Madison Vanderberg
January 24, 2018 11:49 am

As Game of Thrones nears the end of its life, we wonder what the cast will do when their iconic roles wrap up. Will Lena Headey star as a sassy cop on an NBC procedural? Will Gwendoline Christie topline a dark comedy for Netflix about a woman just trying to have it all? While we think this talented cast will find their next jobs in a heartbeat, Maisie Williams worries about her future in Hollywood, calling it “a very shallow industry.”

“It’s only now I’m starting to realise the characters that are available to me because of the way I look and the characters that aren’t available to me,” Williams shared with The Irish Times.

“It’s a very shallow industry,” she added. “And I don’t look like someone who is cast in roles that are, well, sexualised. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely in awe of Hollywood’s leading ladies. I love looking at those totally jaw-droppingly beautiful women. But I think it’s sad that you only get to see one type of beautiful on screen.”

This is heartbreaking for many reasons. Badass and cunning female characters like Arya Stark only come around once in a lifetime, and that’s depressing. Plus, it’s frustrating that so much about a woman’s onscreen appearance revolves around whether or not she is beautiful. As Williams navigates her acting career, it’s clear that she is hyper-aware of the sexualization of many roles written for women. Can female characters just be humans? Must they always fit into this very narrow view of femininity? Must they be defined by their sexuality at all?

Williams’ next film is the drama Departures, in which she plays a British teenager with a terminal illness who enlists the help of an airport baggage handler to carry out her bucket list. After that, she stars in the new X-Men offshoot, The New Mutants. If she keeps this up, she’s set to have the coolest acting resume, and hopefully, those “sexualized” roles she speaks of now will become a passing thought in her robust and fascinating career.

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