Amy sees her future
KAREN Gillan’s big ‘‘ pinch me’’ Dr Who moment – and there have been plenty in her two seasons playing his feisty sidekick Amy Pond – came at San Diego’s 2011 Comic-Con festival in July.
When Gillan and Dr Who lead Matt Smith fronted a Comic-Con panel attended by 6500 Dr Who devotees, many of them waving Dr Who’s trademark sonic screwdriver, Gillan ( pictured) realised the magnitude of the cult sci-fi show.
‘‘ We didn’t know what to expect going into San Diego,’’ she says with a laugh.
‘‘ We certainly didn’t expect what actually happened. It was the most crazy experience.
‘‘ It’s a weird moment when you run into yourself in the street – me and Matt were just wandering through San Diego and we ran into the Doctor and Amy – and everyone just went ‘ like, what?’
‘‘ But when we did this panel with all these people waving sonic screwdrivers. That was just an insane and a magical and electric moment where we all went ‘ Whoa, this show is bigger than any of us can comprehend’.’’ Becoming Amy has been a career triumph for Gillan, a Scottish model-turned-actress who, in season six of Dr Who, is dealing with the impending death of the Doctor and finding out she has a daughter who is older then her ( which apparently works in this world). But this week’s episode, The Girl Who Waited, sees Gillan score a personal triumph against co-star Smith, who has ribbed her in the press for being unco-ordinated, when she pulls off a singleshot choreographed fight scene and takes out six enemy Handbots.
‘‘ I was quite proud of myself,’’ Gillan says. ‘‘ Everything is done fairly rapidly in the world of Dr Who, so I had a 20-minute rehearsal the night before and then went and did it the next day.
‘‘ It had to be well-rehearsed because the director wanted a long continuous shot where the camera didn’t cut away. It took a few takes, but I got there in the end.
‘‘ Having pulled that off, I don’t need to say anything to Matt. But I will challenge him to a choreographed fight.’’
The episode is Gillan’s favourite in the latest series, which was fast-tracked to Australia within a week of airing in the UK.
Amy is front and centre, trapped in a quarantine facility for victims of an alien plague – a plague that will kill the Doctor in a day.
Thanks to the time-travelling nature of Dr Who, Gillan plays a young Amy and an old Amy as she waits for rescue. This involved spending hours in a make-up chair.
Gillan, 23, says she had no qualms about the accelerated ageing process.
‘‘ It was a challenge for me as an actress. I kind of begged everyone to let me do it,’’ she says. ‘‘ I was so curious about how I’d look old.’’
She gives a laugh. ‘‘ I’ve discovered I don’t age well. I know it’s all downhill from here for me.’’
Gillan says the role has been the opportunity of a lifetime. ‘‘ I love the fact she’s quite empowered and she is a really strong female,’’ she says.
‘‘ She’s a lot more fiery than I am as a person. She’s kind of person that I would quite like to be. I get to pretend, which is the next best thing.’’