Empathy is a superpower, especially in the right hands, and James Gunn he knows. Not in vain did she trust him with the character of Mantis to Pom Klementieff (Quebec, 1986), an actress whom he saw as brave enough to lose his inhibitions and let himself go on screen. The alien we met in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, daughter of Ego (Kurt Russell) It didn’t take long for him to win over viewers with his innocence and the comic duo he formed with Drax (Dave Bautista).
Although the avenging meetings did not give him much room to continue growing, in the Christmas event Guardians of the Galaxy: Happy Holidays Special, Gunn got his revenge by putting the spotlight on her and Bautista, two fish out of water (that is, on Earth) on the hunt for Kavin Bacon, and now, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 confirms her as one of the essential protagonists of the saga.
Mantis’s charisma cannot be understood without the French actress who hides under her antennae. James Gunn considers her one of her best friends, although she is actually Karen Gillan the one who can boast of having had her as a faithful squire at her bachelorette party. All the ‘guardians’ praise her, assuring that no one else could have made Mantis such a fun, endearing and unforgettable character.
The girl who traveled the world
The daughter of a Russian-French diplomat and a Korean mother, Klementieff spent the early years of her life living in different parts of the world due to her father’s job: from Quebec, her birthplace, to Kyoto, from the Ivory Coast to the bucolic Vallée de Chevreuse, an hour’s drive from Paris. This nomadic childhood, as well as her multicultural origin, would forge a resistant and open personality.
His childhood and youth would also be marked by tragedy. After moving to France, where he spent most of his childhood and youth, he lost his father to cancer at age five. Her mother was unable to take care of her because she suffered from schizophrenia and she grew up with her paternal uncles, but her uncle would also die when the young woman turned 18. At 25, she would lose her brother, who committed suicide.
Despite the fact that the passion for acting accompanied her since she was little, she did not see it as a real profession, so she began to study Law. “I did it to reassure my family. I went for two months and then I left,” the actress would tell (via Inside Hook): “Acting was something I wanted to do when I was little, and then I didn’t allow myself to do it. But at one point, I took acting classes and I loved it. I loved being on stage, creating characters and doing weird things that I can’t do in real life”.
From France to Hollywood with ‘Old Boy’
She made her debut as the stepdaughter of Catherine Deneuve in after lui (2007) while he was in his first year at the Cours Florent theater school, a prestigious center where Guillaume Canet, Eva Green, Diane Kruger and Audrey Tautou have studied. Of Wolf (2009), another of his first roles, this time directed by Nicholas Vanier, remember the cold that happened in the filming in Siberia: “55 degrees below zero!”.
He wouldn’t have to wait long to cross the chat. His first big project on the other side of the Atlantic would come four years later with the remake of old boy (2013), directed by Spike Lee, in which he coincided with Marvel actors such as Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson.
“The big difference between the French industry and the American one is that in the French productions, at lunchtime, there is red wine on the table, but in the American ones there is no alcohol, they are more puritanical,” he would say in an interview with Number.
for his character in oldboy, He gave boxing classes, but after the film he got the urge for martial arts and started doing taekwondo, getting to have a purple belt. “I started with boxing and I loved it, it made me feel empowered”, would count.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
The great leap to international fame would come to Klementieff in 2017 with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. After an extensive search, Gunn cast an actress still little known in the industry for Mantis, an emotion-reading and projecting alien who had been in comics since 1973.
“We screen tested so many actresses,” the director recalled: “We screen tested four actresses and every one of them was terrific. Pom Klementieff was simply the best at embracing the emotional, something the character has to be. That is her superpower, empathy “. This is how the interpreter arrived at her first Hollywood blockbuster, in an already successful Marvel franchise, in which she shared the screen with heavyweights like Kurt Russell, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldaña.
From that first experience as a heroine, she remembers the black contact lenses that complicated her vision and the appendages that hung from her head, those that would become her antennae in post-production. “The people in charge of the CGI would come to the set between takes and show us on the computer the different movements of the antennas and how they would look after the animation,” the actress would say: “I thought, ‘This is it! People are going to dress like me for Halloween.”
As for his involvement in the franchise, Klemetieff has always praised Gunn, the creator of these hilarious and emotional characters and worlds. For this reason, now that the director says goodbye to Marvel with Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3, the actress says Mantis is meaningless without him at the helm: “I’m grateful for James. He’s allowed me to create a character that’s weird and different, and I love that.”
Now that he’s hung up the Mantis cloak, he’s moving on to a new franchise, Mission Impossible, in whose next two films he participates. For now, the manager Christopher McQuarrie has given few details about the antagonist that Pom plays: “At the beginning of our story, she is an ally of Esai [Morales, el villano] and represents this malevolent force that Ethan is up against.”
As soon as the filming of the saga starring Tom Cruise, the actress learned to skydive, earning A and B degrees: “It has opened up a new world for me, it’s exciting to be able to fly, dance in the sky.” We already know that Tom often infects his teammates with his adrenaline addiction, and judging by Klementieff’s Instagram videos, the master will be proud of his apprentice.
The woman who still wants to travel the world
Turned into an international star, Klementieff has reflected in numerous interviews on how her nomadic childhood could have influenced the character she is today, ensuring that now it is difficult for her to stay in one place.
“It has helped me adapt to different cultures, worlds and types of people,” she said: “I have always felt like an alien, I have always felt different. When I lived in Japan, my mother was Korean and I was mixed race. Neither It was like the rest in Africa nor in France. It was always the person from the other side, like an alien, like Mantis.”
Now he’s made New York as close to home as possible. Marvel is over for her, though with Gunn as the big man of the DC Cinematic Universe, Pom may still have life in superhero movies. For now, among her plans for the coming months is to travel more: “I would love to ride a horse all over the world, maybe on a safari while the giraffes gallop.”
Klementieff wants to continue skydiving, travel by motorcycle to upstate New York, see Greece. She also wants to continue growing as an actress and work surrounded by her friends. For someone who has always managed to overcome adversity, new beginnings are a good sign. Mantis is just a first chapter in her story.
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