TCA Interview: Karen Gillan on ‘Selfie,’ ‘Doctor Who’ & Guardians of the Galaxy

Karen Gillan Selfie

Karen Gillan is doing a comedy series for ABC this fall. In “Selfie,” she plays a woman who is popular on social media but she doesn’t have a lot of real friends. In other words, her online skills don’t really apply to real life. After a panel with the Television Critics Association, Gillan spoke with reporters and took questions about “Doctor Who” and the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

CraveOnline: You’re great the comedy, but sci-fi has been really good to you with “Doctor Who” and now Guardians?

Karen Gillan: Oh, sci-fi’s been the best to me. I want to continue working in genre stuff because I think it has amazing female roles, and we get to do a range of emotions, comedy and drama.

Is Guardians the first time you’ve played someone who doesn’t even look like you?

Yeah, I think that’s been the biggest transformation for me so far. I’ve shaved my hair off, and I’m blue. So that’s new.

What do you think of the new Doctor?

I’m so excited. I’m very excited, and I was actually there when Peter Capaldi walked onto the set for the first time with the costume on. And it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. And it’s in safe hands.

What was your reaction to your finale on “Doctor Who?” It seemed very sweet and perfect.

Yeah, they gave me the exit that I wanted. I mean it was dramatic and emotional and all of the things I hoped it would be. And they gave Arthur who played my husband on the show a really good exit and a heroic moment which made me really happy.

You were on set when Peter came out in costume. Do you visit the set often?

I was back filming. I appeared in Matt Smith’s final episode, in the “Regeneration” episode. Literally, it was like one in and one out. Matt Smith left the studio and Peter Capaldi, the new doctor walked in. And I was there for both of them, and it was like whoa. That really is that fast of a changeover. Wow.

You had long hair in the “Selfie” pilot but now your hair is short. Will Eliza have short hair after the pilot?

I have my own hair that I shaved off that Marvel made into a wig for me, so I’m going to be wearing that.

They actually made your hair into a Karen Gillan wig?

Yes, they shaved my hair off for the role, and then they made an amazing wig out of it. They took it strand by strand and put it into a wig.

Was that your decision to do shave your head because you could have done CGI?

Oh, no. That was a rule that was in place before I even auditioned for the role. So I knew I had to if I got it.

And you said okay?

I said absolutely. Because I didn’t think I was going to get it. No. I wanted to do it although because to transform for a part is the reason that I’m acting.

Are fans of yours from past projects easily transferable to this? Are you hoping they follow you, or are you hoping to show a different side of you?

I hope so. Comedy is what I started out in, so this is actually a return to it for me. I did sketch comedy in the UK, so I hope that they follow us. It’s a different genre, but at the same time, the people who are interested in sci-fi have a strong online presence, so there could be a connection there.