Category: 2016 Interview

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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Brienne star secretly loves Tormund’s crush

Plus: The Brienne-Tormund deleted scene you didn’t get to see

brienne-and-tormund
 

EW – All it took was one glance last week to light up Twitter. Tormund Giantsbane crushing on Brienne of Tarth? It’s the match-up we never knew we wanted, until we did. And in Sunday’s “The Door,” the wildling’s desperately unabashed interest in the warrior continued until Brienne was visibly rolling her eyes.

 

One fan of the storyline is Brienne actress Gwendoline Christie, who says she could barely keep a straight face during Tormund actor Kristofer Hivju’s advances.

 

“First of all, Kristofer is absolutely hilarious,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve been in a scene on Game of Thrones when it’s been everything I can do to stop myself from laughing. The way he was behaving toward me was just extraordinary.”

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The New Women of STAR WARS

STRIP LV – It’s been the dawn of a new age of women in the Star Wars film franchise, thanks to Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, who championed the addition of more female characters in the newest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And not just random, female roles—but strong roles of substance.

 

We sat with two of the strong lead females from the record-breaking blockbuster, The Force Awakens—the heroine: “Rey” (Daisy Ridley) and the villain: “Captain Phasma” (Gwendoline Christie).

 

Daisy Ridley – born the youngest of five daughters to Louise Fawkner-Corbett and Chris Ridley of London, England, hit Hollywood with a bang in her powerful lead role as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But this talented actress is no stranger to the fine arts, whose great-uncle was Arnold Ridley: actor, playwright, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and who was best known for authoring the play, The Ghost Train, as well as his role in the popular seventies WWII British television sitcom, “Dad’s Army”. Initially sent by her parents to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in response to the preteen’s somewhat naughty behavior in primary school, the young budding performer would become a triple-threat as an actress, dancer and mezzo-soprano with a strength in jazz and cabaret-style singing. And the new Star Wars’ sensation must have some pipes—hitting social media last month, saying that she had recorded a duet with none other than the legendary singer, Barbra Streisand, posting a photo on Instagram of the two of them together, teasing “…more details to come.” Director J.J. Abrams has stated his love for Ridley’s singing voice—so who knows what he has up his sleeve?

 

What we do know is that Ridley turns 24 with her birthday this month, (April 10) and that we will enjoy much more from the talented actress, as she is slated to reprise her role in the next of the franchise’s sequels. She took out a moment from the media storm to share her excitement in taking on the heroic character and to tell some stories about how incredible it was to work with legendary actors, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill.

 

Gwendoline Christie – another British talent – is best known for playing roles of women who kick ass. Graduating from Drama Centre London with a First Class BA (Hons) in 2005, she started out in theater, and then became the subject of photographer Polly Borland’s noted series of photographs. It was 2011 when Christie landed the role of the fierce medieval fighter, Brienne of Tarth, in the highly successful HBO series, Game of Thrones. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a couple of parts of women who are very driven and somewhat unconventional,” she adds. “I love playing women who kick ass!” Towering over other long-legged actresses, Uma Thurman (6” 0”) and Jane Lynch (6’ 0”), even Brigitte Nielsen (6’ 1”) Christie’s height of 6’ 3” made for an ever-more fearsome villain in her role as Captain Phasma in the sci-fi epic. The formidable yet striking actress shares how taking on the ‘typically male’ role as villain for the franchise was much more than just stepping up and wielding a laser—that the original Star Wars movie had a huge influence on her as a young girl and that landing the role actually was a dream come true.

 

GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE
STAR WARS’ VILLAIN “CAPTAIN PHASMA”

 

STRIPLV: So what made you want to join Star Wars and play Captain Phasma?

 

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The Fate of Jon Snow

Game of Thrones: Brienne to ‘burst forth’ in season 6

EW – Brienne is done waiting around in the snow. Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie spoke with EW about her character’s storyline in the upcoming sixth season, and revealed Brienne of Tarth is going to have a more active arc this year.

 

“After season 5, people would come up on the street moaning about why wasn’t Brienne wasn’t doing more,” Christie says of her character, who spent the back half of last year patiently watching for a distress signal from Sansa (Sophie Turner). “I’d say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I’m not really in charge of that.’ I got the scripts for season 6 and I thought the story was so fantastic. It’s really exciting to see Brienne burst forth again.”

 

Of course, more screen time on Thrones also typically means a character faces more dire peril. Up until now, Brienne’s ferocious combat skills have kept her alive despite being saddled with traits that usually prove quickly fatal in Westeros (you know, like being a decent person). This time, she won’t be able to rely just on her brawn to survive, an evolution that Christie embraces. “Brienne is so unique and unconventional and so strong, and I love the writing hasn’t allowed her to just rest there,” Christie says. “[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are so terrific about how they develop characters. We see her develop like the way a human being might through life.”

 

And once again, Brienne will be encountering characters she has never met before (speculate away). “So many characters for so long had their isolated storylines and as a fan of this show as well, I’ve been wanting and dreaming — ‘I wonder what it would be like to see this person interact with this other person?’ And that’s what starts to unfold.”

 

Last season’s relatively modest on-screen duties did have benefits, however, as Christie was able devote time to her coveted big-screen roles as Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and playing the chrome trooper Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — with more to come in Episode VIII (Brienne may never earn a royal title, but Christie could be dubbed The Franchise Queen).

 

Yet for Christie, high-profile roles are not just about her own career — the actress says she felt like an unusual-looking outsider prior to joining Thrones and hopes her rise helps inspire Hollywood to create more diverse roles. “Women talk to me about how Brienne is important to them and they’re really happy it illustrates an unconventional side of femininity and womanhood compared to what we’re used to seeing,” she says. “There’s a shift in the kind of things people want to see in entertainment, and I hope this breeds in people’s minds and we see more different incarnations of women.”

 

And while she’s keeping busy with other roles, Christie says she has zero interest in exiting Thrones to work on movies — if she can help it. “I really am in a position now where I’m very lucky to do other things,” she says, “But I don’t ever want to stop playing this part.”

 

Gwendoline Christie Slays

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PAPER – In just four years, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has become a leading agent of change in Hollywood. After exploding conventional femininity in three major franchise roles — Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth, The Hunger Games’ Commander Lyme and Star Wars’ Captain Phasma — the striking actress and fashion newbie insists pop culture had it coming.

 

When we meet, Christie is savoring her precious last days at home before being whisked out to LA to attend the Screen Actors Guild Awards. She still lives near the “beautiful old Georgian ruin” of Drama Centre London, her beloved acting school, where she was taught, as a 6’3″ actress, to shrink any expectations of glamorous work. “Part of my training was to always be in service of an idea greater than yourself,” she says over the phone. “But I don’t think actors can say, ‘I’m definitely going to change things.’ You can hope, and hopefully it will happen.”

 

It did: in her twenties, Christie tickled her agent with a pipe dream of ditching theatre for TV; a few years later, she’d muscled into HBO’s Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth. The outcast warrior soon became a fan favorite, and it’s no wonder: amid messy politics and corrupt patriarchies, her honor is as true as her sword. “I never expected her to be so loved,” Christie says, chuckling. “I just assumed people would champion the more conventional women.”

 

Since then Christie’s empire has rapidly expanded with her roles as Commander Lyme in the latest Hunger Games, and as toppled Episode VII: The Force Awakens villain Captain Phasma, rumored to bounce back in Episode VIII. Christie has even adorned fashion shows by Vivienne Westwood and Iris van Herpen. What’s driving her? “Every single person has felt either a connection to or alienation from what’s happening in popular culture,” she says. “And there’s something very pleasing about defying convention.”

 

 

Gallery Link:

Interview: Who’s Star Wars Bad Woman Gwendoline Christie

My lovely friend Aniek from Jeniacs has translated an interview from the Dutch ELLE site for me and here it is:

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ELLE-NLThe force is strong with Gwendoline Christie, the woman who stepped into the bulletproof shoes of Brienne of Tarth, Captain Phasma and Captain Lyme, this year. Who are those women and who is the actress herself? I discover this while talking to her in London. Who’s that girl?

 

I meet the 37-year old actress, while she’s been in an excellent mood, in the Corinthia Hotel. Less than 24 hours ago, she walked on the red carpet and won the Emmy award for best Drama series with her Game Of Thrones colleagues. “A extraordinary experience. We knew we had a change of winning, but the price came as a surprise. Everyone works very hard and it was nice to see all those efforts being rewarded. It was amazing to wear such a beautiful gown”.

 

The actress didn’t had much opportunity to wear skimpy dresses, the last five years. Christie plays the knight in shining armour Brienne of Tarth in Game Of Thrones: noble, fighting for justice, strong and the nightmare for lots of evil men… plus she’s a woman. For a layperson: In Game Of Thrones, seven highborn families, dragons, a zombie army, wild men and a few expats are fighting for a place on the iron throne. To rule over seven kingdom. Brienne tries to earn respect for the fact that she is a female knight. She tries to find two maidens in distress, who don’t want to be found. The role was a big fit for Gwendoline, since she plays a very large woman. In fact, she is 1.91 meters tall herself. It was the fandom herself who called her the perfect Brienne online. “My friends let me know about the opinion of the fans. That is why I started reading the books. After a few chapters I knew this was the part of my life. I started campaigning via social media and that is why I got the job. I had to make a few sacrifices.” The actress was forced to cut of her long blond locks. “From that time I was forced to maintain a fifty’s hairstyle, I had to gain 10 kilo’s in fat and muscles”. She also had to stop using make up. While her female costars spend their filming days in romantic dresses, wigs and beautiful jewelry, she had to put on a heavy armour. “In some moments I found it hard to see myself without makeup and I found myself unattractive. But on the other hand, it was very interesting. The viewers are almost conditioned to find Brienne unattractive, but I find it very fun to challenge the ideal picture of a beautiful woman.”

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Star Wars Actress Confirms She Will Be in the Next Film

 

PEOPLE – Gwendoline Christie is returning to the big screen for next Star Wars installment.

 

“I will be in the next Star Wars movie. I think that’s an exclusive, actually,” the actress told PEOPLE Deputy Editor JD Heyman on Saturday’s red carpet preshow for the 2016 SAG Awards.

 

It’s exciting news, especially considering Christie was super amped about the role of Captain Phasma in the latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

 

“I was very overexcited. I made no secret of the fact that I really campaigned for the part for a long time,” said Christie, 37. “And then I was delighted when J.J. Abrams wanted to have me in the film and then wanted to cast me in this role that had originally been designed for a man.”

 

The actress continued, reveling over the “incredible” costume and that fact that she would have the rare opportunity to play a female stormtrooper – a role she hopes will bring more diverse jobs to other women in Hollywood.

 

“I thought the costume was incredibly striking. I also just liked this notion of a female stormtrooper,” Christie said. “I felt it encouraged diversity and it was doing something new and it was an interesting bit of casting for women, and I hope that in something that was such a mainstream success it would breed more of those kind of opportunities for other women.”

 

Earlier this month, the 6-ft., 3-in. Game of Thrones star told PEOPLE that she also liked that, while her Star Wars costume was amazing, she loved that it was armor.

 

“I was struck by how incredible it looked, but also I liked that it was stormtrooper armor,” Christie said at the time. “It hadn’t been sexualized or feminized in any way. I thought, ‘That is interesting. That’s very modern.'”

 

The 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are being presented live from Los Angeles on TNT and TBS.

An Interview With The Women of Star Wars: Daisy Ridley and Gwendoline Christie Talk!

HOTPRESSThe women of Star Wars: The Force Awakens tell Roe McDermott why J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi instalment is a cultural game-changer in its portrayal of strong, complex women

 

You may have heard of this little film the came to cinemas this Christmas. Just a quiet, subdued indie drama… Oh, who are we kidding. JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an epic space opera that is set to not only add to the iconic Star Wars franchise, but reignite it for a new generation. Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance and the Empire have become Resistance and the First Order, respectively. The film sees Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia – but the cast is also brimming with the best and brightest of Hollywood’s new stars. Featuring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Girls star Adam Driver, Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac and our own Domhnall Gleeson, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is dragging the franchise into the 21st century at light speed.

 

With this update comes new societal rules, and in a meta exploration of gender equality, Star Wars: The Force Awakens not only addresses the progress made in the Star Wars universe, but in the film industry. The upcoming instalment is thus filled with interesting, multi-faceted female characters – and it’s about time.

 

Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars’ leading lady, is one of sci-fi’s most adored heroines; a smart, fearless and capable leader whose strength is fuelled by her unwavering sense of moral and political conviction and personal empowerment.

 

A cinematic favourite turned feminist hero, Leia’s defiant warrior spirit and unapologetic femininity made her a cultural icon. And yes, the image of a kidnapped Leia in a gold metal bikini may have made an entire generation of young men sweaty and lightheaded with feverish desire, but this was not a woman who was just a sexualised slave – here was someone who used the chains that enslaved her as instruments of power, using them to destroy her captor.

 

However, Leia sadly proves to be an anomaly in the original Star Wars franchise, where women are seldom seen and almost never heard. In the beloved trinity of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the only other female characters allowed to speak are Aunt Beru, Mon Mothma, and an unnamed Rebel functionary at the Hoth base. And the combined running time of these lines uttered by women? An almost unbelievably pitiful 63 seconds. To clarify, the total series runtime is 23,160 seconds. It seems that even in a galaxy far, far away, sexism still reigns supreme.

 

Until now, that is. In J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the director has infused the film with his trademark appreciation for strong female characters. Though now known for lens-flare fuelled action movies, Abrams got his start with the female-led teen drama Felicity, and thanks to characters like Lost’s Kate Austen, Alias’ Sydney Bristow and Fringe’s Olivia Dunham, Abrams’ career has been marked by his commitment to bringing fully-rounded and aspirational female characters to the screen. (We’re chalking the disappointing and objectifying portrayal of Alice Eve’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness as an uncharacteristic slip on an otherwise impressive resume).

 

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