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14 July 2021

Karen Gillan for Schön! Magazine

Schön! – Over her career, Scottish-born actress Karen Gillan has played a vast spectrum of characters. She’s led both Jumanji films, portrayed Nebula in the Marvel Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy and starred in a host of acclaimed television series. With her latest film Gunpowder Milkshake, currently streaming on Netflix, she’s managed to crank things up a notch, kicking down boundaries and proving that gender is nothing when it comes to true power. […]

Photoshoots & Portraits > 2021 > Session 02 [+17]

How has it felt going back to film sets after the massive change brought about by the pandemic?

It was weird going back to set for the first time after the pandemic. I think that like everyone, we all kind of grew weirdly accustomed to staying inside our homes. It felt a little nerve-wracking to go back into a workplace, but also, it’s nice to be able to go back to work and do what I like doing. So, I felt lucky, but a little nervous. Actually, I shot three films during the pandemic, which was like a particularly busy time.

[…] What is your preparation process more generally? As in, how do you get into the mindset of a new character?

I do the same thing for every character, which is that I’ll go through the script, and I’m like a detective — looking for all the clues [about] who this character is. I write down everything that my character says about themselves. I do it from my point of view, so it’s everything I say about myself, and then I write down everything other characters say about me. They might say, ‘she doesn’t care about anyone but herself,’ and that tells you, oh, she’s being perceived in a very different way. Then I look for all descriptive stage directions. So, if she ‘nervously approaches the door,’ we get the sense that maybe she’s more of a nervous person. It gives you a really broad sense of who this person is. Because of that, I read psychology essays, where I’m usually looking for one emotional hook with the character. In the film Gunpowder Milkshake, for instance, she was abandoned by her mother when she was 12, and that was something I could grab onto. I read a lot about abandonment issues and how that affects the person later in life. That was like a steering wheel for me.

Speaking of Gunpowder Milkshake, what did preparation for this role look like? Did you have to do any martial arts training or anything like that?

I had a lot of training. That was probably the thing that I did the most. And I’ve done action sequences before in films but usually, there’s one or two that I get to focus on. But this was a lot of action — sort of nonstop. I had about three weeks before we started filming between my previous job and Gunpowder. So, I just went to Berlin and started training with the stunt team every single day, and they were teaching me how to box. We were running around the studio, we were rolling around, and then learning the routines as well. During that time, I was also learning how to fire guns, gun safety and how to change armour quickly. So, it was like a boot camp, essentially.

Samantha is a great example of equality and power that isn’t sexualised. Did you feel empowered to play a leading character in such a feminist movie? Were there things you liked about that the most?

I love the character. I completely fell in love with her and loved playing her. The thing I liked most was playing around with the vulnerability of her emotions and how tough she is when she’s fighting. She probably has a lot of anger toward her mother, and that all comes out when she’s fighting. It was fun to play this slightly muted character that, as soon as she’s fighting, this beast is unleashed, because all of her aggression has been bubbling under the surface. As soon as somebody wants to fight, she’s brilliant. This is a release for me.

I was proud that our director was quite insistent that nobody is wearing a sexy outfit. That is not what this film is. This is just about a group of powerful women coming together to take on a mission. It’s not a male fantasy at all. And it’s cool that we don’t explore some love life; I think that it’s pretty irrelevant for the story and kind of just separates the female assassin depiction from others. It’s just about her work life and dealing with some family issues.

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10 November 2019

Karen Gillan photographed for Country & Town House Magazine

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.

(read the rest of the article at the source)

Press > 2019 > Country & Town House Magazine (December) [+10]
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2019 > Session 06 [+07]
08 April 2019

“Avengers: Endgame” Press Junket

The “Avengers: Endgame” Press Tour started this weekend, with Karen attending both the Global Junket Press Conference and the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Press Conference on April 7th. Thanks to our friend Jasper (, I have also added very nice portrait pictures of Karen alongside Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo.

Public Appearances > 2019 > April 07: Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Global Junket Press Conference [+06]
Public Appearances > 2019 > April 07: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Press Conference [+11]
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2019 > Session 02 [+05]
15 January 2019

Karen Gillan photographed for Bustle

BustleKaren Gillan’s Directorial Debut Is Nothing Like Her Previous Work — But Don’t Be So Surprised:I’ve been released from a very tight ponytail,” actor and filmmaker Karen Gillan says when she sits down opposite me in the Bustle green room and I ask how she is. “It’s the best feeling in the world. Liberation.

It’s tempting to look for the symbolism in the phrasing she uses to describe her post-photoshoot “release.” After all, the actor who found fame in high-profile, crowd-pleasing projects like Doctor Who, where she played companion Amy Pond, and Guardians of the Galaxy, as Gamora’s villainous sister Nebula, is currently doing press for her first feature-length independent film as a writer/director. (Bustle is her last stop today, hence the hair freedom.) The blistering character drama, The Party’s Just Beginning, available on iTunes and on demand, charts the path of grief for one lost young woman. But Gillan doesn’t operate by the assumption that you have to shed one skin to reveal another.

For her, whether she’s hacking through the middle of the jungle with The Rock or huddled up in a tiny house in her hometown in Scotland, making movies is “the same job.” So though audiences may feel the culture shock of seeing the 32-year-old transition from Jumanji‘s blockbuster wit and adventure to The Party’s Just Beginning’s exploration of anguish and depression, she’s perfectly comfortable moving between them.

Sure, when you’re working on an Avengers film, “you sort of get to be like a child that doesn’t have to be responsible for anything,” she says, because of all the assistance and perks. But, she adds, “when it comes down to it, we’re just people in a place delivering lines of dialogue to each other.” It’s the assessment of a seasoned pro, pushing against the public’s inclination to see actors as one thing or another, and a good reminder that so many of the limits we project on performers are just that: projected.

After all, Gillan’s been doing the legwork for her debut as a filmmaker long before she nabbed a part in Adam McKay’s Oscar-winning The Big Short, shared the small screen with John Cho in the much-mourned sitcom Selfie (she says they “should totally make a movie version” of Henry and Eliza’s story and “just wrap it up for everyone,” by the way), or teamed up with most of the Marvel crew in Infinity War. The Party’s Just Beginning has been part of her life through it all, and she’s not surprised or disappointed that it took six years to make.

Thank God that that’s the case,” she says. “I feel like as a filmmaker and storyteller, I’ve just grown so much over those years. I’m so glad I didn’t direct it when I was about 24.

(read the rest of the article at the source)

Photoshoots & Portraits > 2019 > Session 01 [+07]
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