Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, has shared a behind-the-scenes look at her intense transformation into the extraterrestrial character. Even months before shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gillan has begun the process of getting into her role. The images reveal Gillan sitting in a chair as makeup artists create a mold of her face.

Check out the images below, which were originally shared on Gillan's Instagram story (via Twitter user @cosmic_marvel):

Originally, Gillan's character of Nebula was supposed to meet her end in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. But those plans changed, and she was worked into two future Guardians movies as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Now, she's set to return for the third installment for Guardians of the Galaxy and will be featured in Thor: Love and Thunder.

While getting to develop a character over multiple movies in a high-profile franchise is an amazing opportunity for an actor, these photos prove that it's a lot more work than it lets on. This is even more true if that character you're playing is a humanoid alien with a bald head and blue skin. Prosthetic work is a big component in bringing Marvel's more other-worldly characters to life, and it takes a long time — even months — to ensure that everything looks perfect.

Gillan's next appearance as Nebula in the MCU will be in Thor: Love and Thunder, which arrives on May 6, 2022.

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