With roles in three of 2015’s biggest projects — Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens — the actor has the kind of platform she always dreamed of. Now, Christie tells BuzzFeed News how she was repeatedly told it would never happen.
BUZZFEED – Gwendoline Christie really, really, really loves Star Wars.
The proof of her undying adoration — besides the repeated gushing (“It’s amaaaaazing!” “I just love it so much.” “Isn’t it the best?”) — came when she encountered a truly rare sight: R2D2, C3PO, and BB-8 all huddled together in a hallway during the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens press day Los Angeles.
“Oh my god, is this happening?!?” she squealed as the trio, in unison, slowly made their way toward her. “I’m really freaking out right now.”
As Christie greeted the droids with a reverence normally reserved for heads of state — “Hi, how are you? It’s lovely to see you!” — she continued to sporadically scream the kind of unadulterated joy anyone who has encountered a beloved Hollywood icon knows all too well. And as Christie posed for a photo with all three, she repeated, under her breath, “No. I can’t believe this. This isn’t real.”
But it was.
That impromptu robot convergence was simply the latest in a long string of “pinch me” moments the 37-year-old actor has experienced since winning the role of fierce warrior Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s insanely popular Game of Thrones in 2012. Since then, she appeared in Liongate’s acclaimed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 as Commander Lyme and now finds herself in the hotly anticipated Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens, playing the evil Captain Phasma.
But of all of Christie’s recent experiences that she’s struggled to wrap her head around, co-starring in The Force Awakens remains the most inconceivable. “I still can’t believe I’m here talking to you about being in the new Star Wars movie,” she told BuzzFeed News, every other word punctuated with a verbal exclamation point. “I remember seeing [A New Hope] when I was about 6 years old and my family presented it to me as, ‘This is Star Wars.’ There was so much excitement and they kept saying, ‘You’re going to love this.’ And I did. I loved it from the opening titles.”
Christie spoke lovingly about the film’s visual flair, enthralling action, and beautifully hopeful message, but what resonated most deeply with her young self was that, for the first time, she felt like the misfits were the heroes.
“I always felt like a bit of an outsider and here was this group of people that were all very unique in their own way, on an exciting journey together, and are getting along,” the 6-foot-3-inch actor said. “It was that combination of unique characters and misfits coming together in the pursuit of good and it being funny.”