There’s a new doc in Doctor Who’s Tardis – and he has a new companion, Amy Pond. Actress Karen Gillan tells tvplus magazine more
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SEASON five of the sci-fi series Doctor Who introduces us to The Doctor in his 11th incarnation – as a man-boy in his 20s. Of course, a new Doctor (played by Matt Smith) travelling around the universe means a new companion for the Time Lord… and enter 19year-old Scottish lass Amy Pond, a confident, miniskirt-wearing straight-talking redhead. We chatted to Scottish actress Karen Gillan, 22, about landing the role of a lifetime.
How super-secretive was the audition process?
In the UK it’s confidential, because Doctor Who is really big here, and you have people who put bets on who’s going to play the new Doctor and companion.
The BBC likes to keep it secret and then reveal it properly. I couldn’t even tell anyone I was auditioning for it. And then I got a recall, and I couldn’t even tell the BBC reception that I was there to audition for Doctor Who. I had to tell them I was there to audition for Panic Moon, which is an anagram of Companion. So no, I couldn’t tell anyone. I couldn’t even tell my family. What’s your work day like? We do a six-day week, and then a five-day week. I get picked up at about 6am, because I have loads of hair that is straight and has to be curled for the show. We’re on camera from about 8am until about 7pm. We film for nine months of the year.
Have you had any injuries from all the running around your character does?
No, I haven’t hurt myself at all. Then again, they don’t let me do anything, as I have this stunt double who does even the tiniest jump for me. I’ll look at a stunt and say, “I can do that”, but for some reason they won’t let me.
Of the other companions, who did you admire the most?
Billy Piper as Rose was my favourite. I just really liked her in the role. I liked that she was just this modern girl in these crazy situations, and I thought she did a brilliant job in the role. The chemistry she had with actor David Tennant (who played the 10th Doctor) was also enjoyable to watch.
Have you had any interesting encounters with fans?
The Doctor Who fans are very dedicated, and they come to all the publicity events you do. I have been proposed to once – by a girl – that’s kind of the maddest one.
There was intense media speculation about Matt Smith and you taking the show in a new direction, as the youngest Doctor and companion.
The pressure is kind of always there, because of the popularity of the show, but I never chose to indulge in that – I just wanted to play this role well and not make it all weird because it’s Doctor Who.
Are you excited about the storyline involving Amy’s relationship with fiancé Rory, and the Doctor having a married companion?
I can’t wait to see where this goes, because it is going to be really interesting having a married couple in the Tardis. Seeing how the Doctor reacts to that is going to be fun, because he’s not so familiar with that aspect of human emotions.
Who’s your favourite enemy of the Time Lord?
The Weeping Angels (scary creatures that look like stone angel
And the first time we met properly was on the read-through for the first episode of the series. It was weird meeting my cousin for the first time that way. I had recommended her for the part, because I knew from photos that she looked really similar to me.
Have you gone onto the internet and seen something untrue about yourself ?
I googled myself when I got the role, because I was intrigued, and then I got scared and closed the internet – and I haven’t gone back. It’s weird, because people for m such strong opinions, and I just don’t think it’s healthy to be reading all that stuff.
Published by arrangement with tvplus magazine, now on sale. sculptures. They move super fast when people blink and take their eyes off them and send their victims into the past with no way of returning).
They are such a brilliant creation, because you don’t want to look at the thing that’s scaring you, but that’s what you have to do to survive against them. You have to stare at them to stop them.
Your real-life cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, plays the younger version of Amy. Is it true you met for the first time on set?
Yes, it’s true. She grew up in Ireland. I have many, many cousins. I knew Caitlin, but hadn’t met her face-to-face.
PANIC MOON: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, The Doctor’s newest companion in the latest series of the long-running sci-fi show
TRAVELLERS: Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillian as Amy.