Monday, 29 March 2010

Karen Gillan

Karen Sheila Gillan was born and bred in Inverness, Scotland (born 28 November 1987). Her father, Raymond John, a Day Centre Manager, and mother, Marie, live in Kinmylies. She attended school at Charleston Academy. Formally known as Inverness High School. Aged 16, she decided to pursue her acting career further, studying acting at Edinburgh's Telford College. Later, she secured a place at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts drama school in London on the BA (Hons) Acting degree course.

Before Doctor Who

Gillan gained her first television role in Rebus while still studying at Italia Conti, and has since had parts in The Kevin Bishop Show, Channel 4's Stacked and James Nesbitt's forthcoming film Outcast. On The Kevin Bishop Show, Gillan played several roles in various skits, including one in which she parodied both Angelina Jolie and Jolie's interpretation of video game heroine Lara Croft. She has also lampooned Julia Roberts' role in Pretty Woman and pop singer Katy Perry.

Standing 5'11, Gillan is the tallest actress to be cast in the companion role, and when not acting, she has taken advantage of her height to take on occasional modeling roles, including 2007 London Fashion Week for designer Allegra Hicks' autumn/winter catwalk show.

Karen can also be seen in upcoming teen drama The Well in the autumn.

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The Well will air in the autumn in the Switch zone on BBC Two (Saturdays 12noon-2.00pm) and extends online at where the audience can immerse themselves further in the story, exploring a spookily atmospheric recreation of the main drama location in a multi-level game.

The action in The Well centres on a derelict building, which contains a long-forgotten well, the resting place of a dormant malevolent force. When the house changes owners and renovations begin, four teenage friends uncover the well and unwittingly unleash an old and restless spirit.

Doctor Who

2008 - Karen first appeared in Series 30 episode The Fires Of Pompeii where she played a Soothsayer - a member of the Sibylline Sisterhood that were in Pompeii in 79 AD. She has eyes painted on the back of her hands - a sign of a soothsayer. She was the first of the Sisterhood to see the TARDIS or "Blue Box" that had appeared in a prophecy. She had psychic powers due to breathing in dust from Mount Vesuvius that was converting her into a Pyroville and could see time thanks to the rift activity there. It is likely that she died during the eruption as it has not been shown otherwise.

29th May 2009 Karen is announced as the new companion Amy Pond to Matt Smith's Doctor for Series 31 (airing 3rd April 2010 6.25pm BBC1). Writer and executive producer Steven Moffatt described her as being "funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy". No further details of her character have been released so far, and in fact for several weeks only a first name was known, until the BBC later indicated the character's last name.

She is one of only a handful of actors to return to televised Doctor Who in an ongoing role after having previously appeared in a guest role. Others have included Colin Baker, peter Purves, Jean Marsh, Nicholas Courtney, Ian Marter, Lalla Ward and Freema Agyeman.

Gillan is not the only member of her family appearing on Doctor Who as it's been announced that her nine-year-old cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, has also filmed an appearance in Season 31 episode 1 The Eleventh Hour where she will be playing Amy's younger self.

Amy meeting the Doctor years later
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