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Karen Gillan in Jumanji: the Next Level

Did anyone else notice how badass Karen Gillan’s Ruby Roundhouse was in Jumanji: The Next Level? Yes, she showed us she could strut her stuff in 2017’s Welcome To The Jungle, but the recent sequel really raised the stakes for her character... to the next level, you might say? (Had to, it’s right there!) According to the actress, there’s a cool reason why. Speaking about her experience learning to use nunchucks in the making of the blockbuster, Gillan said,

Yeah, I can use nunchucks now! I didn’t think that would ever be in the cards for me! [Laughs] I had to practice a lot because I had a whole sequence with nunchucks, and I did the whole sequence. It’s cut up, and I’m sure there’s some stunt double in there at some point, but a lot of it is actually me. We had the team from Mission: Impossible come on to the movie, so they were keen to get me doing a lot of it myself. I was really pleased that they pushed me to rise to the occasion.

Wow, this is pretty awesome! As Karen Gillan explains, she had the chance to work with the stunt team behind the Mission: Impossible movies - and when most people think “stunts” those are the movies they go straight to thanks to Tom Cruise’s often death-defying work as Ethan Hunt. Gillan told EW that the new stunt team had her learn the entire crazy nunchucks scene on her own, so she’s basically Tom Cruise now.

Karen Gillan has become an impressive action star in her own right in the past few years. But, as the actress notes, she never would have guessed that this is where her career would take her. She said she “completely stumbled into it.” It all started on the set of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Gillan was only supposed to be on set as Nebula for eight days before her character was originally written to die. Plans clearly changed, and since then the character has made appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. That work showcased her ability to be a blockbuster star, and certainly must have been a factor in her being cast in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.

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Karen Gillan’s Ruby Roundhouse has even more stunts in the sequel than the first movie (She is a video game character after all, and things always get more extreme the further along you get). She can be seen running, dance-fighting, jumping and throwing around nunchucks like a pro. Now that the Jumanji remake has become a successful set of movies, she has two action franchises with her name on it.

Next, she’ll return to her character of Nebula in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, though exactly when that will go into production isn't precisely known at this stage. Karen Gillan has read the script written by James Gunn and called it the “best of the trilogy.” The Marvel movie will begin filming after Gunn has completed his work on The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros./DC.

Jumanji: The Next Level also stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Awkwafina, Danny Devito, and Danny Glover, and is going into its second weekend on the big screen up against Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and Cats. Head over over here to see what other movies are currently in theaters.