Pom Klementieff will be forever known as the adorable bug, Mantis, from the second installment of the Marvel hit franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The Canadian born French actress, who is a Cours Florent Drama School alumni, has appeared in several movies including Sleepless Night, Hacker’s Game and Loup, but it is her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Mantis that has given rise to her popularity.
Pom Klementieff was born on the 3rd of May, 1986, in Quebec, Canada to a Korean mother and a French-Russian father, who was working in Canada as a consul with the French government. Pom lived in Canada for about a year before her family’s extensive traveling, as a result of her father’s job caused her to live in Japan and the Ivory Coast before the family finally settled in France.
Before finding her career path in acting, Klementieff attended law school briefly. She also worked as a waitress and a saleswoman. At the age of 19, Pom began attending Cours Florent drama school in Paris which was where she got her start in acting. After a few months into her time at Cours, she won a theater competition that awarded her scholarship for two years to study with Cours’ top teachers.
Pom’s professional acting career started with a French independent film Apres Lui in 2007, where she portrayed the stepdaughter of the protagonist, played by Catherine Deneuve.
Her Hollywood debut came in 2013 when she portrayed Haeng-Bok, the bodyguard of the antagonist in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the South Korean film of the same name. She went on to star in several American movies after Oldboy and has made a name for herself in Hollywood.
Pom is one of two children born to a French-Russian Father and a Korean mother. At age five, her father died of cancer and her mother, who had schizophrenia, was not able to raise her children as a result. Thus, Pom was raised by her paternal uncle and aunt. Pom was very close to her uncle, whom she described as a second father. Her uncle, unfortunately, died on her 18th birthday.
Other Interesting Facts About Pom Klementieff
1. Her Name Is A Homonym
Pom Klementieff’s parents chose the name ‘Pom’ because it has a similar pronunciation to the Korean words for ‘spring’ and ‘tiger’. It is an out of the box idea for naming a child but it’s still pretty cool.
2. She’s Friends With Nomads
It would not be surprising to those who have seen her character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Avengers: Infinity War to know that Pom’s got a quirky personality. In her first lead role in a film, Loup, a French film about a reindeer herder tribe in the Siberian mountains, Pom stayed in the movie camp and during filming. She also befriended the nomads who lived there, worked with real wolves, rode a reindeer and swam with a horse in a lake.
3. She’s A Martial Artist
Due to decades and decades of martial art movies from Asian countries, it can be a bit stereotypical to assume all Asian people know a form of martial art but in the case of Pom Klementieff, that assumption would not be wrong. The actress, for her Hollywood movie debut, took boxing lessons because her role involved martial arts. After the movie, she continued learning the art and in the summer of 2014, earned the purple belt in Taekwondo.
4. She Fought Thanos Before Avengers: Infinity War
Yes, we know how that sounds but it’s true. Pom’s role as Mantis in Infinity War was the second time she would share a fight scene with Josh Brolin, who played the Mad-Titan Thanos in the Marvel movie. Both actors had previously shared a fight scene in Pom’s Hollywood debut movie, Oldboy where she played the bodyguard of the antagonist.
5. Pom Klementieff is French
You are most likely bound to take a look at Pom and have your brain rummaging through the list of Asian countries trying to determine where she might be from. But you would be wrong. In fact, not only is she not Asian, but the Canadian born actress is also not Canadian-Asian. She’s French. She made this distinction in April 2017 after what we can only assume was people losing their minds on how to accurately describe her roots.