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Unlike some stars we could name (hi, Emma Stone!), Gillan comes by her red hair naturally - she inherited it from her Scottish ancestors. Born and raised in the small Highland town of Inverness, she developed an interest in the arts because of her musician father, and took part in school plays. At 18, Gillan moved to London, where she earned her degree from the Italia Conti Academy Of Theatre Arts. Sounds fancy!

Model Actress

Everyone must pay their dues, even sexy gingers. Gillan spent her late teens and early 20s modelling and doing guest spots on British TV shows, none of which really amounted to much. As she told UK fashion website Stylist: "As a model, you just do what you're told. It's not something that ever bothered me really, because I didn't feel that there was a lot riding on it. I didn't care about modelling."

Who's that girl

Gillan's big break came when she landed a role on the beloved long-running British TV show Doctor Who as the titular character's companion Amy Pond. During her two years with the series - from 2010 to 2012 - she was a fan favourite and became a huge star among sci-fi geeks. At 1.8m tall, she was the Doctor's tallest ever companion!

Scream Queen

Having made it big on TV, Gillan then set her sights on the big screen with a lead role in the new horror film Oculus, which opens here tomorrow. She plays a woman who wants to prove that an old mirror is responsible for her family's murder problems. "She's an interesting character," Gillan told the Los Angeles Times. "Instead of running away from the threat, she's running to it. And the worse things get, the more excited she gets because it's verifying everything that she's been believing to be true."

Galaxy Gal

While most villains are gooby-looking dudes, upcoming superhero flick Guardians Of The Galaxy features Gillan as the bald blue baddie Nebula, a space pirate. She was so dedicated to the project that she shaved off her trademark red hair. "I was laughing hysterically", she told sci-fi website io9. "It really hit me when I woke up the next morning. That's when I was like, 'Oh, my God, where's my hair?!'" Apparently her shorn locks were later turned into a wig for the new Star Wars movie!

This article was published on April 23 in The New Paper.

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