Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan Headshot

Actress

Birth Name: Karen Sheila Gillan

Birth Date: November 28, 1987

Age: 36 years old

Birth Place: Inverness, Scotland, UK

Scottish actress, writer, and director Karen Gillan was born on November 28, 1987 in Inverness, Scotland. Gillan embarked on her career when she was 16, moving to Edinburgh to complete an HNC Acting and Performance course at Telford College. At 18, she moved to London to study at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

While at Italia Conti, Gillan began modeling as a way to earn extra money, and was cast in her first TV appearance, a cameo role on an episode of the final series of the police procedural "Rebus" (ITV, 2000-07). She then spent the next two years as a cast member of the sketch comedy series "The Kevin Bishop Show" (Channel 4, 2008-09), before making her film debut in the supernatural thriller "Outcast" (2010).

Gillan's big break came when she landed the role of Amelia "Amy" Pond, the lovably quirky companion to Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor on the fifth series of the rebooted sci-fi classic "Doctor Who." The character quickly became a fan favorite, and Gillan would portray Amy on and off for the next three years. Following her stint as the Doctor's companion, Gillan began to pursue projects across the pond, starring in the horror film "Oculus" (2013), and taking on the role of Nebula, an evil half cyborg warrior in the quirky surprise hit "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014).

Around this time, Gillan decided that she wanted to branch out into writing and directing, beginning with the short film "Coward" (2015) while also appearing in Adam McKay's financial crisis drama "The Big Short" (2015), and Ti West's revisionist western "In a Valley of Violence" (2016). She went on to reprise the role of Nebula for the equally successful sequel "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017), while also co-starring with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black in another surprise hit, the family adventure film "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (2017).

Gillan followed up this highly successful year with the release of "The Party's Just Beginning" (2018), a full-length indie dramedy set in her home town of Inverness, which she wrote, directed, and co-starred in. In addition to this, Gillan portrayed Nebula for the third time in the superhero mega-hit "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018).

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