It makes sense that Pom Klementieff, who plays Mantis the empath in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, would zero in on the feelings that Disney+‘s upcoming holiday special unwraps.
Written/directed by James Gunn and premiering on Friday, Nov. 25, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special finds the titular heroes on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for a melancholy Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). To that end, Mantis and Drax (played by Dave Bautista) are dispatched to Earth in search of the perfect present. And as revealed in the trailer for the holiday special, that gift apparently will come in the form of Kevin Bacon, star of Footloose — one of Quill’s favorite movies ever.
Karen Gillan (as Nebula), Bradley Cooper (voicing Rocket), Vin Diesel (voicing Groot), Sean Gunn (Kraglin) and Michael Rooker (voicing Yondu; it’s complicated) also reprise their roles from the big screen, while the alt country band Old 97’s is on hand to burrow a catchy new Christmas ditty in your noggin (even if their characters have no idea what Christmas is).
Speaking with TVLine on Thursday, veteran Guardian Pom Klementieff said that as Mantix and Drax hunt down Kevin Bacon — and along the way, experience all that Hollywood has to offer (and collect lotsa singles from tourists) — the holiday special “can be very goofy and very funny and cute.”
And yet the Marvel special presentation is “also very rooted in something much, much deeper and more beautiful and heartfelt,” the French actress added. “It’s a great mix, for sure.”
With much of the special being a two-hander between her and Bautista, “I had so much fun,” Klementieff raved. “I think I get to be the weirdest I’ve ever been as Mantis.” (Kevin Bacon similarly “told he us he enjoyed it as well, because I think he hasn’t done a lot of comedy,” Klementieff shared.)
In fact, Klementieff at times had to wonder if she was bugging out a bit too hard as Mantis.
“It was really funny because I would do things and then ask James [Gunn], ‘Am I doing too much…? Am I over the top?’ And he was like, ‘No, no, no! It’s the holiday special, go crazy.’
“So I was like, ‘OK let me know if I overdo it, because I can go 300 percent and burn everything down comedy-wise!'” she recalled with a laugh.
“It felt really freeing, to just go for it,” Klementieff said. “But while there are these moments of comedy, there is also this layer of something real, like, ‘It’s all about love and connection’ and ‘I need to get this Christmas gift [for Quill]’…. It’s beautiful and deeper than just a comedy.”
Plus, as James Gunn himself attested a while back, this Disney+ holiday lark will also gift MCU fans with “a lot of big information” that is canon. (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters May 5, 2023.)
“Yes,” Klementieff teased, “there’s a big reveal that you need to watch….”