The Untold Truth Of Karen Gillan

Watch any Karen Gillan interview and it's easy to see why Hollywood loves to cast her in certain parts. There's a natural quirkiness and dry humor to her demeanor that makes her far more believable in films such as "Gunpowder Milkshake" and "The Bubble." However, she is no newcomer to acting, as she carved out a name for herself in the UK for more than half a decade before finally catching the attention of Tinseltown in 2013 after appearing in Broadway's 24-hour play event.

Not long after that, she was cast as Nebula in "Guardians of the Galaxy," which kickstarted the next level of a career that has seen her star in massive productions such as the "Jumanji" series, "Stuber," and "The Big Short." As she continues to go from strength to strength in showbiz, now is as good time as any to look back at her experience and life story to find out more about the person behind these many roles. This is the untold truth of Karen Gillan.

Gillan got the Guardians of the Galaxy role with a caveat

In Marvel Comics, Nebula wasn't seen as a major A-list character. She wasn't exactly the first name anyone would pick for one of those fun Facebook posts where people need to build a team from limited options and budget. However, much like the rest of her fellow Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula's profile and popularity increased after the character's debut in the MCU. A good part of this success can be attributed to Karen Gillan's performances, as she has brought a newfound appreciation for Thanos' adopted daughter and made Nebula more important than anyone realized.

In an interview with The Guardian, Gillan revealed that she wasn't entirely confident in her screen test for 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy," especially with the physical side of her performance. "It must have looked hilarious, just limbs flying around," she said. "They were like: ooookay, you've got the role, but you need to learn to fight." Gillan added that getting the part served another purpose: it inspired her to take fitness and exercising far more seriously than she ever had before.

Gillan would love to return to Doctor Who

Having debuted in 1963, "Doctor Who" is one of the longest-running sci-fi franchises in the world. There have been several Doctors in that period, with each enjoying differing levels of success and appreciation among the fanbase. Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor proved to be a hit, as even Shadowlocked suggested he was the best Doctor since Tom Baker's legendary incarnation. Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond, joined Smith for three series as his companion.

Among "Doctor Who" fans, there is a lot of goodwill for Gillan and her character. Many have also wondered if there is any possibility of her coming back to play Amy one more time, especially if Smith decides to return to "Doctor Who" as well. In a Wired Autocomplete Interview, Gillan gushed about her time on the show and if she would ever consider reprising the role. "Never say never," she said. "If I was asked, I would be really, really interested and keen. Oh, it would be really amazing. I would like to do it with Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill if I was gonna go back."

She auditioned for Game of Thrones

There are many actors in Hollywood who get mistaken for others. For example, Isla Fisher and Amy Adams or even Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Javier Bardem are often mentioned as the most noticeable lookalikes. Karen Gillan revealed in a Wired Autocomplete Interview that she has been told she looks a lot like "Game of Thrones" actor Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark. She doesn't mind the compliment, and revealed how humorous it was when a fan once came up and 'recognized' her as Turner because of her blue eyes — Gillan has hazel-colored eyes.

In the same interview, Gillan revealed that she actually had auditioned for "Game of Thrones," though she never discussed which part she read for. "Actually remember I auditioned for 'Game of Thrones' and then got 'Doctor Who' right after that," she said. Wouldn't it be hilarious if she actually had auditioned for the part of Sansa and now gets mistaken for Turner?

She doubted that a Jumanji reboot was necessary

There's a saying in Hollywood: "When in doubt, reboot." Nothing is sacred in the movie business, as every popular film will inevitably come in front of a committee who'll decide to hit the reset button. Unsurprisingly, "Jumanji" received the same treatment, though it held on for a little longer than other franchises: 22 years, to be exact. "Jumanji: Welcome the Jungle" dropped in theaters in 2017, made over $400 million at the domestic box office, and received a 76% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes – not too shabby for a reboot.

Though Karen Gillan starred in the film as Ruby Roundhouse and received plaudits for her performance, she wasn't convinced that a "Jumanji" reboot was needed. "My initial reaction when I heard they were remaking 'Jumanji' [was], 'Why would you do that to 'Jumanji'? What are you going to do with one of my favorite childhood movies? Don't ruin my childhood!' I kind of had the same reaction as everyone else," she told Entertainment Weekly, before adding that when she read the script and saw how original the story was, she changed her mind and was sold on the concept.

Gillan's Nebula was meant to be a small part

When Nebula was introduced in the MCU, she was initially a thorn in the side of her adoptive sister, Gamora. Over time, however, the two put aside their differences and focused on a common enemy: their daddy dearest and mad warlord, Thanos. Now it's safe to say that Nebula is an important part of the Guardians of the Galaxy and a pivotal hero in the overall context of the MCU.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Karen Gillan revealed that her character's arc was originally meant to be much smaller in the script for "Guardians of the Galaxy." "I was supposed to film for eight days, and then I was scripted to die," she said. "And then suddenly she wasn't dying in that scene anymore, and I was like, 'Oh, hooray!'" Gillan discussed how she had read the comics to find out more about Nebula's development and hoped that the filmmakers would draw from it for the likes of "Avengers: Endgame," which the Russo brothers actually did.

A fan once proposed to her dressed as Doctor Who

Considering the size of the MCU and its legion of followers, one would expect that Karen Gillan has received more than her fair share of mail from Nebula fans around the world. With that said, there are those who might take their love of fandom a step too far and proposition the actress with strange requests and suggestions. However, Gillan revealed that her most bizarre fan interaction actually came from an overzealous "Doctor Who" enthusiast rather than a Nebula diehard.

Chatting to the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex, she said, "There was a woman in New York who proposed to me dressed as David Tennant. That was quite strange. It's something to tell the grandkids." Whether it was simply a joke or the person was serious about the proposal is still open for debate. But maybe it's a good idea to not freak out celebrities by asking for their hand in marriage as a general rule of thumb.

She accidentally smacked herself and a co-star in Jumanji: The Next Level

Thanks to her star-making performance as Nebula, the action parts have rolled in for Karen Gillan. She has openly admitted how she didn't have much confidence in her ability as an action star in the past, but through training and time, her skills have improved. In "Jumanji: The Next Level," she made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Michelangelo blush by performing an impressive nunchuck-spinning scene by herself; however, she revealed how some of her co-stars might have been collateral damage in the process.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gillan explained she was given training for the nunchucks and had more than enough preparation time. Additionally, she carried around the nunchucks with her on set to practice in between scenes. That didn't mean that it was all accident-free, though. "There was actually a few bruises on me, and maybe a couple on Nick Jonas," she said. "I remember him getting caught in the firing line one time." Maybe Jonas called out for an "S.O.S" right after.

Her favorite television show is rooted in reality

Reading celebrity interviews can be a riot. Some can be completely blunt and honest about their personal tastes and preferences. Others degenerate into a bout of pretentiousness where the famous person tries to convince others that they're the second coming of Akira Kurosawa and only watch world cinema in between all their bluster. Karen Gillan falls into the former category, as she's unashamed to reveal the first program she puts on when she wakes up.

In an interview with, she admitted that the reality series "Love Island" is her go-to when she needs something to watch in the morning. The Scottish actress added that she couldn't stop watching the show and begged the interviewer to not give her any spoilers since she was still catching up on the season. The only question is: Would Gillan sign up for the competition if the opportunity presented itself in the future?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 gave her a lot of room for improv

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, James Gunn said that any further instalments of the franchise after "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will likely follow a new group of characters. As a result, there's a big chance that this film could be the last time that fans see Karen Gillan's Nebula in the MCU — even the actress has hinted at the possibility. If it happens to be the final ride for the cyborg warrior, it will be the performance Gillan was able to shape the most in her own unique way.

In a conversation with TheWrap, Gillan was frank about what "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" allowed her to do. "There's been way more improv for me this time around than I have ever given before," she explained. It wouldn't be the first time she improvised Nebula's lines, however, as she revealed that the entire interaction between her character and Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man at the beginning of "Avengers: Endgame" was simply the two of them playing off each other.

Gillan had a lot of time travel questions on the Endgame set

Being a part of "Doctor Who" helped Karen Gillan become something of an expert on time travel. After all, the TARDIS — which appears in the shape of a police box — has become as iconic as other time travelling machines such as the DeLorean from the "Back to the Future" movies. Gillan keeps getting pulled into projects that deal with the topic of going back in time, such as "Avengers: Endgame."

As Gillan revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, she had questions about the logic of the film since she didn't have access to the full script, but needed to be able to differentiate which version of Nebula she was playing and where she was in the timeline. "I had a lot of time-travel questions coming from a time-travel background," she said. "The directors really kept me on track. So they were all over that, and I just found out whatever I needed to know for each scene. When I finally watched it, I was like, 'Oh, this makes a lot of sense.'"

She really loves horror films

Without question, Karen Gillan has cut her teeth in the action and comedy genres. She's proven that she's equally as adept at kicking faces in as putting a smile on them. Despite a solitary appearance in 2013's "Oculus," she hasn't had as much success in the horror genre — probably due to the fact that she has been typecast in similar roles for the past few years and no one has imagined her as a scream queen yet.

If it were up to her, though, she would likely change this, since the genre is her favorite. "Horror is my first love," she told "My mum loves ghost stories. When I lived in London, she would visit and sit on the Tube all day saying she could see ghosts there." Gillan added that she and her friend would make their own horror films when they were kids and Gillan's father would play the unfortunate victim in their stories.

She regrets not doing one thing in Avengers: Endgame

Ask an actor if they have any regrets about films and they may pinpoint an emotional moment or significant scene they might have tackled differently in hindsight. Often, it'll be a discussion about craft or how they developed a better understanding of the character after the production had wrapped. As it turns out, Karen Gillan has one specific regret about "Avengers: Endgame," but it isn't exactly for the reason fans may imagine.

A Twitter user posted a message of how disappointed they were that Gillan's Nebula didn't mention "Doctor Who" when there was a discussion about time travel in the MCU film. Replying to the tweet, Gillan said, "Honestly the fact I didn't think of that while filming the scene haunts me." This can easily be rectified in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," though. All that needs to happen is for someone to mention Doctor Strange and for Nebula to respond, "Sorry. I didn't catch that. Doctor who?"