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Karen Sheila Gillan (/ˈɡɪlən/; born 28 November 1987) is a Scottish actress and filmmaker. She first became known for playing Amy Pond, a primary companion to the Eleventh Doctor, in the BBC One series Doctor Who (2010–2013). She received international recognition for playing Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), and for her starring role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).
On the stage, Gillan appeared in John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence (2011) and made her Broadway debut in the play Time to Act (2013). She wrote, directed, and starred in the drama film The Party’s Just Beginning (2018).
In 2017, Gillan reprised her role as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, this time becoming a member of the film’s eponymous team, and co-starred in The Circle, alongside Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega. The latter film, released in April, was directed and written by James Ponsoldt, and was based on the novel by Dave Eggers. Also in that year, Gillan played the lead female role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the third instalment of the Jumanji franchise, starring alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Nick Jonas. She reprised her role as Nebula in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), which were filmed back-to-back. Filming for the two films began in January 2017 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia and ended in January 2018.
In 2019, aside from her leading role in Avengers: Endgame, she co-starred in the films Stuber and Spies in Disguise, and starred in All Creatures Here Below and Jumanji: The Next Level. Also in 2019, she appeared in a short film titled, Neurotica. In 2020, she appeared in the adventure drama The Call of the Wild, based on the Jack London novel, and will star in Gunpowder Milkshake alongside Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Giamatti.
In 2011, Gillan made her first theatre appearance playing the role of Shirley in John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence along with Douglas Hodge. The play debuted at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 October 2011.
In November 2013, Gillan appeared on Broadway in a play called Time to Act, one of the plays included in “The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway” to benefit the non-profit Urban Arts Partnership.
In 2011, Gillan helped promote Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) and the opening of Squirrel Ward at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Gillan has also voiced advertisements for eHarmony and The Royal Bank of Scotland. She also appeared in TV on the Radio’s “Happy Idiot” music video, released on 3 October 2014.
In 2018, she visited the Mikeysline crisis support centre in Inverness after presenting her film The Party’s Just Beginning. The film is about the high suicide rate in the Scottish Highlands, and Gillan made a public pledge to support the mental health charity.