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When Guardians of the Galaxy star Karen Gillan is mentioned in the same breath as her complicated character Nebula, a picture automatically starts to form. A very blue skinned and absolutely bald picture, with many cybernetic enhancements and parts, to be sure; but it’s the definitive portrait of Gillan’s memorable MCU role. Well, James Gunn recently shared a photo of his two-time collaborator, and it’s a very different look from what we’d normally see on the set of a Marvel project. In fact, Karen Gillan looks just like Karen Gillan, as you’ll see below:

Meant as a birthday tribute to his friend and co-worker, James Gunn shared this photo on Twitter, along with an equally sweet message. Part of which is Gunn’s enthusiasm to show the world “the real Gill” before she’s transformed into a robotic assassin with a grudge to settle. Though there is one specific reason for why Karen Gillan looks so much different than her usual Nebula appearance.

As eagle-eyed Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will be able to tell you, the photo above looks to have been taken during the shoot for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 music video. With a disco single like the David Hasselhoff-enhanced tune “Guardians Inferno,” there was obviously going to be a need for flashy outfits and makeup that weren’t the usual for Karen Gillan. And as you’ll see in the video below, that particular day of shooting must have been a pretty fun warmup before heading into the deadlier/more emotional territory the James Gunn-directed sequel navigated:

Yeah, we wouldn’t expect Nebula to be flashing peace signs or dancing around the battlefield anytime soon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Especially when, in her last appearance, she pulled double duty as Nebula, with her present day self having to kill her past evil self. Oh, and the whole Tony Stark dying to save the universe angle kind of made things pretty somber as well. But again, that’s just part of the difference between the persona and the talented actor playing her; and it makes waiting for our next chance to see Karen Gillan in action so thrilling to anticipate.

Which is a good time to mention that Ms. Gillan can next be seen in both the action thriller Gunpower Milkshake, as well as the intense sounding Aaron Paul sci-fi vehicle Dual; both of which are assumed to be released at some point in the next year. So if you’re interested in either of those films, you should definitely keep an eye on the 2021 release schedule, as that information will be added to the roster once it’s broken. And, of course, if you want to see any of Ms. Gillan’s MCU appearances, you can find those films conveniently housed on Disney+.

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