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

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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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