Karen Gillan says the Jumanji costume backlash was a “valid reaction”

The Scottish star completely understands where the internet anger came from

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When the first picture of Karen Gillan in the Jumanji sequel/reboot was unveiled, it’s fair to say there was a pretty strong reaction. Many fans were offended by the skimpy outfit sported by her character Roby Roundhouse, which was in sharp contrast to the more practical attire worn by co-stars Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson and was interpreted by some as sexist.

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“I was actually really surprised. I was like ‘Woah – people have really reacted to this.’” Gillan tells us now.

Since then, both the former Doctor Who star and the film’s driving force Johnson have explained that the costume’s inclusion will actually be explained by the film’s plot, which actually criticises the very trope that fans are irritated by – but Gillan says she totally understands why people got as angry as they did. 

“I think it was probably a valid reaction from everyone,” the Scottish star told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive video interview (below), “because within the movie my character is having the same reaction to having to wear the costume.

“She’s like, ‘How come you guys are covered up and I have to wear this??? This is ridiculous! So I think it’s fair what everyone was saying.”

When the first picture of Karen Gillan in the Jumanji sequel/reboot was unveiled, it’s fair to say there was a pretty strong reaction. Many fans were offended by the skimpy outfit sported by her character Ruby Roundhouse, which was in sharp contrast to the more practical attire worn by co-stars Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson and was interpreted by some as sexist.

“I was actually really surprised. I was like ‘Woah – people have really reacted to this.’” Gillan tells us now.

Since then, both the former Doctor Who star and the film’s driving force Johnson have explained that the costume’s inclusion will actually be explained by the film’s plot, which actually criticises the very trope that fans are irritated by – but Gillan says she totally understands why people got as angry as they did. 

“I think it was probably a valid reaction from everyone,” the Scottish star told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive video interview (below), “because within the movie my character is having the same reaction to having to wear the costume.

“She’s like, ‘How come you guys are covered up and I have to wear this??? This is ridiculous! So I think it’s fair what everyone was saying.”

And Gillan thinks the internet storm partly came about because of timing, with the Jumanji picture emerging in a period where sexism in film is being called out more and more. 

“It’s not THAT gratuitous I think in terms of costumes,” she told us. “I get it though – it’s an issue that’s at the forefront. It’s in the zeitgeist right now, and thankfully, because it’s a real issue.

“And then this picture happened to come along at just the right time that really sort of captured it. But I think it’s a really important issue, I just don’t think that my role in Jumanji is going to be as related to the issue when people see the movie.” 

Until then, Gillan has bigger things on her mind, with her feature directorial debut The Party’s Just Beginning mostly completed and headed for release at some point in the future. 

“It’s a drama about a girl dealing with the suicide of her best friend, and it’s one year on and she’s having a hard time dealing with it and connecting with people,” Gillan told us. 

“So she’s becoming a bit self-destructive. And yeah it was amazing – it was such an amazing experience. I loved directing so much and I just wanna do so much more of it.”

She’s currently appearing as Nebula in superhero sci-fi Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – so could she see herself directing a big-budget blockbuster like that one day too? 

“Yeah, I would love to do that,” Gillan said.  “I would definitely like to direct one of those films. And I think you know, I think I’m gonna go for it at some point.

“I don’t know about directing someone else’s script, that would be like a totally different ball game to me I think. But I would be open to it. 

“Because yeah, I think these movies are kind of similar in some ways,” she concluded. “Because it’s all about human relationships and connections. It’s just that these ones are set in space with a lot of fight sequences!”

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is released in UK cinemas on Friday 28th April