Gwendoline Christie shares the powerful similarity between her characters in 'Star Wars' and 'GoT'
Gwendoline Christie is one of our FAVORITE actresses to step into the spotlight over the past few years. We’ve gotten to know her as she plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, a lady who happens to be one of the best warriors in Westeros with a take-no-prisoners attitude. Now, we’re going to see her step into another take-no-prisoners role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Captain Phasma, a still-secret brand new character that Christie loves playing. From Christie’s point of view, Brienne and Phasma have a lot in common and in a recent interview she explained what those commonalities are.
It might seem odd that heroine Brienne could have something in common with villain Phasma, but according to Christie, it’ true. Actually as Christie says, the similarities have nothing to do with the characters themselves, but rather with how Christie feels playing them. If you know your GoT, Brienne is always described as a “plain” woman, and on-screen it appears that Christie is wearing literally no makeup whatsoever. As for Phasma, she gets to wear a helmet, totally obstructing her face. According to Christie, this is an amazing way to play both characters.
In an interview with Variety, Christie explains, “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.” She felt this way for Brienne, and now with Phasma, and finds it “very liberating” since no one is focusing on her facial features, let alone any makeup she’s wearing.
“It was great [playing Phasma] 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.”
And yes, for the record Christie is actually the one in the Phasma suit. Even though we can’t SEE her, it really is her. Director J.J. Abrams wanted her to play the part and voice the voice, even without her face being seen.
“To have that stripped away was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things,” Christie explains. “I had to focus on what my body was communicating and what exactly my voice is communicating.”
Christie also loved the way the Star Wars Facebook page handled a sexist comment about Phasma’s armor a month ago. The Facebook reply explaining that Phasma didn’t have to look feminine was, “beautiful because it was informative, which is what we all need in order to tackle prejudice of any kind in our world.”
Christie explains Captain Phasma as “an unconventional kind of woman exhibiting a kind of strength,” and that’s our favorite kind of character. That’s another similarity to Brienne, if we do say so ourselves.
[Images via HBO and Shutterstock]