Karen Gillan insists she is a ''pretty awkward person''.

The 29-year-old actress portrays commando Ruby Roundhouse in forthcoming film 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' but admits in real life she is much more like her alter-ego's avatar Martha Schwartz - played by Morgan Turner - who is a shy bookworm.

She said: ''Honestly, I'm Martha. I completely understand why I was cast in this role because I'm a pretty awkward person in general

''But I keep getting cast in these kicka** roles, so I just honestly feel like it's so close to my life.''

The former 'Doctor Who' star - who portrays alien supervillain Nebula in the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' film franchise - cannot work out why she has been cast in such tough-female roles, but thinks it is something to do with her 5ft 11inch frame.

She said: ''I don't know, that's something I'm trying to work out. It might be because I'm tall?''

While Karen enjoys taking on the parts, she felt right at home recently when she stepped behind the camera for her forthcoming big screen directorial debut in 'The Party's Just Beginning', which she also stars in and wrote.

Speaking to Virgin Atlantic's Vera Magazine, the brunette - who helmed two short films, 'Coward', and 'Conventional', in 2015 - added: ''I loved it so much. It's just something I want to do more and more now. When I was a kid, before I decided that I wanted to be an actress, I had this video camera, which was my prize possession, and I was making horror films in my house and using my friends and parents as actors.

''If we go right back to the beginning that was everything to me, and I feel like I've finally like made my way back to that, because it felt the same as making tiny films, just on a bigger scale.''