How ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Star Karen Gillan Made Her Feature Directorial Debut With ‘The Party’s Just Beginning’ – Tribeca

Mark Mann

In between starring in back-to-back blockbusters Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity Warstar Karen Gillan brought her feature passion project to life, The Party’s Just Beginning. And at a time when studios are looking for more female directors to tell stories, look over here at Gillan.  

Tribeca Film Festival

Gillan shows the chops that she can both star and direct a movie with a distinctive, auteur style. The Party’s Just Beginning was shot in the actress’ Scottish Highlands hometown of Inverness and she plays a young woman who is living an endless bacchanal to mask more severe pains, one of which is losing a close friend to suicide. Gillan captures Inverness with a kinetic, somber colorful hued, rapid-edit style, reminiscent of how Nicolas Winding Refn arrests Los Angeles in Drive and Neon Demon. In the hands of a less-capable director, this story could easily tip toward melodrama, but Gillan keeps an even-handed approach to both her nuanced turn as well as her actors’ performances with a grounded story and sense of humor (though she parties by night, Gillan’s Liusaidh is shackled to working in a grocery deli by day).

“The whole story is based on a statistic I read that the suicide rate in the Highlands of Scotland are significantly higher among young men than in the rest of Scotland. I was like ‘That’s a strange statistic’ because I grew up there and it’s so idyllic and picturesque and beautiful. Why do we have this dark fact looming over us?” says the actress-turned-filmmaker.

It took Gillan six years to write the screenplay and five to finance. She finally broke through with stateside film finance company Mt. Hollywood Films.

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