She talks to Paul Flynn about breaking moulds, Star Wars and why she’s happy to be an outsider…
EVENING STANDARD – When she was 15 years old, Gwendoline Christie would frequently skip school to head up to London.
She’d get the train from Worthing, West Sussex — where she lived with her mother, a housewife, and dad, a salesman — and make her way to the stalls in Kensington Market, obsessing over the beguiling selections of nightlife pieces on display at Hyper Hyper. She’d sit and sketch mannequins at the V&A. Hours would be whiled away browsing the rails at Vivienne Westwood. Back home, she’d test herself by covering the credits of fashion magazines to see if she had learned who designed what and why. Discovering Alexander McQueen, she says, was ‘earth-shattering, it just felt like so many of the things I loved coming together and exploding’.
To Christie, from a young age, fashion represented part of a wider life plan. ‘It was a combination of wanting to escape the unpleasant narrative that was being applied to me at school, where I was bullied terribly,’ she says, ‘and loving the transportative nature of the arts. It was about not wanting to live a prescriptive life.’
Christie had heard the word ‘unconventional’ applied to herself so many times, from such a young age, that she adopted a ‘sink or swim’ attitude to fitting in. She developed ideas about beauty every bit as armour-plated as the uniform she’s sported for the past six years as Brienne of Tarth: the character who first turned her into one of the truly iconic faces of the 2010s in Game of Thrones (although at the mention of the word icon, she blurts, ‘Pfffft! Bollocks!’ and mimes ‘Lol’ with two hands shaping the ‘L’s, her mouth forming the ‘O’).
Gotta be honest, I thought John and Gwendoline would be a bit braver 🙂
Continue reading “Videos: Some videos from the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi””
Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and their “Last Jedi” comrades discuss the difficulties of new relationships, the joys of villainy and those porgs.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – While they tell tales of Death Stars and daddy issues, the “Star Wars” movies are also stories about duality: how goodness and evil can coexist — on the same planet or inside the same person — and what happens when they collide on an intergalactic scale.
These themes are revisited once again in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the eighth episode in the science-fiction saga that George Lucas started in 1977. “The Last Jedi,” which opens on Dec. 15, is the first to be written and directed by Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “Looper”). It follows the resounding success of “The Force Awakens,” directed by J. J. Abrams in 2015, about two young heroes, a scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) and a renegade stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega), caught up in the search for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
The new film continues where “The Force Awakens” left off, as Rey and Luke are about to meet on the planet Ahch-To, and it promises a further exploration of their relationship to the sullen evildoer Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his nefarious master, Snoke (Andy Serkis). It also features the final performance in the series from Carrie Fisher, who played Leia and who died last December.
At a running time of some two and a half hours, “The Last Jedi” continues the adventures of Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and their adversaries Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Somehow it finds room for the new characters Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), and a wide-eyed alien species called porgs.
Like the film they made, the creator and cast of “The Last Jedi” can encompass a spectrum of darkness and light, seriousness and silliness, all in the same conversation. Just days before the movie’s opening, they gathered for what felt at times like a solemn high school graduation and, at other times, like its after-party.
Here, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Ridley, Mr. Boyega, Mr. Hamill, Mr. Driver, Mr. Serkis, Mr. Isaac, Ms. Christie, Mr. Gleeson, Ms. Tran and Ms. Dern discuss their work on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and some of the questions it raises. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Audiences have a strong sense of what they think a “Star Wars” film should look and feel like. But Rian, you make films that are personal and idiosyncratic. How do you do that in a “Star Wars” movie?
Also a funny interview from the Dark Side at the end.
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SYFY – The full press push for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now at full hyperspace, with director Rian Johnson and the cast appearing almost everywhere as we inch closer to the film’s release on December 15th.
Rian Johnson gathered together with cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Laura Dern (Amilyn Holdo), John Boyega (Finn), and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) for a Facebook Live event, and the gang passed around an upturned stormtrooper helmet full of questions. Here are some of the best responses!
On which cast member is the funniest: John Boyega was quick to say BB-8, and the others quickly agreed. Hamill joked that if his beeps are translated, “he kills it every time.”
On which cast member has the best pet: Boyega again jumped in and declared that his British Nigerian cat was the best of the bunch. When Hamill brought up the fact that his own daughter’s dog, Millie, has over 19,000 instagram followers, Boyega came back at him with a response for the ages– “My cat doesn’t need followers, cause he’s got self-esteem.”
Does the cast ever think of stealing BB-8? Most of them do, but this is when Rian Johnson dropped a porg-bomb on the porg-ceedings. When one of the actors mentioned stealing a porg, Johnson said that he doesn’t need to do that, because master craftsman Neil Scanlan gave him a fully functional porg replica as a wrap gift. The rest of the cast instantly came down with a big case of porg envy.
The Sydney Morning Herald – I arrive early at the LA hotel where I’m meeting Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, and my first impression of the actor is formed in a millisecond when I bump into her in a hallway. Unusually and ethereally beautiful, towering above me, there’s no mistaking the 39-year-old who stars as the indomitable Brienne of Tarth in the must-watch TV series, and who is reprising her role as the villainous Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (She first played the kickass stormtrooper in the previous chapter, 2015’s The Force Awakens.)
Wearing a see-though black Fendi top and narrow trousers, her blonde hair is wavy and bobbed. With her porcelain skin and 191-centimetre stature, she could easily look intimidating. But her bright smile makes her approachable, so I tell her, in an embarrassing babble, that I love her work and that my two daughters are huge fans. She seems delighted, as though compliments are not at all commonplace.
Is she enjoying Hollywood stardom? “I don’t think I would ever term myself as a Hollywood star… ever,” she responds with a loud laugh, while admitting that “things seem to be going quite well”. That sounds like an understatement. “Well it’s always great, isn’t it, when you feel a level of creative fulfilment in your work?” says Gwendoline in her lovely melodic voice.
She has every reason to be in good spirits. Her film career is in flight and life post-Westeros looks exciting. She has loved Star Wars since she was six, she tells me later, ushering me into her hotel suite and settling beside me on the sofa, poised, hands clasped. “Everyone wants to be in Star Wars. It is such a huge global phenomenon; I desperately wanted the role.”
The latest installment in the franchise sees Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in a prominent role with an apparently shocking twist. There will also a strong focus on a new generation of characters, including purple-haired Vice-Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern.