Doctor Who - Karen Gillan interview
Karen Gillan who plays the Doctor’s feisty companion, Amy Pond, talks to us about what lies in store for Amy, Rory and the Doctor, the naughty tricks her co-stars play on her and why she has a newfound passion for fencing.
Q. So what’s the new series got in store for us?
Karen Gillan: “There were clues planted in the last series that are going to become major storylines in this one. There’s a really interesting arc in this series that involves all of the major characters and it’s evident from the first episode that everyone on the TARDIS is withholding secrets from one another. It makes for a fascinating dynamic between the characters and it’s incredibly important to the overall series.”
Q. Has married life changed Amy Pond?
Karen Gillan: “If anything she is even more Amy Pondish! I don’t think it would work for Amy to completely change now that she’s a married woman and I certainly don’t think she should become a subdued version of herself. However, I do think being married has helped to define the Doctor and Amy’s relationship and I can reveal that something takes place this series which makes Amy see Rory in a new light!”
Q. Has Rory changed much now he’s married? Will he be a different man in the new series?
Karen Gillan: “I think Rory has perhaps developed the most out of all the characters. By the end of last series he became a Roman Centurion hero and he had changed a lot; it felt like he had earned his place in the TARDIS. In fact, it’s hard for me to imagine the TARDIS without him now!”
Q. The opening episode of the new series was filmed in America rather than Cardiff how was that?
Karen Gillan: “Filming in Utah was so much fun and I spent a lot of time running around the desert; the scenery was amazing and simply wouldn’t have looked the same if we had filmed it in Cardiff against a green screen. The desert backdrop really gives the opening two episodes an epic feel.”
Q. And how was it being reunited with Alex Kingston who plays River Song?
Karen Gillan: “Alex is so much fun to have around. She makes the TARDIS team feel complete.”
Q. But will we find out who River Song actually is?
Karen Gillan: “The ending of this first set of episodes has been hidden from everyone! Even I got given a dummy ending to episode seven and it was only at the read-through that Steven Moffat took me, Matt and Arthur into the corridor to read the proper version on his laptop. We then all paced around going, ‘oh my God!’. It’s brilliant and viewers will just have to tune in to find out more. It certainly provides a fantastic cliff-hanger to see us through until the autumn.”
Q. There are some new monsters for this series too are they scarier than ever?
Karen Gillan: “Ooh, in particular I think The Silence, which are the new monsters in the opening two episodes, actually rival the Weeping Angels in terms of scariness and they look disgusting! The concept behind them is ingenious because it feels like they are undefeatable, and this series also sees the return of some of the Doctor’s oldest foes, but with an interesting twist…”
Q. Do you have a favourite episode from this series?
Karen Gillan: “I had a brilliant time filming the episode with Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain in the 1600s. Swinging across a pirate ship was a particular highlight and I loved doing the sword fight. I’d never done anything like that before so I literally picked up the sword and started learning moves with a stunt guy – in fact I loved it so much that I actually want to take it up as a hobby! Luckily, I caused no major injuries on set, although I did collide with Arthur at one point but that was his fault.”
Q. How do you get on with your co stars Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill?
Karen Gillan: “We genuinely mess around all day, but I think that works because as a viewer I’d like to see the Doctor, Amy and Rory having fun. Of course we are serious when we need to be, but in general we clown around between takes and I think that helps to create chemistry on screen.
“Matt has also taken to hiding in my trailer and I’ll go in, humming to myself, and then he’ll just jump out at me and shout. The first time he did it was hilarious because he scared me so much that I fell backwards against the wall and slid down it! He also has an annoying habit of filming me when I fall asleep, while in make-up in the mornings, and it’s a hideous sight – I’m not going to lie!
“Arthur eggs him on and the pair of them gang up but don’t worry, I give as good as I get. Although it’s brilliant when Alex Kingston is around because she knows how to handle them!”