Scottish actress Karen Gillan (Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) stars as Ruby Roundhouse, the warrior persona of nerdy teenage girl Martha in Columbia Pictures’ action-adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (in Philippine cinemas Monday, January 8.)
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, four unlikely friends get sucked into the perilous world of Jumanji, and are transformed into avatars with unique skills. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in Jumanji forever…
The outspoken but socially awkward Martha, (portrayed by Morgan Turner) knows that high school years can be bumpy – and life will get better in college and beyond – but that doesn’t make her daily existence any easier to bear.
Until now, she’s coped by blending into the background… but as the powerhouse Ruby Roundhouse, the martial arts master and killer of men, Martha finds herself as a skilled badass who commands everyone’s attention. It’s unfamiliar territory, to say the least, but she has no choice but to step up and fight for survival.
“For me, Martha’s learning curve is where the fun is,” says Gillan. “She is an introverted, socially awkward teenage girl who is forced to inhabit the body and eventually the mindset of someone so utterly different. I’m a little awkward at times, but I’ve been able to play these strong, badass characters, and I usually have to overcome my own weird awkwardness; with Martha/Ruby, I got to embrace that side and really have some fun.”
“I had been a fan of Karen’s for a long time,” says director Jake Kasdan. “And the way she plays Martha — as this very intelligent, but slightly awkward introvert who is discovering her own power before our eyes — is one of my favorite things about the movie. She plays all the levels of the character so well.”
Co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are known for their intense workout regimens, but it was Gillan – whose character is an expert in various martial arts techniques and “dance fighting” – did the most extensive work with the stunt team to learn the extensive fight choreography for her scenes. The stunt team says that the Brazilian fighting style Capoeira is probably the most comparable to Ruby’s special powers, but the stunt team combined several martial arts techniques to create their own moves – part dancing, part lethal fighting.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.