Karen Gillan is now known and loved by film fans globally thanks to roles in some of the biggest blockbusters of recent years, including the highest-grossing film of all time – Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame.
The award-winning actress has also found success on stage, on television, and as a writer and director.
Here’s what we know about her.
Who is Karen Gillan?
Karen Sheila Gillan was born in Inverness, where she was a pupil at Kinmylies Primary School.
She then moved to Edinburgh at the age of 16 to study a HNC in acting and performance art at Telford Collage, before heading to London two years later where she attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.
She became a model, appearing at London Fashion Week in 2007, before making the move into acting.
She now lives in Los Angeles and is single.
How did Karen Gillan find success?
After landing small television parts in programmes including Rebus, Harley Street and The Kevin Bishop Show, her first major role was playing Amy Pond in BBC television sci-fi series Doctor Who from 2010-2013.
She was the main companion to the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, and was hugely popular with fans on both side of the Atlantic, winning numerous awards and catching the eye of filmmakers.
Gillan then made the move to the big screen in thriller Outcast romantic comedy film Not Another Happy Ending, which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2013
Her first major US film was Oculus, which was also released in 2013 and led to her landing roles in Hollywood blockbusters.
What are Karen Gillan’s biggest films?
Gillan became globally famous after playing Nebula, the adopted daughter of ultimate baddie Thanos, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Her first appearance was in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and she reprised the role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
She is already slated to appear in two further Marvel films in the next two years – Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
She further boosted her box office clout by appearing alongside Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson in action films Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in 2017 and its sequel Jumanji: The Next Level.
Gillan has also appeared with John Travolta and Ethan Hawke in Western In a Valley of Violence, and co-starred in The Circle alongside Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega.
This year will see her star in action film Gunpowder Milkshake alongside Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Giamatti, and in sci-fi thriller Dual alongside Aaron Paul and Jesse Eisenberg.
What are Karen Gillan’s other achievements?
On stage she has starred in John Osborne's play Inadmissible Evidence and appeared on Broadway in 2013 with a role in Time to Act (2013).
She also wrote, directed and starred in drama The Party's Just Beginning, which received critical acclaim after its world premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival.
She has won an Empire Award, a National Television Award, a Teen Choice Award and has been shortlisted for a BAFTA Scotland Award and a Saturn Award.
How old is Karen Gillan?
Karen Gillan was born on 28 November 1987 in Inverness, making her 33.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.