Pom Klementieff will forever be known as the adorable bug Mantis from the second part of the Marvel hit franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The Canadian-born French actress, a graduate of the Cours Florent acting school, has starred in several films including Sleepless Night, Hacker’s Game, and Loup, but it is her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Mantis that has established her popularity.
Pom Klementieff was born on May 3, 1986, in Quebec, Canada, the son of a Korean mother and a French-Russian father who worked in Canada as a consul with the French government. Pom Klementieff lived in Canada for about a year before her family moved to Japan and the Ivory Coast due to her father’s extensive travels before the family finally settled in France.
Before she found her career path in acting, Klementieff briefly attended law school. She also worked as a waitress and saleswoman. At the age of 19, Pom began attending the acting school Cours Florent in Paris, where she found her way into acting. After a few months during her time at the Cours, she won a theater competition that granted her a scholarship for two years to study with the best teachers of the Cours.
Pom’s professional acting career began in 2007 with the French independent film Apres Lui, in which she portrayed the protagonist’s stepdaughter, played by Catherine Deneuve.
She made her Hollywood debut in 2013 when she played Haeng-Bok, the antagonist’s bodyguard in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the South Korean film of the same name. After Oldboy, she starred in several American films and made a name for herself in Hollywood.
Pom is one of two children born of a French-Russian father and a Korean mother. At the age of five, her father died of cancer and her mother, who suffered from schizophrenia, was unable to raise her children. So Pom was raised by her uncle and aunt on her father’s side. Pom was very close to her uncle, whom she called her second father. Unfortunately, her uncle died on her 18th birthday.
Other Interesting Facts About Pom Klementieff
1. Her Name Is A Homonym
The parents of Pom Klementieff chose the name “Pom” because it has a similar pronunciation to the Korean words for “spring” and “tiger”. It’s an unconventional idea to name a child, but still pretty cool.
2. She’s Friends With Nomads
It would not be surprising for those who have seen her character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, to know that Pom has a quirky personality. In her first leading role in a film, Loup, a French film about a reindeer herder tribe in the Siberian mountains, Pom stayed at the film camp and during the shooting. She also made friends with the nomads who lived there, worked with real wolves, rode on a reindeer, and swam with a horse in a lake.
3. She’s A Martial Artist
Due to the decades of martial arts films from Asian countries, it can be a bit stereotypical to assume that all Asians know a martial art form, but in the case of Pom Klementieff, this assumption would not be wrong. The actress took boxing lessons for her Hollywood film debut because her role included martial arts. After the film, she continued to learn the art and earned the purple belt in taekwondo in the summer of 2014.
4. She Fought Thanos Before Avengers: Infinity War
Yes, we know how that sounds, but it is true. Tom’s role as a praying mantis in Infinity War was the second time she shared a fight scene with Josh Brolin, who played the Mad-Titan Thanos in the Marvel film. Both actors had previously shared a fight scene in Pom’s Hollywood debut film Oldboy, in which she played the bodyguard of the adversary.
5. Pom Klementieff is French
You will most likely take a look at Pom and let your brain search the list of Asian countries to find out where it could have come from. But you would be wrong. In fact, not only is she not Asian, but the Canadian-born actress is not Canadian-Asian either. She is French. She made this distinction in April 2017, after we can only assume that people lost their minds as to how exactly she should describe her roots.