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Karen Gillan starts filming new movie Dual in Finland

By Mike Merritt

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Karen Gillan has started filming in Finland. Picture: Gary Anthony
Karen Gillan has started filming in Finland. Picture: Gary Anthony

Highland film star – and former Dr Who companion – Karen Gillan has begun work on her latest film.

Production has begun in Tampere, Finland, on the satirical sci-fi feature Dual, starring Gillan, Aaron Paul and Beulah Koale – marking the first Hollywood production to shoot entirely in the Scandinavian country.

The story centres on a woman, played by Inverness-born Gillan, who opts for a cloning procedure after she receives a terminal diagnosis to ease her loss on her friends and family.

When she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

The production is taking place under strict Covid protocols, and the producers say that Finland has maintained consistently low levels of infection.

Last year Gillan revealed that she even got rejected for a local pantomime when she was a young girl in Inverness.

"A lot of people might have been put off by those rejections, so that is why I think it is so important to have self-belief," said Gillan.

"I got rejected from everything growing up."

This might be something of a surprise given she has rarely been far from cinema screens since her breakout role as Doctor Who companion Amy Pond about seven years ago.

Gillan (32) has appeared in the Marvel blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, starred opposite Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks and provided voices for characters in a Will Smith and a Harrison Ford film.

She has also reprised her role as Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: The Next Level, the sequel to 2017's hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Her fellow cast members included Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and comedy actors Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

Her early perseverance paid off with her becoming a member of Inverness's Eden Court Theatre's youth dance company and senior youth theatre. She later studied acting and performance in Edinburgh and London.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle represents one of Gillan's biggest films to date. The movie made more than £730 million worldwide.

Its popularity was evident on a trip home to Inverness.

"I tried to go to see Jumanji but couldn't get in because the cinema was full. I've never been more happy to be rejected from a film," she said last year.

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