LONDON, Sept 23 — “Game of Thrones” fans are already familiar with Gwendoline Christie in her role as the honourable Brienne of Tarth, but winter is coming and she will cross over to the Dark Side as Captain Phasma in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this December.
“Star Wars” fans have been scrambling to find out more about Captain Phasma since first catching sight of the military leader’s distinctive armour in the trailer, and here’s what Christie let on in a recent interview with Variety.
On why she found the role of Captain Phasma so liberating:
“It was very important to JJ that I was there acting a part. 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.”
On how she gave her helmeted character a feminine identity:
“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.”
On conveying expression despite being hidden behind a mask:
“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. 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.”
On that sexist Facebook post:
“It was beautiful because it was informative, which is what we all need in order to tackle prejudice of any kind in our world… to be fed information. That’s just my opinion, that education combats fear, and fear leads to prejudice — so if we all become more educated, and if our mainstream media continues to expand and show a more realistic representation of women and of men.”
Not to be sexist but pic.twitter.com/1oMgXN8maW— Amber Gordon (@missambear) August 28, 2015