'Game Of Thrones' Star Gwendoline Christie's Badass Quotes Prove She's As Strong As Any Of Her Characters
Gwendoline Christie cuts a striking figure. The beautiful 6'3" actress from West Sussex, England, has gone from unknown to unbelievable fame, starring not only as the badass lady Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, but in the last few years alone, has also played Captain Lyme in The Hunger Games and the formidable villain Captain Phasma in the already iconic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Read any interview with Christie and not only is her passion, exuberance, and genuine shock that she's this famous clear, but you'll realize Gwendoline Christie is just as unique as her characters — whom she chooses because they are so unconventional, not in spite of it.
The 37-year-old actor has shared much about feeling alienated when she was young because of her appearance, and even now, in Hollywood, finding roles that fit her. And thank goodness she found them. She's definitely a fan favorite as the good and powerful Brienne of Tarth, who somehow miraculously holds onto her strong moral code in the wild, evil world of Westeros, and who wasn't terrified by Phasma?
Here are seven quotes from Christie that prove she's just as strong and powerful as any of her characters.
1. On Why She Loved Princess Leia
Talking to Refinery29 about playing Captain Phasma, Christie said that the magic of The Force Awakens came alive for her through the characters of Han Solo and Leia. Christie said she always wanted to be Leia: "I just thought she was so cool. I loved the hairdo, I loved it. I thought she was so brilliant. I was so young, but I do remember thinking, 'Oh, I’m not used to seeing a woman like that in films.'"
2. On Why She Loves Being Captain Phasma
When asked by Refinery29 if she really felt the weight of the fact that The Force Awakens had three female leads (Phasma, Leia, and Rey) Christie said it wasn't until she saw the costume that it really clicked:
My moment came when I saw the costume and the incredible chrome armor. I can’t tell you how pleased I was when I saw that the armor was practical. It’s Stormtrooper armor; it hadn’t been sexualized in any way. It hadn’t been feminized — whatever that is — in any way. And I thought, "Oh! That’s progressive."
3. On How She Relates To Brienne
In a chat for Interview with none other than Samuel L. Jackson, a fan of Christie's and a Star Wars actor once himself (and the only one ever with a purple lightsaber), Christie said she could relate to Lady Brienne not only physically but on an emotional level — though there is one big difference:
There are some obvious similarities physically: we both have the same stature, she is a character who has felt marginalized due to the way that she looks and she is very androgynous. Those were all things that I could totally understand and connect with.
The differences really lay in that before I started Game of Thrones, I was someone who wanted to lie on the sofa and eat chocolates and Brienne is a very physically active character who is incredibly strong, adept, and accomplished. I had to really go there on the physical stuff.
And she got ripped as hell, which is good, because she has a ton of fight scenes. Also, all I want to do is lie on the couch and eat chocolates too.
4. On Why She Plays The Outsider
In a Q&A with Rolling Stone in 2013, Christie talked about what drives her to choose characters that are unconventional woman, saying that she wanted to give viewers someone to connect to:
It sounds a bit worthy, but I genuinely feel that as an actor part of my job is to highlight those recesses of human life and human psychology that we don't see that often. And if I have the opportunity, which I very luckily have, to play the part of an outsider, then I felt like I might be doing some good. Occasionally I get messages from women saying that I've brought them some joy, and that's unbelievably thrilling.
5. On Being Self-Conscious — And Why It's OK
Talking about playing Brienne, an unconventional woman in the Game of Thrones universe, Christie told Rolling Stone it is often hard to play an "unattractive character." "As a woman, we all want to feel attractive. We all want to feel that we're making the very best of ourselves so we can accept ourselves," she said.
6. On Changing How We Think About Beauty
In the same Rolling Stone Q&A, Christie was asked about how it is to play Brienne's character, who is "universally seen as ugly." She responded,
You have to step outside of that and think about what these things really mean. I am still a person with a sense of superficiality that I'm trying to challenge. I hope that it makes us examine exactly what "unattractive" is. Perhaps it's not the conventions that we have or the blueprint in our minds. And if it makes people question for a minute what unattractive is, and the way in which we may respond as people to what we think unattractive is, then it's worthwhile.
7. On What Drives Her
In a shoot with Paper, in which Christie looks out of this world, she shared what her motivation is: "Every single person has felt either a connection to or alienation from what's happening in popular culture. And there's something very pleasing about defying convention."
Christie comes back as Brienne of Tarth in the ever-closer premiere of Game of Thrones Season 6 on April 24.
Images: Disney Pictures, Helen Sloan/HBO.