Guardians of the Galaxy's Karen Gillan: I want to play more villains

Karen Gillan Karen Gillan played Amy Pond in Doctor Who

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Scots actress Karen Gillan has said she would like to be cast in more "bad guy" roles after playing her first villain.

The former Doctor Who companion is Nebula in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, which topped the North American box office in its debut weekend.

Its takings of $94m (£55.8m) set a record for a film opening in August.

The movie also stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, while Bradley Cooper voices an alien racoon called Rocket.

Gillan, from Inverness, who played Amy Pond in Doctor Who, told the BBC News Scotland website: "This is my first villain - the first of many one would hope.

"I had to train in martial arts and work out four times a week to be able to handle the fight sequences with Zoe Saldana."

Gillan added: "I was aware of the Marvel films that had gone before, so I knew the standard would be high.

"And to play a villain in one of those was about the most exciting thing ever."

Karen Gillan as Nebula Gillan spent hours in make up to be transformed into Nebula

The actress had her head shaved before making her bid for the role of Nebula.

She said: "When I was asked to audition, I had to agree the shave my head before I could even get in the room.

"But that was fine with me, I was looking for something drastic."

For her performances in the film, Gillan was required to spend five hours in make up.

She said: "It was worth every second. And I got to watch films on my iPad while being turned blue."

Guardians of the Galaxy forms part of Marvel's so-called "Phase 2" project.

The first phase involved the development and release of superhero movies featuring well-known comic book characters such as Iron Man, Captain America and Thor.

Gillan said: "I'd never heard of Guardians - like most of the general population.

"But that was exciting because it is new, we are establishing something, taking a risk and we get to be the first actors to ever play these roles in cinema. That's cool to me."

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