Karen Gillan is a Scottish actress and former model who is probably best known for her role as Amy Pond on “Doctor Who.”
Karen Gillan will appear in the film “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Most recently, she will star in the comedy pilot “Selfie,” about a self-obsessed 20-something who enlists the help of a marketing expert after an embarrassing video goes viral.
Her nickname is Kaz and she was born an only child and was raised in Inverness, Scotland. She said, “I am legitimately Scottish. I can officially say – yes. Yeah, I am from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland.”
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Originally Karen Gillan wanted to be a singer. “Because my dad sings a lot.” She added, “like Ella Fitzgerald, because that’s who I loved.” She then developed a love of acting as a child and appeared in youth theatre groups.
As a child, she feared piano exams. “I think it’s fear of humiliation or something. And that’s something I’ve taken with me in life and tried to combat. Because as an actor you’ve got to get rid of that fear because at some point you are probably going to get humiliated if you take any sort of risk.”
When she was 16, she decided she wanted to pursue acting and studied at the Performing Arts Studio Scotland, and later at the Italia Conti Academy in London.
After Karen Gillan landed her role on “Doctor Who,” the first person she told was her mother. She added, “I wasn’t really a huge follower of Doctor Who before I got this part. I mean, I knew it was huge…but I was nothing like my mum, who’s a proper diehard Whovian.”
Of the show, Karen Gillan said, “It changes your life so much. I have been through so many experiences. It can’t help but make you a little bit older. And I am so much more confident. I was like a rabbit in headlights when I started. I was like ‘what is this.’ I was 21 and had never done it before. You evolve with it and go with it.”
She left the show as “we covered so much with the character and I wanted to leave on a high. I didn’t want it to drag on or fizzle out in any way.” For her role in “Guardians….” she worked out four times a week and had never been so fit.
Karen Gillan described herself in five words as “Optimistic. Spontaneous. Laughy. Driven. And morbid. There’s a small section of my brain that is…wearing dark eyeliner.” She also said maybe ten years from now she would like to be a writer.
Karen Gillan currently resides in Los Angeles and is single.