"Funny, clever, gorgeous and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it.
is a Scottish actress born in 28 November 1987, who played Amy Pond, the first companion of Matt Smith
's Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who
, having previously appeared as a soothsayer in an earlier story, "The Fires of Pompeii"
Not related to Ian Gillan of Deep Purple
In September, 2012, she and Arthur Darvill
's episodes of series 7 of Doctor Who
aired, where they left in the fifth episode. Technically, their characters "left" the TARDIS in the late series 6 episode, "The God Complex", but they still managed to appear in the next 8 episodes in a row until they no longer could. At 2½ seasons, Karen is the single longest lasting Companion on the 2005 revival of the show. As Amy Pond, Karen appeared in more televised stories (not episodes, stories), 28, than any other companion in the show's entire 50 year history.
she's still quite active in the acting circuit, with her most recent TV role being part of the cast of NTSF:SD:SUV:: (on [adult swim]
) as well as scoring two movie roles, including Nebula, one of the villains in the upcoming film adaptation of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
. After that, she will be starring in Selife
for ABC, a sitcom based on My Fair Lady
Tropes associated with this actress include:
- Acting for Two: There have been quite a few Other-Amys during her time on the show. Caitlin Blackwood takes some of the burden, but there are still Time Shifts and Teselectas.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Just watch any interview with her, even the slightest mention of anything off-subject and she'll go wide-eyed and start excitedly going on about whatever caught her attention.
- Bald of Awesome: Nebula falls under Bald of Evil, but she herself fits here. Ripping off her wig at Comic-Con earned her some serious badass points from her co-stars, notably 6'6", 290 pound former wrestler Dave Bautista.
- Bald Woman: For her role in Guardians of the Galaxy, she shaved her head.
- Butt Monkey: All three members of the Who cast described their off-screen relationship as "Two big brothers teasing their younger sister." On Confidential, she showed where Matt scribbled all over her set chair, including "Wide Load" in the seat.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Just look at her Twitter feed.
- Confusion Fu: She participated in an All-Star Celebrity Bowling game against Chris Hardwick's Nerdist team while promoting Doctor Who on BBC America. Since bowling isn't all that popular in the UK, and since Karen can out-Klutz Matt and Arthur at times, she shocked everybody when her "Throw, scream, and hope" approach to bowling actually worked and gave her one of the highest scores in the game.
- Dyeing for Your Art: She shaved her head for her role in Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Enforced Method Acting: At least two notable instances:
- In "The Time of Angels", she assumed that Matt wasn't going to actually bite her hand when he's trying to convince her it wasn't made of stone. He did.
- In "The Angels Take Manhattan", she originally said she didn't want to cry during her departure scene, saying that Amy was acting spontaneously and wasn't letting what she was doing sink in. However, when it came to do the scene, she simply couldn't stop crying.
- Fiery Redhead: Amy Pond. In real life, she veers more toward "sweet and hyper" instead of sassy.
- Forgot I Couldn't Swim: One of the reasons the swimming pool scene got cut from "The Doctor's Wife".
- Genki Girl
- I Can't Dance: There are a couple of videos that imply she really can't, although it's not clear if she really can't or if she just can't keep up with Matt Smith and his randomness.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Even those that don't particularly like Amy the character (mostly due to some of Amy's Bitch in Sheep's Clothing tendencies, especially toward Rory) still like Karen the person (who has really endeared herself to fans by being very sweet, polite, and more than a little dorky).
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, she's playing Nebula, a character who can easily be summed as a psychopathic serial killer assassin with absolutely no moral center and daddy issues the size of the planet Neptune. To say its a "departure" from her usual roles is to totally understate the situation.
- Noodle Incident: When filming Who, she was renting a house owned by John Barrowman in Cardiff, and did something to ruin the counter-top in his kitchen. He described the damage in an interview as "scraping," but any time anyone (including Barrowman) asks Karen about it, she just blurts out "I'm sorry" and goes into hysterical giggling. It involved something that 'might'' be bread.
- One of Us: She's an admitted fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She even admitted that if she went to Comic Con not as part of the Doctor Who cast, she would love to go as a Klingon.
- Playing Against Type: As the villainous Nebula.
- Real-Life Relative: Karen is actually a cousin to Caitlin Blackwood, the Scottish girl who played young Amelia Pond in the Doctor Who episodes "The Eleventh Hour", "The Big Bang", "Let's Kill Hitler" and "The God Complex". They had never met until they both showed up for the script table read, since Gillan's family had moved away before the younger girl was born!
- Self-Deprecation: After revealing her new, bald-headed look, she tweeted: "Excited to announce that after long negotiations to play Chuckie in new Rugrats film, I have now been offered the role of Tommy Pickles."
- She's Got Legs: Karen is famous for her thighs.
- Statuesque Stunner: About 5'11''. They had to redesign the Daleks because of it (they were originally designed to match height with Billie Piper, who was about six inches shorter.)
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill.
- You Look Familiar:
- Would you believe that Karen was in Doctor Who before being cast as Amy? She plays the priestess who follows the Tenth Doctor in "The Fires of Pompeii".
- She was one of the models featured in the inaugural campaign of Nicola Roberts' makeup range, Dainty Doll. She can be seen in the documentary following Nicola's rehearsal directions.
- Zettai Ryouiki: She's pulled this off on◊ occasion◊.