"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, being part of the cast of NTSF:SD:SUV:: (on [adult swim]
) as well as scoring two movie roles - Nebula, one of the villains in the film adaptation of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
and Kaylie in Oculus
. She also stars in Selfie
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. Special attention goes to "The Girl Who Waited", which featured both her current self and a very good makeup job that made her some thirty years older. With a sword.
- Bald Woman: For her role in Guardians of the Galaxy, she shaved her head. Funnily enough, this meant she and Matt Smith were both wearing wigs during her cameo in his final episode.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fake American: Uses an American accent in Guardians of the Galaxy, Oculus, and Selfie.
- 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 it's a "departure" from her usual roles is to totally understate the situation.
- 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. Fittingly, Amy Pond is a major character in the ''Doctor Who'' comic book crossover with TNG.
- Playing Against Type: As the villainous Nebula.
- Real-Life Relative: Karen is 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!
- 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.)
- 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.