As someone who seems to exclusively play female badasses, it makes sense that Natalie Dormer would have some thoughts about what that term really means. The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones star sat down with The Guardian recently and opened up about her experiences as a woman in the film and TV industry, and her thoughts about healthy ways to empower women.

“Female empowerment shouldn’t be exclusively about sexuality,” she stated. That’s a bold thing to say since her Game of Thrones gig is a very sexualized environment. However, she’s careful not to name names.“You meet a fair fraction of male writers and directors who want to wave the equality flag and believe that they’re making you a kick-ass female assassin, and they’re empowering you. Whereas true empowerment would be…you know, not a stylized, hyper-sexualization.”

While it’s totally okay for women to be sexual, we get what Dormer means when she feels that sometimes that’s the only way women are empowered on screen. If there’s not much else to a character than sex, then isn’t it really just same-old, same-old?

Dormer loved playing Cressida in the Hunger Games series for that reason specifically. “It’s so refreshing to play a woman who’s not defined by the love of a man,” she explained. “I was getting a little tired of sitting around in a silk skirt. It was a good antidote to put on a pair of army boots and run around in the mud for nine months.”

We love watching Dormer in all her roles, but it’s even more satisfying to know she’s playing characters she believes in. You can catch her in Mockingjay: Part Two, in theaters now, or in Game of Thrones when it returns in April.

(Image via Lionsgate)