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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]
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]
25 May 2018

Porter: Women In Hollywood 2018

Porter — Scottish-born Gillan, 30, shot to fame playing Doctor Who’s companion Amy Pond in the cult British TV show before landing roles in blockbusters including Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War. This year Gillan made her feature-film directorial debut with The Party’s Just Beginning, which she also wrote and starred in.

Why did you want to direct? When I was growing up, I had a video camera and I would make horror movies with my parents or friends. I didn’t think of directing as a female job, which is ridiculous, but I hadn’t seen any examples. Then I started working in the industry and thought: ‘I should just do this.’ It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What was it like shooting The Party’s Just Beginning in your hometown of Inverness, Scotland? I would be directing during the day, in an authoritative position, then coming home and being moaned at by my mother for not bringing my laundry down!

Who has been pivotal to your career? My mother and father. Without claiming to be, they were such feminists, because they never thought I couldn’t do anything because of my gender. That feels like true gender equality.

What has been your worst career advice? ‘Wait to be invited’ – I don’t think things come to you, you have to go out and get them.

Which woman in Hollywood inspires you most? Tilda Swinton. She could be doing giant movies, but instead she’s finding interesting filmmakers and giving them a platform by attaching her name to the project. I think that’s a great use of her stardom.

We hear that you’ve volunteered to direct an all-female Avengers… I didn’t nominate myself in any real way, but whether I directed it or not, it would be amazing for Marvel to make a movie like that.

“I didn’t think of directing as a FEMALE job; I hadn’t seen any examples. Then I started working in the INDUSTRY and thought: ‘I should just do this.’ It’s one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made”

Photoshoots & Portraits > 2018 > Session 11 [+03]
26 April 2018

Karen Gillan photographed for W Magazine

W Magazine — Karen Gillan is hard to miss. Five feet eleven, flowing red hair, an infectious Scottish accent—it’s the perfect storm of attributes that will invariably make you take notice when she walks into a room. It’s that much more ironic, then, that her most recognizable role to date, as Nebula, the bald, blue-skinned alien from Guardians of the Galaxy, is Gillan at her most unrecognizable.

But Gillan, you see, is always ready for a challenge. “In the audition for [Guardians of the Galaxy], they asked if I was willing to shave my head, and it sounded like a cool project and I was up for this change. I’ve always had long red hair that was kind of a defining feature for me, so to kind of rid myself of that…” It’s worth noting that at this point, Gillan was under the impression that her character, daughter of the evil alien warlord Thanos and sister to Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, was only going to be a minor role, amounting to just eight days of shooting. “Yes. It seems a little extreme, in retrospect,” she admitted. But it’s a risk that paid off, as it turns out that Nebula has stuck around far longer than Gillan had ever imagined. It’s been four years since the first film debuted in 2014, and in that time, she’s reprised the role in last summer’s sequel and will do so once again in this weekend’s Avengers: Infinity War, posed to be Marvel’s biggest movie ever, which will bring the Guardians into the fold alongside Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, and the rest of the gang. “I felt like the Guardians were a family and we were about to meet all of our cousins,” Gillan said. (She’s also fully grown back her hair in that time, she’s proud to report, noting, “When it is first growing in and is completely vertical and you are five feet eleven, people will mistake you for a man.”)

Just as the Guardians have joined a roster of established heroes, Gillan found herself working among some of her own acting heroes while filming the movie. “I was really excited to work with Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr., just because I grew up watching their films and think they are such incredible actors,” she said. “I really wanted to see their process and behind-the-scenes. And it was great. What I love about them as actors—and you can see it on the screen—they are so loose and inventive, and there is lots of improv happening. It just feels really natural to them.

Of course, the 30-year-old can’t say much about the film; mainly because, despite the fact that we’re chatting just five days before it is slated to hit theaters, she still has yet to see it. “Hardly any of us have even read the script for the film,” she added. “They are so secretive that they’ve gone so far as to write a fake script for people to read. So you just don’t even know if what you’re reading is real or not until you are there reading the words. We are in the same position as all of the fans of the film. I just can’t wait to watch it. I mean, we were shooting it for a year. I’m not entirely sure how any of my scenes fit into the overall story. It is actually kind of a fun place to be in, because it is going to be surprising.

Gillan was poised to figure it out days later, at Monday night’s world premiere, which gathered all of the Avengers in Los Angeles, but first she had another red carpet to tend to: the premiere of her directorial debut, The Party’s Just Beginning, which opened at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday night. The film, which Gillan also wrote and stars in, follows a 20-something woman named Liusaidh dealing with the aftermath of her best friend’s suicide, leading her on a path of nonstop partying and trysts with anonymous men. Though the film, which is at times both wickedly funny and profoundly heartbreaking, is set in Gillan’s hometown of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, the film is by no means an autobiographical tale. “Initially I read a statistic that sparked the whole thing that said that suicide rates in the Highlands of Scotland were significantly higher among young men than the rest of Scotland,” she said. “I thought it was so strange because it was such an idyllic and picturesque place to live. I was like, ‘Why is this dark statistic looming over this beautiful place?’ I knew that I wanted to tell that story, and take inspiration from my own life and thread it through this fictional storyline.

(read the rest of the article at the source)

Photoshoots & Portraits > 2018 > Session 08 [+05]
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