Country & Town House: When she was a child growing up in Scotland, Karen Gillan’s prized possession was a video camera. ‘I would just go around the house making horror films all the time, casting my parents in roles. I’m particularly proud of one in which I play a serial killer with a blonde wig on where I end up murdering my dad in the film with a knife. There was tomato sauce everywhere.’
‘It takes a small miracle to get a film made from start to finish,’ she says. ‘Even from having the first idea it takes a lot of discipline to sit down and actually write a feature film script. Then once you’ve done that and made it better and better and better, then you have to embark on this mission to get people to believe in it and actually fund it.’
When we speak to Gillan she is in Los Angeles, her current hometown. It could scarcely be further away, both in miles and in culture, from Inverness.‘It’s hard to call yourself a town girl when your town is Inverness because it’s incredibly rural. But I don’t know if I’d say I’m a city girl or a country girl either. I’m an actress – this year I’ve lived in Atlanta and Berlin for the majority of it – so I’m a bit of a nomad really. I have bases, I guess, in Los Angeles and New York, and of course they’re really, really, different. It all makes me miss Inverness a lot, so I try to go back as much as possible.’
Would she move back permanently? ‘There’s a huge part of me that just wants to like get a castle in Scotland. I’d just be really dramatic all the time and drink out of goblets, but I think the novelty might wear off.’ Career-wise, she says, it’s most likely that she’ll end up somewhere between New York and Los Angeles, even though she says she’ll never stop looking at houses for sale back in Scotland.
With America her current base she finds herself both spectator and participant in the political Punch and Judy show that is the Presidency of Donald Trump. ‘I mean, it’s wild. I’ve never seen such a separation sweeping a country, and that goes for both America and the UK at the moment, with Brexit. It’s fascinating but I’m hoping that the pendulum swings back soon and everybody can be a little bit more at peace with one other.’