Category: Interviews

Press: “Game of Thrones” stars on their awesome sparring scene

 

 

EW – It was a sword fight fans never knew they wanted until it happened: Arya Stark vs. Brienne of Tarth. The petite Stark sister challenged the imposing warrior to a sparring match during Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, a practice fight in the Winterfell courtyard that actresses Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie say they loved filming.

 

“It’s an incredible moment when Arya walks into the courtyard and Brienne says ‘nice sword,’” Christie tells EW.

 

“When she first sees Arya, it’s not just that she sees the living embodiment of Catelyn Stark, but also she sees something of herself in another young girl. I don’t think Brienne has seen something of herself in somebody like that before. So when she hears Arya has returned to Winterfell, and sees Arya dressed not entirely dissimilarly to Brienne, it’s not just that feels like part of Catelyn Stark is alive but that she’s now in a position of education. It’s a very distant form of parenting for Brienne and not one she ever thought she’d have.”

 

As for the fight itself, the duo practiced a bit for the unique face-off, which had the 5-foot-1 Williams going up against the 6-foot-3 Christie.

 

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Press: Last Jedi goes ‘deeper,’ ‘further’ than previous film

EW – Get ready for more Captain Phasma when The Last Jedi debuts in December.

 

While the character became a fan-favorite character even before Star Wars: The Force Awakens bowed in 2015, Captain Phasma was only briefly explored in the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise. However, the chrome-plated Stormtrooper is expected to get more screen time in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with rumors swirling that the character played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, will even be unmasked. Either way, Christie says director Rian Johnson will be delving “deeper” into all of the characters in The Last Jedi, with the actress revealing she played a role in developing Phasma’s backstory.

 

“I was just so delighted to be in The Last Jedi, and for that to be directed by Rian Johnson, who is another director I’ve long admired since I watched Brick, actually; I thought that was a really brilliant piece of work,” Christie told EW at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Saturday, where she was promoting Top of the Lake: China Girl. “When I met him, these are huge things to me and things I never thought would happen in my career, so when Rian invited me to read the script, have my thoughts and then to come and discuss it with him — as he did all of the cast members — I was really thrilled to have an opportunity of a forum where I could put my ideas forward and have some back and forth about where we felt things were and where we felt they can go. What I can tell you about the next Star Wars film is I think Rian does an exceptional job of going deeper, of going further, and really exploring what these relationships are.”

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Press/Video/Photos: Interview – Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie

From Star Wars to the new Top of the Lake, Gwendoline Christie has become a screen heroine for our times. Lorraine Candy meets the unconventional actress who embraces the joy of being an outsider

 

 

SUNDAY TIMES STYLE – Let’s get the tall bit out of the way first, shall we? Gwendoline Christie is a delicate 6ft 3in tall. I say delicate because, personally, I’m always struck by how dainty the Game of Thrones superhero is. She is all fine blonde curls and flawless porcelain skin. Feminine, girly, graceful are the words that come to mind when I think of the Gwendoline I have known for several years. Gosh, we have had some fun together, this elegant outsider and me. “The world is absurd, Lorraine,” she will often observe with characteristic wry humour, “and if you can’t find it absurd, then I don’t know how you’d get through.” Indeed it is — especially when you look at it from Gwendoline Christie’s perspective.

 

The 38-year-old actress is a composite of opposites, if such a thing exists: an introverted extrovert, a soft strength, the most conventional unconventional person I know. She’s both intellectually intense and wonderfully silly. Time spent with the ever-so-polite and well-brought-up Gwendoline is like going to a spa for your mind: it’s never ordinary, even if it is just having a cup of peppermint tea, as we are for this interview.

 

For most of her life, mostly because of her height, Gwendoline has been on the margins of what is considered normal. From being bullied at her local village school, to the relentless fruitless auditions she didn’t ever get through, she was continually told, as she puts it, “that your outside can’t come on the inside”. How demoralising, but also, perhaps, how wonderful, because if you can overcome those cruel obstacles, you develop a rare confidence that is unbreakable. Then, one day, you wake up and deliver to the universe the gift that is Brienne of Tarth, the one woman who is everything all women want to be.

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Videos: Comic-Con Interviews

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Press/Video: Comic Con – Gwendoline Christie teases what’s ahead for Brienne

 

 

EW – The seventh season of Game of Thrones may see Brienne of Tarth’s loyalty shift — to herself.

 

During an interview at EW’s video lounge at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday, actress Gwendoline Christie teased what’s ahead for her character now that Brienne has fulfilled her oath to rescue Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).

 

“As we see Brienne back at Winterfell, we see that she’s with Sansa, she’s there in place, and it feels like she’s going towards consolidating her oath,” Christie said. “What I think we’ll see throughout the season is actually Brienne starting to question what received authority is and take on more of an independent decision-making process.”

 

That might mean that she starts to question her allegiances. “I think we’ve seen Brienne being an incredibly honorable character, but one who has operated from a received sense of what honor is,” Christie added. “And now in the world, it’s not at all as she expected, and no one’s clear as to whether they’re good or evil. And that gray area means that there’s an increased decision-making process that happens moment to moment.”

 

It was a big Friday for Christie and the Thrones cast, as they also participated in a packed panel in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. There, the Brienne actress discussed her character’s reaction to the flirtatious Tormund.

 

“I don’t think at the foremost of her consciousness is a value system based on how men appreciate her,” she said of Tormund’s advances. “But who doesn’t like being appreciated as both, really? But I don’t think that’s what she’s invested in. She’s finding it awkward. But underneath any awkwardness is potential secret enjoyment.” But, she added, “I think to win Brienne’s heart is about mutual respect about your skill and your ideals, not about overpowering of sexual advance.”

 

Christie was joined in EW’s suite by her Thrones costars Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), and John Bradley (Sam Tarley), the latter of whom broke down his character’s gag-inducing montage in Sunday’s season premiere. Watch the full interview in the video above, and click here to hear Sophie Turner’s take on the Sansa Stark-Jon Snow rivalry.

 

Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.

Videos: “Game of Thrones” Season 7 Interviews


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Press: What’s Next for Westeros, Gwendoline Christie and Her Empowering Brienne of Tarth

 

NEWSWEEK – “I’m Gwen,” she says, as if she could be anyone else. Gwendoline Christie is tall. This won’t come as a surprise to fans of Game of Thrones, the show that features the 38-year-old actor as the dutiful and fearless warrior Brienne of Tarth. And yet, when meeting Christie on a Friday morning in the rooftop bar of a London music venue, the full 6 foot 3 inches of her can still take you aback, even without her character’s coat of armor.

 

For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones is based on George R.R. Martin’s wildly popular fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, of which there are five novels, with two more planned. The books are set in a vaguely medieval world on fictional continents where the leaders of seven kingdoms battle the undead, dragons and one another for the exceedingly uncomfortable-looking Iron Throne. Since the show’s premiere in 2011, it has won more Emmy Awards than any other scripted series in history (38 to date), kept Reddit and social media ticking with memes and theories, and inspired all manner of online debate—over excessive violence (heads chopped off, girls burned alive, men castrated) and gratuitous sex (the rape of one character in particular).

 

But the 23 million viewers (on average) who watch each episode come for the unusually large number of indelible characters—like Lena Headey’s power-mad Queen Cersei; the brooding, putative hero, Jon Snow (Kit Harington); and Brienne.

 

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Jane Campion’s Croisette Return With ‘Top Of The Lake’: “Anything Seen On A Big Screen Is Right For This Festival”

 

DEADLINE – It’d have been hard to guess, going into Cannes, that by far the most entertaining of my Croisette interviews would be with Jane Campion, and her Top of the Lake: China Girl cast. After all, the first season of Top of the Lake was dark, following Elisabeth Moss’s Robin Griffin, a tortured detective investigating the pregnancy and disappearance of a 12-year-old girl. And Moss had prepped me, ahead of the festival, that China Girl was darker still, opening with a prostitute’s body shoved into a suitcase, pushed over a cliff.

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Working with partner Giles Deacon: ‘I wear armour and I wear couture – both fascinate me’

 Gwendoline wears fern and putty acid zebra dress with Swarovski crystal anemone embroidery, price on application, by Giles Deacon Couture Credit: Charlotte Hadden

Gwendoline wears fern and putty acid zebra dress with Swarovski crystal anemone embroidery, price on application, by Giles Deacon Couture Credit: Charlotte Hadden

 

TELEGRAPH – London is melting. It’s the hottest day of the year, and outside Giles Deacon’s Brick Lane studio, the youth of Shoreditch are wilting in their rompers and crop tops. Inside, we’re above it all in the couture zone – a place of custom-woven double jacquards and hand-painted gold feathers, of gowns so lavish, so transporting and so expensive, they may well come equipped with their own weather systems.

 

Behind a closed door, Deacon is directing Gwendoline Christie (the Game of Thrones and Star Wars star who happens to be his partner) as she swishes through a series of looks from his first couture collection.

 

Gwendoline wears silk crepe bias-cut printed-egg dress with grosgrain shoulder corsage, price on application, Giles Deacon Couture Credit: Charlotte Hadden

Gwendoline wears silk crepe bias-cut printed-egg dress with grosgrain shoulder corsage, price on application, Giles Deacon Couture Credit: Charlotte Hadden

 

At 6ft 3in and with a regal confidence befitting the only actress ever to portray both a Shakespearean queen and a Stormtrooper commander, Christie seems born for gowns, particularly those with Deacon-esque heights of verve and individuality. She wears a silk gown printed with bird eggs of the British Isles with the same confidence and ease that most women would bring to their favourite jeans.

 

‘Giles has long been one of my favourite designers,’ Christie says via email later. ‘He has two of my favourite attributes in artists: wild imagination and technical rigour. [His designs] can be practical, otherworldly, sculptural and mind-bending, but you always feel celebrated as a woman when you wear them… Their confidence somehow increases yours. It’s quite a power for a designer to have. His clothes have personalities.’

 

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Game of Thrones stars on Jaime and Brienne’s touching reunion

Coster-Waldau: ‘You just want go, “For godssake, let it go for a one second. What about what you want?”‘

 

EW – Note: This story contains plot details from Game of Thrones season 6 episode 8, “No One”…

 

Two Game of Thrones warriors with an emotionally complicated history reunited on opposite sides of a poltiical face-off in Sunday’s episode, “No One.” Thankfully, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) didn’t draw swords — at least not yet — but the two matched wits over a seemingly impossible situation at Riverrun where the Kingslayer was sent to reclaim the Tully’s castle for Lannister forces.

 

“It’s a great scene,” says Coster-Waldau. “These characters are so much about holding their cards so close to their chest and they don’t want to reveal how they’re feeling. But we know there’s history between them, that this is more than two knights meeting. But they would never acknowledge that.”

 

Christie tells us fans have been asking if Jaime and Brienne would ever meet again since season 4. “I was excited, It was really fun to be with Nikolaj again, and I thought the way of which their reunion happens is not really expected,” she says. “I just loved that it was so formal, because within the confines of such formality, and having to negotiate with each other, there are so many other stories begging to be told in those moments. There’s a slow process of creeping familiarity among two people who haven’t been together for a long time; it was allowed to build. And I love that Brienne asserts her intelligence and her newfound mind of strategy and negotiates with Jaime and she gets the outcome she wants — he allows her safe passage to go in and negotiate. It wasn’t cliched in any way. You continue to see the strength of Brienne. She is so dedicated to the moral good she does everything she can to uphold her oath to Catelyn Stark.”

 

The sequence also nudged the question fans have wondered ever since the duo were first unwittingly paired in season 3: Is there real romantic interest between these two? Or is their relationship strictly based on mutual respect and some level of friendship? Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who wrote this hour, used Bronn on the sidelines to give voice to an idea that Jaime and Brienne would likely never bring up to each other (crudely, of course, with Bronn suggesting both want to have sex with the other) .

 

“[Bronn] tells us what the audience suspects,” Coster-Waldau says. “It’s a great way to get all that stuff into the audience’s head before the scene because then there’s this added subtext. Jaime is always about Cerise and what he can do to help her and how to achieve whatever she wants. And for Brienne, it’s the same — she has an oath to Catelyn Stark. She’s extremely strong willed and has her honor and has to do the right thing always. Sometimes, with both them, you just want go, ‘For godssake, let it go for a one second. What about what you want?’ They never listen to themselves. And what I love about the end of this scene is there’s some heartbreak because, once again, they were close. But are they ever gonna be able to talk about something other than someone else’s agenda?”

 

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