News Column

Five Minutes

October 19, 2013


Former Doctor Who assistant Karen Gillan stars as novelist Jane in new British romantic comedy Not Another Happy Ending. Here, Gillan chats about rom com research, shaving her head for new Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy and confesses she is a secret Sci Fi geek DO YOU THINK NOT BELIEVING IN HAPPY ENDINGS MAKES JANE LOCKHART AN UNUSUAL ROM COM HEROINE? Jane Lockhart does like to indulge in the miserable side of life and in her own pain - she slightly worships pain, even though she won't admit that. But I think she has some aspects that are very much a typical rom com girl - like she falls over all the time! That's something that comes naturally to me, so I was happy to do that.

WHAT DID YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE ROLE? I worked my way through all the great rom coms of all time. I started off with His Girl Friday and The Apartment, When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, I worked through quite a lot, just as research. I also went on Twitter and just asked people 'In one word, what type of person becomes a writer?'. I got some very interesting responses, from loads of really well-known writers as well, everyone just chimed in, which was funny. JANE HAS A VERY QUIRKY DRESS SENSE IN THE MOVIE, WERE YOU INVOLVED IN STYLING HER? John [McKay, the director) and I came up with the idea of this Annie Hall, Diane Keaton thing, and we just ran with that. I idolise Diane Keaton, and want to be her, so it's kind of a homage to her. I like clothes and I like dressing up. Having your own style is the most stylish you can ever be because you can never get it wrong just being yourself.

THE FILM IS SET IN SCOTLAND, WAS IT NICE TO WORK NEAR HOME? It was so nice to be in my country, because I don't get up there as much as I'd like to and I could see my family and they could visit me. I had the chance to see Glasgow too, the place where my mum grew up, and I didn't really know it that well before.

DO YOU LIKE TO VISIT HOME A LOT? I need to get back to Inverness on a fairly regular basis, but it's only been happening about twice a year recently, so I want to work on that. But I'm generally very free and easy-going about where I live. I'm travelling around a lot, going to where work takes me. Technically I live in Los Angeles but I'm never there! YOU SHAVED YOUR HEAD FOR YOUR ROLE IN NEW MARVEL MOVIE GUARDIAN'S OF THE GALAXY, HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT BEING A SKINHEAD? My hair is now on a wig, which I have with me, but it's very creepy to wear your own hair - think about it, it is your hair but it's not attached to you...

They'd shave it every day for filming but I'm going to grow it back now and have fun with hairstyles.

WHAT IS IT LIKE PLAYING ALIEN VILLAIN NEBULA IN THE MOVIE? What's cool about Nebula is that she has not been portrayed yet so I can establish the character, and that's really exciting to me. Because this franchise Guardians of the Galaxy is slightly lesser known than the other Marvel ones, we can invent it and establish it and set the tone and that's just the coolest thing.

I've been working out for four months now and also doing fight training every day that I wasn't filming. It was REALLY intense, but they offered and I wanted to get as involved as I could.

DID YOU HAVE TO DO A LOT OF RESEARCH FOR THE ROLE? I knew a bit more about Sci Fi stuff, because I've seen a lot of those films. I never ever considered myself a Sci Fi geek but the more I talk about it with people I've worked with, I think I am!

My mum watched Star Trek a lot and I watched it growing up so I know a lot about it. I worked with Kate Mulgrew recently, she played Captain Kathryn Janeway, the only female captain on Voyager, and I was so star struck - that was when I realised I am actually a nerd.

I went to the dubbing of one of the Star Trek films - I went to listen to the music being recorded by the orchestra, it was the coolest thing ever. Okay, yes, I'm definitely a nerd! HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MATT SMITH LEAVING DOCTOR WHO? It's weird that he's leaving, because to me he is The Doctor and he always will be. But I'm biased, I guess!

I think Peter Capaldi is an amazing choice and a really cool direction to take the character - he's older, he's different to Matt and he's Scottish!

A lot of people associate him with Malcolm Tucker who's very grumpy, but that could work for The Doctor.

. ? Not Another Happy Ending is out in selected cinemas now.

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