance (I’ve dabbled, & you will certainly ride the wind of the genius around you). So, I would imagine doing scene work with the likes of Josh Brolin, Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana et al would inspire some pretty epic moments. I’d also likely soil myself if I had to go toe to toe with them.
Thanos would pit Nebula and Gamora in battles against each other, with Gamora winning “again and again, and again, never once refraining“. Thankfully in the case of these scene partners, neither side refrained and we’re all reaping the benefit.
We’re still fresh in Endgame territory, so we can only assume we’ll be seeing Nebula in the next Guardians of the Galaxy installment (safe bet). Who knows where in the MCU timeline or Nebula’s own emotional journey we’ll be lucky to witness when that finally hits screens.
Ms. Gillan has also recently suggested she’d be interested in directing a Marvel film. If her debut feature “The Party’s Just Beginning” is any indication (she wrote, directed and starred), she’s well versed in unearthing stirring performances from others as well as herself.
A solo Nebula film? I’m down. Whatever it ends up being I’m fairly certain what I’ll be saying dryly yet very sincerely as I leave the theater: “I had fun”.