“She’ll be like, 'This dead relative is here in the room right now.’ Really casually, not scared at all.” But Gillan’s not spooked by her mother. “You can go to a lot of events if you choose to, I just never go,” she says. “Americans seem to go about it in a different way where they date loads of people at the same time. “I prefer the UK way, where we just drink near each other and no one knows if it’s a date or not.” That said, there are certain aspects of LA life that she has warmed to – the healthy stuff, mostly. “I was an only child, so I didn’t really learn how to interact with other people,” she says.
It’s not the paparazzi that put her off – “That barely happens here, compared to the UK.” She’s just not interested, not when there are scripts to read and television to catch up on. ’ ” Ask Gillan if she’s gone native, and you get a long “nooooo”. She only knows a handful of Angelenos – most of her friends are other expats; she’s even found a pal from Inverness. It’s probably a healthier way of finding someone, because you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. “I had a couple of friends in school, but that’s it.” She discovered in drama class that her shyness would evaporate on stage, so she decided that she would be an actress, and set about her goal with characteristic focus. There were a couple of years of staying up late, and drinking, but that was all out of her system by the time she was offered the chance to take an acting course in Edinburgh. We’re all fine without breathing training.” She decided to leave when she won a part on a Scottish detective show called Rebus – a small, eight-day shoot.
“It’s funny – some British people get angry because I’m not out drinking and I’m being really proactive with my downtime. Never mind her strict sun avoidance, she can’t drive, and has no intention of learning. And she’s not convinced by the whole hot yoga thing. “It was a new beginning, because nobody knew me in Edinburgh,” she says. Yeah, I was one of those.” After a year in Edinburgh, she left for London and the fabled Italia Conti stage school. Italia Conti had a rule against students working in their first year, but Gillan wasn’t having it.
She’s in every brilliant film that comes out and she mixes it up with really big blockbustery-type films too.” She climbs out of her armchair, and fake shakes my hand, because she doesn’t want to spread her germs.
“But at the same time, I don’t want to really emulate anyone.” 'Oculus’ is on general release from June 13 'Selfie' airs on ABC from September 30 The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
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A baby tiger that was found when a teenager tried to smuggle it across the border from Mexico got a new playmate Monday: a nine-week-old endangered Sumatran tiger that was rejected by his mother.
“I thought they’d be really scary, the Doctor Who auditions,” she says. As a publicist hovers, pointing at her wrist, I ask her if there’s another actress out there, whose career might be a template for hers. “I don’t really think about it like that,” she says.
“But there are people whose careers I admire, like Amy Adams.
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Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.
If anything the flame-haired Scottish actress has sped up since she moved to the West Coast 18 months ago.