Why 'Jumanji' Star Karen Gillan Deserves So Much Credit For Kicking Butt All Movie Long — EXCLUSIVE CLIP
One of the best things about December's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was seeing Karen Gillan kick everyone's butt as the karate expert Ruby Roundhouse. As the actor's castmates attest to in an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the movie, Gillan worked seriously hard on the movie, and her effort shows. Ruby Roundhouse is a legit action hero, and the 30-year-old star deserves all the credit for bringing the impressive character to life.
Although for awhile, fans of Robin Williams' 1995 classic Jumanji didn't know what to expect from the sequel. When it was first announced that there'd be a second film, everyone had mixed reactions, to say the least. Some fans wondered if without Williams, a new version of the classic tale would be exciting, or if a sequel would do as well at the box office. But the follow up to Jumanji didn't disappoint, and while the whole cast — which includes The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart — provides a perfect combination of comedy and action, Gillan stands out. As The Rock says of his co-star in the clip, "She 'bout steals the movie."
Most people would agree with the Baywatch star, because when Gillan's insecure character Martha transforms into the video game avatar of Ruby Roundhouse, she instantly becomes the character that everyone wants to root for. It's no surprise that Gillan totally kicks ass in Jumanji, out on Digital, 4k, Blu-Ray, and DVD on March 20, because she's already shown off her skills as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. The actor has had so many action-packed roles that you'd probably expect her to do undercuts in her sleep, but that's not quite the case. In an October interview with Bustle, Gillan said, "I don’t know why I keep getting cast in roles where I have to do so many action sequences because honestly, I've got two left feet and I look like a piece of spaghetti trying to fight people, but it keeps on happening."
You wouldn't know that taking people out with roundhouse kicks doesn't come naturally to Gillan after watching Jumanji, and that's because the actor devoted so much time to training for the role. In the film's bonus clip, Black explains that Gillan's role was more demanding than the others. "Karen actually had the hardest gig of all of us because we would rehearse, get a few hours under the belt, do some read-through, do some blocking, and then we would be like 'alright should we hit the beach? We're in Hawaii, let's party,'" Black recalled. To those comments, Gillan would often respond, "'Yeah you guys go on ahead, I've got to go to dance fighting rehearsal.'"
Black agrees with everyone that the hard work paid off though, as he added, "The end result was pretty rad." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gillan revealed that Jumanji required even more training than the Guardians of the Galaxy films did — which you can imagine would be a lot. "It required so much rehearsal and I had a lot of help from my stunt double too," the actor said. The final product of this combined effort is truly impressive.
Even if Gillan in real life doesn't practice the Karate mastery that Ruby Roundhouse does, she still found the mashup of identities in Jumanji relatable. "Hardly any of us have complete self-confidence," the actor told Bustle. Because her character in Jumanji combines a badass, Lara Croft-type avatar with an awkward teenager, it's not just a one-dimensional persona. "That’s more representative of what females are like. We’re very layered," said Gillan.
She's right that everyone has their insecurities and softer spots, and the actor's multi-faceted performance in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a true highlight.