Karen Gillan: Working with Matt Smith on Doctor Who was amazing
Actress Karen Gillan came to fame playing Amy Pond in Doctor Who. As she takes her final TARDIS voyage, she admits the Weeping Angels scared the pants off her.
What can people expect from the new series?
It’s the biggest series so far in terms of the scale of the episodes. It’s five movie-scale episodes, each is a stand-alone story but they lead to the departure of the Ponds.
This is your last series. Why did you decide to leave?
It was a mutual decision. I had a lovely dinner with [writer] Steven Moffat and told him when I thought would be a good time for me to leave. He told me what he was doing story-wise and between us we decided I should go now.
When did you finish filming?
Two months ago. I’m still doing Doctor Who events so it doesn’t feel as though it’s over yet. It won’t do until the last episode goes out. I’ll have some friends over to watch it.
What leaving presents did you get?
Me and Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory Pond, got two huge pictures of ourselves looking like we’re in a Next campaign. Everyone had signed them, which was nice. I’ve given it to my mum. She loves all that stuff.
What are your favourite memories of the show?
Working with Matt Smith and Arthur was amazing. We’ve become such good friends. And running away from monsters – you don’t get that doing a normal TV drama so I’m going to miss that.
What are your favourite monsters?
The Weeping Angels. They’re the scariest. They tap into a really freaky psychological thing.
What bits won’t you miss?
It’s all been so much fun I can’t really pick anything. It requires a lot of stamina at times but I’ll miss it. The late-night shoots or when you’re shooting in a really cold castle can be challenging but we all go through it together. The more ridiculous it gets, the more fun it is.
How has your life changed since you joined the show?
Everything’s changed. The work is heavily scrutinised, you’re photographed in places where you might not expect it. It was a bit of an adjustment to make. People tell you but until it happens you’ve got no idea. I walked into it quite blindly. The pap stuff goes in waves depending on if the show is on or not. Getting your picture taken when you leave the house is always weird.
Have any of the fans taken it too far?
Some of them take it very seriously. I met one guy who said: ‘Hello, I’m River Song.’ I was like: ‘OK, what do you mean?’ and he showed me his ID. He’d changed it by deed poll. That was quite interesting. Then I met a guy who has a Doctor Who themed house. Apparently he’s got an elevator that looks like the TARDIS.
What’s the most unusual place you’ve been recognised?
In a casino in Las Vegas. I was playing some craps, then this family of four started screaming at me. They were saying: ‘Oh my god,’ and then the daughter started crying.
Are you off to Hollywood?
I don’t know about that. I’m shooting in London at the moment, then I’m doing a film in Alabama. It’s a horror film about a brother and sister. I’ll be doing it in an American accent.
Who have you learned the most from working with?
I learned so much from Matt Smith in terms of inventiveness and being in the moment and seeing where it takes you – that’s what I love most about acting now. We had a director called Adam Smith who said I needed to set myself free. It felt like I let everything go that was holding me back from being as good as I can be.
What are people’s misconceptions of you?
People are surprised I’m so down to earth when they meet me – I don’t know why. And maybe they think I’m like Amy. I’m not at all feisty in reality. I don’t have that attitude towards people and I’m quite flighty and disorganised.
What’s been your most extravagant purchase?
I’m paying for my dad to have an album made. He’s a singer, not professional, he just loves doing it. I got it as a Father’s Day present. I’m thinking of doing a duet with him but he’s far better than me.
What else do you want to do with your career?
More stage work but really just good quality projects. I want to do things that interest me. I want to write screenplays as well. My favourite ever is The Piano Teacher and I loved Shame.
Who do you want to work with?
I’ve already worked with Olivia Colman on Doctor Who but I’d want to work with her again. I really respect her as an actress.
DOCTOR WHO vs. NERDIST - All Star Celebrity Bowling
Published on Aug 28, 2012 by Nerdist
In an epic battle across time and space,Team Nerdist challenged Doctor Who and his companions to a competition for the ages. Their arena was an alien land filled with unusual creatures (San Diego Comic-Con International) and the game was one of the greatest of all time - BOWLING.
The Doctor Who All Star Celebrity Bowling Special premières Friday, August 31st as part of the Nerdist Channel's "Doctor Who-eekend". It's sure to be more fun than an Adipose weight loss program!