Karen Gillan is at the Glasgow Film Festival to premiere her directorial debut The Party’s Just Beginning, and she’s already hard at work on her next directorial project, Axe Wound – a horror movie based on her first short film.
What with that, and the just announced Jumanji 2, Gillan’s going to be extremely busy over the next year or so.
But has she seen a script for Jumanji 2, the sequel we directly asked for? “I haven’t seen a script yet, the writers have just been hired, they’re just starting now. Nobody’s spoken to me about it directly, but if I had a wish list I would choose to be a 95-year-old man, I think that would be quite fun. In the avatar of Ruby Roundhouse.”
How many Jumanji films are you signed on for? “Actually, it was just one film – so I’m hoping to be brought back for the next one.”
Welcome To The Jungle has such a definitive ending, I did wonder if we’d see more from these characters… “Well, I think you may.”
But before that, The Party’s Just Beginning. How does it feel to be premiering the film in Glasgow? “It’s so exciting, I just got an actual pang of excitement when you said that – it’s real! I feel so excited, we’re showing it to people for the first time in my home country, in the city where we shot a lot of the film, with the crew who made the film… it just feels right to see it in front of a good Scottish audience.”
Directing is quite an addictive thing, did you find that? “I’m in love, and it’s all I want to do. It was the best experience of my life.”
So you’re going to be more focused on the directing side? “It’s hard, because I feel I’m trying to juggle two trajectories that are so different, I didn’t anticipate this, I don’t know how to juggle it, I’m figuring it out as I go, because I love acting so much. It’s something I’ve done from such a young age, it’s part of me, it’s in my bones. But directing also feels like that to me. Hopefully I can juggle both, then when I’m a little bit older, just direct.”
Gillan is already at work on her second film, Axe Wound, which will be an expansion of her horror short Conventional, how similar will it be to that short? “It’s in the really early stages, so we’re still experimenting with ideas. We’re taking the central character and we’re going to put her into a feature film, but other than that we might depart from the short a little bit and go more stylised, but I don’t know yet.”
I know you’re a fan of Get Out, it feels like there might be potential to explore issues of gender with the premise… “I think so, yeah. What I love so much in horror movies is taking the combination of social commentary and the genre, and making it a fun, thrilling experience that’s just a little bit scary at the same time.”
The Glasgow Film Festival runs from 21 February – 4 March
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