INTERVIEW – On Game of Thrones, Gwendoline Christie plays Lady Brienne of Tarth, an honest, loyal, compassionate, shit-kicking, badass hero. Introduced in the show’s second season, Brienne is a noblewoman who has always been mocked and marginalized for her stature. She finally finds acceptance amongst the followers of Renly Barathean (or at least Renly himself), one of three hopeful kings in Westeros. He welcomes her into his king’s guard, an honor exclusive to males, as a proper knight. Then he is murdered by a whispy black shadow bearing the face of his brother and it all goes to hell.
Although the show can get pretty brutal (it’s not afraid to kill off major characters and there are some pretty horrific rape scenes), Brienne brings out the humanity in other characters. One of the most interesting relationships on the show was between Brienne and Jaime Lannister, a man known throughout Westeros for killing a king and sleeping with his twin sister.
But Christie is more than just the character that made her famous. Over the last three years, the 35-year-old Sussex, England native has become something of a fashion icon: she’s modeled in shows for Vivienne Westwood and Iris Van Herpen, and is frequently pictured in the creations of London designer Giles Deacon. Next week she will be propelled into the world of super-fans through her role as Captain Phasma in Star Wars. It is only Christie’s fourth feature film after Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Zero Theorem, and last month’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2.
Here, Christie talks to her friend Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in a few Star Wars films himself.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Where are you?
GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE: I’m in Belfast, filming a new series of Game of Thrones. My plane was delayed for two hours and then I had a self-tape to do that needed to be in two days ago. [laughs] It’s been action-packed. Where are you Sam, where are you?
JACKSON: I’m in L.A. for now, but I’m on my way to an airport in half an hour to get back to Hawaii to go back to filming King Kong.
CHRISTIE: Oh wow! What’s Hawaii like?
JACKSON: It’s hot and beautiful. It’s the opposite of where you are.
CHRISTIE: [laughs] Basically, yeah. But Belfast has it’s own special charms, which I like.
JACKSON: I know. I want to be there. I think I’m coming there at some point to do The Blob next year.
CHRISTIE: You need to get in touch with the set production and do a set visit. I’m serious about this. I’m willing to fly in and give you that tour. What about July?
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