By Juan Barquin
Tue., Apr. 15 2014
|Pedro Pascal and Gwendoline Christie.|
To say people are excited about the return of Game of Thrones is an understatement. More viewers are tuning in to watch the HBO series than ever before. The promise of another colorful wedding is only part of the appeal; the furthering of unexpected relationships and the welcome presence of characters both old and new give the season an interesting kickoff. I’m a fan of both the A Song of Ice and Fire books and the television series, so the chance to interview the actors behind two of the series’ most interesting characters was sent from whatever heaven in which a good portion of the Stark clan now rests.
Those characters are Brienne of Tarth and Oberyn Martell, better known as the Red Viper. Stepping out of their roles and elaborate costumes, Gwendoline Christie and Pedro Pascal prove to be infinitely more delightful than their characters. That fact made it a whole lot easier to spend some time nerding out with them.
“All I did was nerd out until I realized I had to concentrate and play a part,” admits Pascal, who joined the show this season. Long before he joined the cast, right after Tom DiCillo’s Living in Oblivion was released in 1995, Pascal approached Peter Dinklage on the street.
“I can tell you exactly what street it was — it’s so creepy,” he laughs. “I told him how much I loved his performance in that, and years later, now I get to act with him.” Pascal still hasn’t revealed that story to his costar.
Also an immense fan of the show, Christie was especially in love with the books.
“It surpassed all my expectations, and I thought they were some of the most unconventional narratives I’d ever come across,” she says. She was most interested in the women of the novels, especially that of her character, Brienne. Asked how often a role like that comes along, she says, “I wish I could say regularly. It’s rare, but it’s encouraging to me that a part like this, that so many of the female characters on the show, have proved to be so popular.”
They’re not only popular but also defiant to gender stereotypes. But where many viewers see Brienne as a mere knight, Christie sees far more.
by Katey Rich
April 14, 2014
Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 2, titled “The Lion and the Rose.”
Nobody had a worse time at the Game of Thrones Purple Wedding than poor old Joffrey, but a close second might be Brienne of Tarth. Having arrived at King’s Landing after a long, long journey escorting Jaime Lannister back home, Brienne is a knight forced into stuffy dresses, trying to find a place in a city where she doesn’t belong. And to make matters worse, during last night’s episode she was confronted by the woman she ought to fear most: Jaime’s sister/secret lover, Cersei Lannister.
“I think that’s probably the worst situation that Brienne can see herself in,” says Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne, about the confrontation between her character and Lena Headey’s Cersei, who accuses Brienne of being in love with Jaime. “The emotional confrontation. Being forced to consider something that she perhaps hasn’t considered before and certainly doesn’t want to consider.”
But Brienne and Cersei’s chilly showdown was just one of many awkward encounters at the wedding of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, which culminated in the biggest surprise this side of the Red Wedding: the death of the tyrannical, petulant Joffrey himself. Like any other Game of Thrones fan, Christie was “absolutely” delighted to see Joffrey go; she just had the added benefit of a front-row seat. In the process of filming the extended wedding sequence, Christie got to act opposite Game of Thrones cast members, like Headey or Charles Dance, she had never shared a scene with before.
“I felt like I was in the world of Game of Thrones. I felt like I had actually entered into the inner sanctum somehow. It was really thrilling. All of those characters, all of those actors, it was just such fun to be with them every day.”
It’s hard for viewers of the show to know what’s next for Brienne, or anyone really—the death of Joffrey resets the chess board of Game of Thrones in a major way. But even as an avowed book reader, Christie slyly suggests that nothing is guaranteed: “The whole format of Game of Thrones is that you just don’t know what to expect. There’s some security in, ‘Well, I’ve read the books.’ [But] the fact that the television program, with the collaboration of George R.R. Martin, deviates from that, [means] truly no one knows what’s going to happen.”
Source: Vanity Fair
The character faces new challenges now that her quest with Jaime Lannister has ended.
When I met up with Gwendoline Christie in New York City a couple of weeks ago to talk about Game of Thrones’ brand new fourth season, the actress otherwise known as the warrior Brienne was giddy with excitement. The Season 4 opener of the HBO hit had its premiere party the night before, and it was clear that Christie was still riding high from the evening. I mean, they even had a giant dragon there!
As Christie and I sat in a hotel suite high above the city overlooking Central Park, we talked about Brienne’s new path in Season 4 as she finds herself in the treacherous world of the royal court and King’s Landing. And you thought fighting a bear was dangerous?!
IGN: Are you enjoying New York — or do you even get a chance to leave the hotel?
Gwendoline Christie: [Laughs] They don’t let me out of the forest! This is a rare outing for me. I’m kept in the woods, wearing metal clothing.
IGN: [Laughs] Heavy clothing, fighting bears. You do most of your shooting in Ireland, is that right?
Christie: Mhmm. Yeah, up to — from what we’ve seen so far, I have shot pretty much exclusively in Belfast, apart from the bear-fighting scene, which we shot in LA, and then the very final scene at the end of Season 3, which was shot in Croatia, where Jaime and Brienne enter King’s Landing.
IGN: Ah, okay, and that was basically for the landscape, right?
Christie: Yeah, for it all to be precise and accurate, which I appreciate. It makes your job as an actor so much easier, to be in a real environment, rather than a mocked-up one.
IGN: I was in Belfast a couple of months ago. They were shooting a Dracula film up there, and everyone kept talking about how all the sound stages were Game of Thrones, and they had to find other spots to shoot.
Christie: Yeah, I know! They’ve really commandeered the landscape. They absolutely have. It’s Game of Thrones World. [Laughs]
IGN: So I watched the first three episodes of this season. They told me it was okay to kind of talk — not that anything too groundbreaking happens with your character.
Christie: Yeah, yes… What do you mean!? [Laughs] I’m so hurt right now!