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Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Nick Kitchen

Karen Gillan on GOTG Workouts: “I felt like I was in a Rocky montage”

It seems that former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan is everywhere these days. She starred in her first leading role in the horror movie Oculus back in the spring, is popping up in 3D in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy as villainess Nebula (out last week in the UK, premieres in American theaters today. More on that momentarily!), and is headlining her own comedy, Selfie, on ABC this fall.

To say the very least, everything appears to be coming up Pond. While Gillan is a brilliant actress and stunningly beautiful, it seems that her commitment to the roles she takes on is her greatest career quality. Case in point, when Gillan was announced as cast member for GOTG, she showed up at San Diego Comic-Con and surprised everyone with a completely shaven head. Commitment; she has it on lock.

It should be no surprise then that her role as Nebula called for even more. Speaking with British newspaper Metro, Gillan dished on the physical training she had to do to prepare for the role:

“I trained with a personal trainer four times a week to bulk up. I don’t work out as much normally so it was pretty intense. And then every day I wasn’t working on the film I’d have to do martial arts and they’d teach me how to kick and punch over and over again. It felt like I was in a Rocky montage.”

While we caught glimpses of what an action sequence with Karen Gillan would be like in Series 6’s The Girl Who Waited, this seems to indicate that we’re going to see a much more physical performance from Gillan than we’re used to seeing. Of course, it’s also interesting to note that her reaction to her bald head the next morning was “Aargh!” which does make sense, dear reader. I believe I’d have the same reaction if I had my hair shaved off as well. What do you think, fellow Kasterborites? Will you be checking out Guardians of the Galaxy? Are you surprised at the levels of commitment Karen Gillan has displayed in her roles? Sound off below!

(Via Belfast Telegraph)

*Writer’s Note: After writing this piece, I stumbled upon the opportunity to see the film at an advance screening here in the states. I’ll not say too much, as I’m not sure if a review of the movie is planned, but I do have a few extra thoughts to add. The first of which is that the hype is right on the money this time around. This is by far the best movie Marvel has released, from frame to frame, and if you have the opportunity, the film is definitely worth the watch. Second, while Rocket Raccoon wins the award for most scene stealing moments, Gillan’s Nebula is a thing to behold. Virtually unrecognizable as the Amy Pond we all know and love, she steals the show from the other villains when on screen.

For example, the highly anticipated scenes featuring Josh Brolin’s Thanos are more notable for Gillan’s facial expressions, body language, and lines (short, as they may be). This is no slight on Brolin’s performance (who turns in an interesting performance as the Mad Titan), but more a credit to the talent of Gillan and the brilliance of Gunn’s screenplay. American accent notwithstanding, Gillan’s Nebula makes the most of her screen time, which is smaller than you might think as she isn’t the main antagonist in the plot, and leaves this writer hoping she makes a return in the 2017 sequel or other Marvel films along the way. – NK

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About the Author

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“That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” And from that line on, I’ve been unable to stop watching, reading, musing about the Doctor. As a recent transplant to the Whoniverse, I’ve been trying to soak up as much Who-related knowledge as possible. That journey has taken me from the Tenth Planet to the Fields of Trenzalore and gently set me at the edge of my seat for what’s next. It’s an honor to be here and I plan to bring a unique perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey alongside me.




One Response to Karen Gillan on GOTG Workouts: “I felt like I was in a Rocky montage”

  1. avatar Brucetheshark says:

    I wasn’t the greatest fan of Amy Pond – the character never appealed to me despite Karen’s undoubted talent as an actress but since then I have been bowled over by just how good she is. We’ll take Manhattan was a vastly underrated telemovie which showcased Karen’s range and she was terrific in Oculus but although her part wasn’t that big in GotG she sure as heck commanded every second she was on the screen. Hats off for scoring the lead in Selfie and pulling off a great American accent. I don’t think it will get renewed but to singlehandedly win the lead role in a US network sow with such a limited CV is amazing. Karen is also now shooting a new movie in the US with a big A list cast.

    No other New Who actors have been as successful in the US as Karen (maybe Chris excepting), so kudos to her for working so hard to make it so big. And like Matt remaining ridiculously lovely and grounded and sweet. Love ya Kaz!

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