Playing Mantis: Pom Klementieff on her “weird” character, the “glue” that holds the Guardians of the Galaxy together

Marvel Studios

Model and actress Pom Klementieff has played Mantis, the quirky alien empath in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

But in a universe full of hammer-wielding gods and iron men, Mantis’ unique power stems from her empathy. However, she’s not to be trifled with: She was strong enough to put Thanos to sleep in Avengers: Infinity War, in a nearly successful attempt to steal back the Infinity Stones from the Mad Titan.

She reprises in Guardians Vol. 3. “You know, she’s an empath … so you have to have a deeper connection with everything and everyone. So it’s beautiful to tap into deep, profound and layered emotions,” she expresses.

Pom adds of the misfits, “I think, like, each character complete[s] each other, too. You know, I remember [writer/director] James [Gunn] telling me that Mantis was kind of like the glue that kept the Guardians together in some ways, you know? And … I think it’s beautiful. And I think, you know, the world lacks a lot of empathy too, you know?”

She calls Mantis a “beautiful message” about the might of empathy.

That said, playing the character — who helped kidnap Kevin Bacon in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special — is a lot of fun.

“I got to be super weird, which is really fun to do. And it comes naturally to me,” she says with a laugh.

A self-described adrenaline junkie in real life, Pom has more than 100 skydives under her belt. Her skill set no doubt served her well in the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning opposite another actor-stuntman, Tom Cruise.

Vol. 3 is currently the number one movie in the world. Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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