Having returned from acting roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the franchise and the 2021's, took a major left turn in the form of. In Riley Stearns' sci-fi dark comedy, Gillan plays Sarah, a terminally ill woman who decides to clone herself for the sake of simplifying her loved ones' grief process. Gillan initially had to discard her instincts and knowledge she had spent countless hours developing.
"So I had to revert back to my original run, which was much more flailing around, limbs everywhere. So it was nice to revisit it and see how far I've come."
The Art of Self-Defense and Faults, Dual, based on incisive and deadpan dialogue, is the filmmaker's trademark. So Gillan made a choice that she never made before and channeled her director's own voice into her performance.
"So I'm like, 'Let me just make a little noticeable impression of you,' Gillan insists.
The Scottish actor is also off to finish her time as Nebula on, and she's opening up about how the emotions on the set have changed since they're about to complete this actual film of the Guardians.
"It just wouldn't have been the same movie, but everybody was so happy to be back together," Gillan says of the project, adding that the whole family felt like a family." Now, we've got a little bit of a bittersweet feeling in the air as we close out this chapter of the Guardians as we currently know it.
Gillan discusses Aaron Paul, her Dual co-star, and how much she enjoyed his four days on their Finland-based set. Then she goes on record to express displeasure of any involvement in an ongoing Guardians 3 set ploy, as someone keeps leaving Rick and Morty toys on Gunn's monitor.
If you were to duel yourself, what weakness of yours would you exploit en route to victory?
I'm not anticipating how I would die in a physical battle with myself, because I wouldn't know what to do. This is basically medicine. (Laughs.) I'm going to say that if I threw a knife at myself, I might freeze in fear rather than dive away. I've just seen myself on roller coasters and I don't know what to do. It's a very weird thing I do when I'm afraid. I turn into a possum and just
How did you shoot the scenes with your double?
So I had another actress called Katariina [Havukainen] and she read the other lines for which character I was not playing. And that was great. I really needed it to be an actress that I was acting opposite rather than talking to a c-stand with a head on it or something. So we filmed it with me and the other actress, and then the camera would memorize the move. So I would have to go in and try to match her movements correctly.
Sarah's double has blue eyes, which means that you had to wear blue contacts. Were you unfazed by that since you're now familiar with far more extreme transformations as Nebula?
I had to wear such large contacts in the first Guardians so that I cannot wear contacts anymore. (Laughs.)I'm completely fazed by them. So the blue eyes were done in the VFX. The sclera lenses, however, I think they are called. So I don't think I can do contacts again after that experience. (Laughs.)
Then, you have become so impressive in the last five or six years, but now, Sarah, fighting and self-defense are completely different to her. Did it take you a minute to unlearn all your reflexes so that your existing skill didn't shine through?
Yeah, I remember really doing my run over the years and ensured that I have a hand position that isn't too straight, but close enough to where it looks cool. So I went back to my previous run, which was much more flailing around, and limbs everywhere. So it was nice to revisit that and see how far Ive recovered. (Laughs.)
I loved how your line delivery was smooth and hypnotic in a way. How did you get to that decision? Was it just there in Riley's work?
I remember reading the script and being like, "This is written in a really unusual way," and that's one of the things that drew me to it in the beginning. So I watched Riley Stearns' other films and discovered a sense of a deadpan delivery. So I would say that it was really a snag for me because, as long as I had it, Id never seen it before. But I was surprised by the fact that I was hoping for something that would happen.
I've heard many tales about actors using their directors as inspiration. Have you done this a lot?
I've never done that before, but it makes perfect sense considering the director having written the script. So inevitably, there will be some of Riley's characters there. And with this technique, it was really helpful to hear how effortlessly Riley can talk in an unusual way. So I was like, "I need to get a little bit of that in there."
Finland, as a shooting destination, really aided to create the off-kilter sense of this world. What was it like as a place to live and shoot?
It was amazing seeing Finnlands. I had never seen it before, because it gave me a strangeness. So it was really cool. It was in the dead of winter, and there wasn't much daylight, so I wasn't feeling much sun on the inside. Everyone was apprehensive, but everyone was happy. (Laughs.)
Sarah and Sarah's double have a crying scene. Were you aware of the fact that they are divided in the way they cry?
I'd say that I was unsure of what they learned. I was contemplating how to better understand how different they are, because they are using the exact same toolkit. But people may have an entirely different life circumstances and upbringings, and they may be two or more people, depending on how much I was doing it. (Laughs.)
Ob it was the mock duel or the hip-hop dancing scene, it seemed like you and Aaron Paul enjoyed your time together.
We had a great time filming together. Yeah, he was actually only on the film for four days and has a lot of experience, but everything was then packaged in a single location. So it was an amazing experience. He is one of the most wonderful people I've ever met and is so generous. He flew in from the United States and immediately launched into a massive monologue about dueling someone to the death. (Laughs.)
So in Judd Apatow's The Bubble, your character was locked in her hotel room, eating room service, and exercising in place. Was that just a coincidence with your own hotel quarantine experiences?
Because we had to quarantine before we could begin filming The Bubble, I just realized that it was not filming and that it was a fake crew. (Laughs.) It was the experience I had to get to the point where we became fans. In fact, I realised that the film was completely meta. I remember thinking to one of the cameras on the set of The Bubble and then seeing the other one go and create it.
Many of the films' scenarios were significantly enhanced for the comedic effect, yet is there more real-life inspiration than we might realize?
Okay, I'm afraid a lot of it is not that far-fetched. I mean, we live our lives on wires even if you're sick. I haven't been on a wire while vomiting, but I've definitely been on a wire and saying, "This really hurts." (Laughs.)
Is there a bit of improv that you were particularly pleased of in your case?
I liked seeing scenes where everybody's taken a load of drugs, and then I had to go on a mocking about how I will be the hero and save everyone. It was also a lot of fun for me because I was adamantly aware that when I got to do something with someone else, it's difficult to get to the point where you make it happen. So, I was surprised by the fact that I was seeing a lot of people in the movie, and now I know what to do.
As you prepare for the Guardians 3 trial, here's how you think it. After all you guys have encountered James Gunn's status on the film, what happened to your first day of collaboration?
I think everybody was so happy to get back together. The feeling was great. We truly do feel like a family. So we all felt very grateful that everything had been straightened out, as it should have. So today, were almost done. Then, here's a little bit of an emotional feeling in the air as we close out this chapter of the Guardians.
Is it possible to know who's keeping Rick and Morty toys on his monitor?
I'm not sure what I think of myself! Everyone thinks it's me! I'd like to go on the record as saying it is not me. I don't know who is doing that, but I was on the monitor yesterday, and it is becoming out of control. They are taking over the whole video village. So I can't wait to see who it is.
Is it possible to tell me more about Grand Marshal Karen Gillan?
This weekend, I took the Tartan Day Parade through the streets of New York, which was one of my finest experiences of my life. I had my friends from Scotland and we all went to March together. It was just so cool to celebrate everything Scottish and to see all of these Scottish enthusiasts in America. Over here, people are absolutely passionate about Scotland, which was really wonderful.
Is it still quiet on the Jumanji front?
I don't know. I'm considering making a new film, but the question is when. That's what nobody knows yet.
Is there a scene partner from your past that you'd like to have a different "dance" with someday?
Matt Smith from Doctor Who is going to be perfect. We might have the opportunity to have a dance routine together.
Are you still working on your own project, Axe Wound?
Yes! I am rewriting it now. I finished it, and then said, "I don't want it." So I am rewriting it now. It's very common to me as a writer and filmmaker. I've been known to spend up to a year on editing a short film, but it's not like I'm on it full time. But now, I'm confident that people will get the most out of it.
Do you tend to be your own worst critic?
I don't think I'm my greatest critic. I know what I like, and sometimes it takes a very long time to get there. But when we get there, I'm completely certain that it is okay. There's just a moment in which I think, "Oh, this is fantastic," and I'm only willing to go as long as it takes to get to that moment. It doesn't matter how long it takes.
Is there a famous filming location you'd like to visit sometime?
Ooh! I had already filmed in Babelsberg, the studio outside Berlin, and that was really fun. I think it is a really good silent film that I think is so good, so that was kind of exciting. There is also a cafe from Inglourious Basterds, which I think was also featured in Babelsberg. So I want to go there as well. I guess I've already gone for a slew of Germans. (Laughs.)
Sam Esmail is developing a Metropolis series for Apple TV+.
Really? Is it going to be silent?
[Writer's Note: This is the first time it's unclear."
I want to know, but that's so exciting. I'm so going to watch that.
***Dual has opened on April 15 in theaters, both digital and on demand.