Karen Gillan: Obsessive fans, short skirts and life with Doctor Who
Interview by Gerard Gilbert
Saturday, 7 May 2011
The boiled down bits...
Matt Smith has playfully likened his co-star to a praying mantis.
Gillan's audition for the role involved a clandestine visit to BBC Television Centre, where she had to give the receptionist the password "panic moon" ("it's an anagram of companion").
She didn't tell her mother that she'd won the role because her mum is a "proper diehard Whovian. She's got a Tardis money-bag, and Dalek bubble-bath" and might have blabbed.
A happy redhead.
Her main memory of school is of being teased for being a redhead. "I don't know why, though, there are loads of us in Scotland. It's almost a majority," she laughs. "I was teased but it's OK, because I used to like my hair even at that age." In fact, Amy Pond has become something of a role model for young redheads. "I get letters from them – it makes me really happy."
The Pilgrim in Kennington will perhaps one day live up to its name and become a destination for Whovian tour groups, Gillan having worked behind the bar there for a year.
Karen in her pub working days. Or is that a club?
Her innocence in such matters as obsessive fans will eventually wear off, no doubt...
Life in Cardiff sounds almost monastic, even with the odd jaunt such as a recent one to see Arcade Fire in concert (Smith was mobbed apparently, but Gillan left to dance unmolested). "Filming the show becomes your life in a way and I really worry that I don't have anything else to talk about," she says. "Everything's Doctor Who. We don't have a social life or anything, because you just can't, and film the next day.
Karen, presumably snapped in her empty bedsit in Cardiff. Poor, depressed struggling actress needs cheering up. Call...
"I watch stuff on YouTube every night – that's what I do in the hour that we have between filming and looking forward to our houmous and Nairn's oatcakes. That's what Matt and I have in the evenings... it's depressing," she laughs.
Sounds like Karen doesn't watch cooking clips on You Tube. I'm a bit worried about those two living like a pair of pikey students in Cardiff. So worried I might start making my own cooking lesson vids for them and post them on YouTube. If only I could cook. Or had a video camera. Perhaps they should do a 'Come Dine with Me' Who Special and share the cooking amongst them. I bet Rory's an untamed force in the kitchen.
Anyway, glad to hear Karen's not out and about in Cardiff on school nights. Guess she learnt that during her first season.
Oh, and I missed out the bits about her boyfriend - we're gonna carry on pretending he doesn't exist...
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