I was disappointed that the most recent season of Game of Thrones sidelined Brienne of Tarth a little bit. She's one of the series' best characters, and actress Gwendoline Christie wonderfully brings her to life. Hopefully she'll have more to do in the upcoming season, but in the meantime, we'll see Christie appearing in the final installment of The Hunger Games as well as in what might be the most anticipated movie of all time: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
She plays the mysterious Captain Phasma, and though we still don't know too much about her character yet, Christie spoke with Variety about the challenge of the role:
“It was very important to J.J. that I was there acting a part,” she noted. “I found it to be a really interesting acting challenge, not just because of what I felt this character was representing — and it was just what I felt, and we talked about it a little bit, but it was never like a manifesto, ‘this is what it must be’ — and it was exciting to me to have that weight of responsibility taken away, of having to be a certain way as a woman, to have to be mindful in a way that isn’t always useful. To have that stripped away was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things. I had to focus on what my body was communicating and what exactly my voice is communicating.”
She added, “It becomes about the way in which you hold your hand, the way in which you walk, where your weight lies and what you want that to mean, and I wanted to give the character identity. I thought it was interesting to make something about the character identifiably female in a non-superficial way, and I hope that comes across.”
And though she's playing a villain in Star Wars and a more heroic character on GOT, Christie drew a connection between the two roles that she found interesting:
“I don’t think many female actors get the opportunity to play a part where they’re not having to think about the way their face looks, but I found exactly the same thing with Brienne of Tarth, and that was very liberating,” she said. “It was great as an actor to work on your skills — that it isn’t about holding your head so you look beautiful. It’s about what you’re transmitting, and to be in service of an idea greater than yourself, whether it’s the character’s overriding objective or, beyond that, hopefully something more sociopolitical. We have seen an image of [Phasma] and again, it’s an unconventional kind of woman exhibiting a kind of strength, but in a very different way to my other two characters.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18th.