Critics’ Choice Awards adds Star Wars: The Force Awakens to list of Best Picture nominees

EW – The Broadcast Film Critics Association has spoken. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was belatedly added to the list of 10 films that were nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture this year.


Star Wars had not been screened for the BFCA in time for the initial ballots. But after voters saw the film, many decided it was worth including in the Critics’ Choice Awards.


The decision was made official on Tuesday after the voters were polled in a special referendum yesterday. This last-minute amendment, which was also given to the Tom Hanks film Cast Away, does not include Star Wars in any other category besides Best Picture.


While the debate continues whether J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster warrants the same nomination at the Oscars, the Academy included Star Wars on the shortlist for Best Visual Effects. Oscars nominations will be announced on Jan. 14, while the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards winners will be announced during a televised ceremony on Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. EST on A&E.

Captain Phasma: So cool she rules in ‘Star Wars’


USA TODAY – The Dark Side is a nice place to visit for Gwendoline Christie.


The 6-foot-3 British actress gained fans and fame as the warrior Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s Game of Thrones. She has parlayed that into supporting roles as rebel leader Commander Lyme in this year’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 and as the armored Captain Phasma, one of the coolest-looking antagonists in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the franchise’s first major female villain.


“Every day is really fantastic. I feel like all my Christmases have come at once,” says Christie, 37.


“I’m a bit spoiled, really, because the last three projects I’ve been really enthusiastic about. I’ve been very lucky for a couple of years now.”


Christie talks with USA TODAY about her role in the hit new Star Wars film — with a box office of $238 million and counting since Thursday night — and her favorites from the original movies.


Q: Is Phasma a woman you’d hang out with?


A: (Laughs) To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never hung out with someone who’s consciously been a member of the Dark Side. There may be some people who are part of the Dark Side unconsciously I’ve hung out with. And I haven’t hung out with anyone wearing armor in front of me.


Q: Is she an ambitious sort — does she want to be General Phasma?


A: I put the costume on and I realized that this armor is quite something. It’s very high-functioning, it’s very imposing and it’s not malleable at all. I thought, well, anybody who wears that every day, it must inform their character. Those were some things that I took on board as characteristics.


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Star Wars first female baddie Gwendoline Christie calls starring role “revolutionary”

The actress credited the film makers for giving her such a unique opportunity to play a role that was initially intended for a male actor


MIRROR – Gwendoline Christie has just made her debut as Star Wars ‘ first ever female baddie and called the role “revolutionary”.


Admitting she had been captivated by the saga since she was a young child she has thanked the makers of the franchise for giving her such a great opportunity to create such a unique character.


Crediting Carrie Fisher as her inspiration for becoming an actress she said of her character: “It’s just fantastic. What I love about playing Captain Phasma, is she is the first female storm trooper.”


Speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning she added: “As a character we are so used to, in the mainstream media, seeing women portrayed in a way which is conventionally, often sexualised.


“With this character she’s covered in armour, consequently we form a relationship with the character due to her actions and her character primarily rather than the way she looks like made flesh and to me that feels very progressive.”


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5 Times Gwendoline Christie Ruled ‘Game of Thrones’


THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – A long time ago, in a realm far, far away, a warrior wandered the world of Westeros, wielding Valyrian steel, with nothing in her heart and mind but a vigilant sense of sworn duty.


That warrior was Brienne of Tarth, the towering hero played by Gwendoline Christie on Game of Thrones ever since the show’s second season. After premiering as essentially a sidekick to Lord Renly Baratheon, Brienne subsequently found herself on a mission that’s taken her to all sorts of corners of the Seven Kingdoms, working with and against a vast array of fan-favorite heroes and villains.


While Christie remains embroiled in HBO’s fantastic world of ice and fire, she’s now involved with another universe as well: Star Wars. The actress stars in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Captain Phasma, a masked villain sporting a dark armor that would give Brienne serious pause.


Before all attention falls on Christie’s big-screen performance, however, let’s take a moment and honor five of her best moments on Thrones — with many scene-stealing turns still to come.


1. “Rise, Brienne of the Kingsguard!”

The first time we met Brienne in season two, she was heavily armored, in the middle of a sword fight against another talented warrior, surrounded by a who’s who of onlookers, including Catelyn Stark, Margaery Tyrell and Renly Baratheon. It was only after Brienne removed her helmet that the audience, on both sides of the TV screen, learned that this masterful swordsman was actually a woman. It was as powerful an introduction as any character in this great epic, one that cemented her status as the second season’s most interesting new players, and one that earned her a role as part of Renly’s Kingsguard … short-lived as that tenure was.


2. “Guards! The Kingslayer!”

Brienne’s season-three journey with Jaime Lannister was one of the most anticipated stories for readers of A Song of Ice and Fire, the novels on which Game of Thrones is based. They begin their relationship as skeptical enemies before reaching a place of mutual admiration — and perhaps something even more, based on some interpretations of the dynamic. Anyone looking for signs of romantic tension between Brienne and the so-called Kingslayer need look no further than “Kissed by Fire,” the fifth episode of season three, featuring a mesmerizing monologue from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that offers an entirely new perspective on his one-handed swordsman. But the way Christie plays Brienne’s reaction to Jaime’s confession deserves an enormous amount of respect as well.


3. “You’re Arya Stark…”

Put the ensuing fight with Sandor Clegane aside. Brienne’s first encounter with Arya, after spending the whole season searching for her and Sansa as part of her sworn duty to the late Catelyn, stands out as one of the most moving scenes in the entire fourth season of Thrones. “I wish I could have been there to protect her,” she mournfully answers when Arya asks why Brienne was not around to save her mother from the Red Wedding. It’s a soulful, stoic turn from both Christie and Maisie Williams, complicated ever more by the presence of The Hound.


4. “There’s no safety …”

… and let’s just cut the quote there, for the sake of clean language. But the nastiness of the verbal sparring perfectly mirrors the nastiness of the battle between Brienne and The Hound, one of the most ferocious fight scenes in Thrones lore. It comes after the aforementioned emotionally taxing exchange between Brienne and Arya, then quickly intensifies even further with the clash of metal and the gnashing of teeth, leaving both warriors reeling, but only one of them still standing: Brienne, exhausted but alive, closer to Arya than before, and yet, further than ever.


5. “Go on, do your duty.”

What Brienne lacked in luck in her search for Arya and Sansa Stark, she more than made up for it with finding her sworn enemy: Stannis, the middle Baratheon brother who used blood magic to kill his own sibling, Renly. Brienne finally avenges her late lord at the end of season five, encountering a mortally wounded Stannis in the snow-covered forest outside Winterfell. Even in his final moments, Stannis accepts his inevitable fate at Brienne’s hands like a tired businessman, aware of his failings and ready to finally rest. It undercuts the satisfaction that could have been gleaned from his execution at the hands of Brienne — a notion that speaks to one of the show’s central ideas, that despite expectations, revenge typically tastes bittersweet.

Gwendoline Christie says Gleeson is “hilarious”


RTÉ TEN – Star Wars actress Gwendoline Christie, who plays stormtrooper commander Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, has lavished praise on her co-star Domhnall Gleeson saying he is “absolutely hilarious” and “a truly brilliant actor”.


Christie revealed that the 32-year-old Irish actor, who play nostril-flaring baddie General Hux in the movie, had her in stitches on set and was surprised at how funny he is.



Speaking to RTÉ TEN, the Game of Thrones star, who stands at an imposing 6′ 3″, said, “Domhnall Gleeson is absolutely hilarious and a truly brilliant actor and exceptionally talented. He’s just so funny and I didn’t expect to laugh so much on set as I did with him. He’s a very captivating personality and very magnetic. You just want to be around him because he always has an interesting take on things.”


Christie wears a chrome stormtrooper outfit in the movie and said she loved the practically of Michael Kaplan’s costume, “I really loved the concept. I obviously really wanted to be in Star Wars and thought I would be excited about any part. When I realised that I would be playing what I consider to be a progressive female character then I was truly excited.

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Gwendoline Christie – From Tarth to Darth

NZ HERALDThe star of the hit television show has been recruited to the Dark Side. Gwendoline Christie talks about her Star Wars experience with Michele Manelis.


As Brienne of Tarth she’s the tallest woman on television’s biggest show and now she’s putting her Game of Thrones combat training to good use in a galaxy far, far away.


Gwendoline Christie plays Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, a Stormtrooper officer from the Dark Side.


Other than that: “I think that is pretty much everything I can give you but I’m working on it,” she laughs.


When the seventh movie was announced, Christie was keen on getting a role in it. Well a bit more than keen.


“I was like a dog with a bone about this. As soon as I heard there was going to be a Star Wars project I said ‘I want to be in that’ and to my agent at the time I said I really want to be in Star Wars and they said ‘well, yes, of course, so does everybody’. I said ‘but no, I really, really want to be in Star Wars’ — and she said ‘yeah, okay, and kind of a few months went by and I said ‘look, I really want to be in Star Wars …'”


And so it went. Eventually her worn-down agent got her client a meeting with casting director Nina Gold, who had cast Christie in Game of Thrones. She got a meeting. She got the part. Yes, there was screaming.


And then there was the first day on set.


“First, I was introduced to Harrison Ford and I had absolutely nothing — I couldn’t speak and I had nothing of any interest to say and just made some noises, looked at the floor and then was sort of taken away … which was the best for everyone so I was quite overwhelmed by that.


“There was an amazing moment at Comic-Con before we all went on stage and I saw Harrison and we were chatting and he said — I said ‘you must be used to this’ and he said you are too, ‘you just don’t know it yet’ in an incredible Yoda-like moment of wisdom.”


Grab your copy of the TimeOut Star Wars: The Force Awakens special today. Inside, we’ve got interviews with Harrison Ford, director JJ Abrams, new villains Adam Driver and Gwendoline Christie plus a look back at the ten best Star Wars scenes – so far. And who is the NZ telly star only too keen to don the Stormtrooper helmet on our cover?



“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Interviews, Premieres, Talk Shows, etc – Master Video List

Gwendoline has done so many interviews, talk shows, and other videos in the last few weeks to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I thought it might be easier to have a handy guide to keep up with them. All of them are in the Glorious Gwendoline Video Gallery. You can get updates for the video gallery by following on our twitter account – @GwendolineFans


Gallery Update

With the amazing Stephanie’s @ I Heart Jake help I’ve added hundreds of HQ photos from the London premiere of Star Wars as well as some additions to the LA premiere and other photos. Our girl was looking quite fabulous at all these events!




Gallery Links:

Love Magazine Advent – Day 17 – Gwendoline Christie by Boo George

Star Wars villains: Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma

gwenTHE NATIONAL – As one of the stars of HBO’s smash-hit TV fantasy drama Game of Thrones, Gwendoline Christie is used to being part of a pop-culture phenomenon with a huge, extremely devoted – and demanding – fan base.


However, when she was cast in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, she realised that there was an even greater level of fan adulation and public scrutiny.


The first time she truly understood the power of Star Wars to move people was when she attended Comic-Con in San Diego to help promote the film.


Director J J Abrams wanted to give something back to the thousands of fans who had camped out to see the stars –including Christie (who plays villainous Captain Phasma) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) – talk about the long-awaited new chapter in the smash-hit sci-fi saga. So he invited them to a secret Star Wars concert where the San Diego Symphony Orchestra played parts of the soundtrack while clips from the films were screened in the background.


“There were free lightsabers,” says Christie, with a smile. “I was escorted to the stage by Stormtroopers. There were the best fireworks I have ever seen. It was genuinely one of the best events I have ever been to.”


Afterwards, the British actress talked to Abrams. For her, the feeling in the room that July night in San Diego was more than hysteria or even euphoria – but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.


“And then J J told me,” she says. “He said it was hope. And he’s right. This is what Star Wars inspires in people, a wonderful feeling of hope that connects us back to a place of simple ­happiness.”


Like so many of the newcomers to the long-running saga, 37-year-old Christie’s formative years were spent falling in love with, as she puts it, “these magical, special and exceptional films”.


It’s to Abrams’s credit that he has managed to draw on such deep reserves of goodwill and ally that with a cast and crew who feel a sense of responsibility towards telling the best story possible.

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