Thanks to my lovely friend Jay, I have some additions to the LA Times photo shoot.
BELFAST TELEGRAPH – Gwendoline Christie is pleased the wardrobe department on Star Wars: The Force Awakens decided not to sexualise her costume.
The British star plays Captain Phasma in J.J. Abrams’ new chapter of the space saga, a role which required Gwendoline to wear a metallic suit of armour. Instead of being sexy in any way, the costume is intimidating and dark – which was absolutely fine for the actress.
“It (seeing the costume for the first time) really was amazing,” she smiled to Britain’s Absolute Radio. “I had been told about it beforehand but nothing prepared me for going into that room and seeing it there. That was extraordinary. As I’ve said, what I loved about it was that I expected, ‘Oh they’ve probably feminised it in some way,’ and they hadn’t and I just thought that’s really modern and decent.”
Captain Phasma is in charge of legions of storm troopers, so is also dressed in the iconic cinema outfit consisting of am oversized helmet and body armour. Winning a part in the movie was a dream come true for Gwendoline, who is a lifelong Star Wars fan. Much has been made about a female being cast in such a villainous role, but the 37-year-old wishes it was more acceptable for girls to play baddies too.
“It shouldn’t be shocking though should it, but it is,” she sighed. “Because our culture conventionally has been that we have been used to seeing very conventional depictions of females in our mainstream media. And I love with the costume of Captain Phasma she isn’t feminised or sexualised in any way.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.