There are countless actors and actresses, talented ones, who go unrecognized. Occasionally, one of them will get a lucky break and rocket straight to stardom. Karen Gillan is one of those actresses. She started her career off with small roles, but these days, her name is one of the most recognizable in the world. She has more than 50 acting credits to her name.
Today, we're going to go through Gillan's filmography and pick out the ten most memorable roles she has under her belt. These roles showcase her talents as an actress and prove that her fame is most definitely earned. Read on if you want to read a ranked list of Karen Gillan's best roles to date.
10 Daisy From NTSF:SD:SUV
Few might have heard of the police comedy titled NTSF:SD:SUV, and that is honestly a shame. There is a surplus of procedural shows about law enforcement and crime that exist on modern television networks. NTSF:SD:SUV looked to poke fun at that fact.
With special guest stars ranging from The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun and movie star Jeff Goldblum, the series had a lot of talent. Karen Gillan joined the show's fictional department, the National Terrorism Strike Force, in Season 3. She played Daisy, yet another parody of a character from your typical police-action TV show.
9 Lily From Alex & The List
Alex & the List is a romantic comedy that Gillan starred in. It released in 2018, and follows the story of the hapless Alex, who is trying to get together with the girl of his dreams. However, this girl writes a list of everything she wants Alex to change about himself before they can form a truly perfect union.
Gillan plays the character of Lily, Alex's best female friend. Lily initially convinces Alex to follow through with the list, but some items turn out to be highly...invasive. It's one thing to whiten your teeth; it's another to get a circumcision.
8 Kaylie Russell From Oculus
While Oculus may not be remembered as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, it was a great opportunity for Gillan to show off her acting chops. She plays Kaylie in this film, a woman who is trying to figure out, alongside her brother, how an evil mirror had the power to destroy her family when they were younger.
One of the great things about Oculus is that it relies heavily on suspense and a few choice jump-scares over gore and flashy surprises. Gillan excels in her role as Kaylie Russell, portraying the character of a woman haunted by a supernatural terror as accurately as humanly possible.
7 Annie From The Circle
Karen Gillan starred alongside Emma Watson in the 2017 film The Circle. The movie is about a social media company that begins ignoring privacy policies in its efforts to gain a wider understanding of its users. Gillan plays Annie Allerton, an employee of The Circle alongside Watson's character, Mae Holland.
The Circle's intrusion into the private lives of its users and its increasing role in the world of politics scares Annie away from the company. Gillan does a fantastic job of acting as a very harried Annie as she tries to escape the eye of her former employers.
6 Eliza Dooley From Selfie
The story of Eliza Doolittle and her quest to learn proper social etiquette is a classic tale. The television series Selfie looked to tell a modern version of that story. Karen Gillan plays Eliza Dooley, a woman who becomes obsessed with having a lot of friends on social media, so much so that she forgets how to make actual friends.
She hires Henry Higgs, played by John Cho, to help her restore her social image and teach her how to interact with people in person in a friendly manner. The plot clearly follows the old Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, and Gillan plays a media-obsessed woman to a tee.
5 Jane Lockhart From Not Another Happy Ending
Being a writer can be an emotionally tumultuous career (we should know), and Karen Gillan embodies the ups and downs of that choice in the film Not Another Happy Ending. The story follows Gillan's character, Jane Lockhart, a writer who finally becomes a hit with her first published novel.
Unfortunately, the success of that novel makes Lockhart so happy, that she suffers a strange case of writer's block. That's right. Her joy stops her from writing. Her publisher then has to go to extraordinary lengths to try making her unhappy so she can write once more.
4 Anastasia Steele From Robot Chicken
The adult stop-motion comedy show Robot Chicken has long been a source of irreverent humor. No comedy sketch is too risque for them. In a perfect example of this, Karen Gillan provides the voice for a satiric version of Anastasia Steele, the infamous character from the Fifty Shades of Grey series.
In the sketch, Anastasia Steele does not meet billionaire Christian Grey. Instead, Steele meets Rich Uncle Pennybags, also known as the Monopoly Guy. What then ensues is a gut-busting, side-splitting comedic sketch showcasing the full force of Robot Chicken's ability to make fun of anything.
3 Martha From Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
Remakes of beloved classics do not always go over well. Thanks to fantastic casting and a solid story, the Jumanji reboot turned out to be an extremely fun movie. In the film, Karen Gillan plays the avatar for the character of Martha. Gillan displays her ability to portray an unsure teenage girl in the body of a full-grown woman.
Gillan is no stranger to comedy. She shines equally alongside her other co-stars, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. A sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is currently in the works. Gillan is set to star in that film as well.
2 Nebula From The Marvel Cinematic Universe
If you did not know who Karen Gillan was before, you should know who she is now. She plays the character of Nebula in several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War.
Whether Gillan returns to the big screen as Nebula after the events of Avengers: Endgame or not, she will always be remembered as one of the cherished superheroes of that universe. She did a phenomenal job portraying the moody daughter of Thanos. Despite having more machine parts than an automobile, Nebula still maintains some measure of humanity.
1 Amy Pond From Doctor Who
The role that shot Karen Gillan's career into the stratosphere is without a doubt her time as the Doctor's companion in the series Doctor Who. Gillan played Amy Pond, the companion of the eleventh iteration of the Doctor. The job of the companion in this beloved sci-fi show is to ground the Doctor's character in reality.
While the Doctor journeys about the universe and innumerable dimensions, the companion character is the person we as an audience are supposed to relate to. Gillan did a superb job portraying Amy Pond. Rather than constantly stand in awe of the Doctor's talents, Amy stands on her own. She functions as one of the Doctor's most outspoken companions. Gillan brought Amy to life, and she will always be remembered for her brilliant portrayal of her.