Awards season may feel like a distant memory, but Hollywood still has one big night planned for television in the form of the Emmys. Much like other awards shows, the nomination process is baffling-ly complicated and involves networks submitting their shows for consideration. And this process can result in many actors missing out on the recognition they deserve due to a lack of foresight from the network. Take Game of Thrones for example, where HBO omitted arguably one of the most iconic characters of the series, Brienne of Tarth. Thankfully, Gwendoline Christie nominated herself for a 2019 Emmy (yes, actors can do that), and she recently revealed the incredibly touching, and inspiring, reason why she did so.
Speaking to the LA Times, Christie explained how she wanted to make sure it was appropriate to put her name forward despite HBO not doing so. "It's something I find hard to do, like everyone else, but I would like to be in charge of my own destiny," the actor said. "And I would like to endeavour to give myself opportunities. Particularly when working very hard on something very special and you've pushed yourself beyond your limits." She added:
"I checked it wasn't an inappropriate thing to do, and I was told it wasn't. People submit themselves all the time," Christie explained. "I truly never expected it to manifest in a nomination and I don't think anybody else did either. But I just had to do it for me. And I had to do it as a testament to the character and what I feel she represents."
Since Brienne is one of the few characters on the show to be given a happy conclusion, it's only fair that the newly appointed member of the Kingsguard is granted the respect she rightly deserves. "I could not believe that I made it all the way through [the series]. And I was in the end of the final episode. Brienne makes it all the way through and has a life beyond," Christie said. "I found that incredibly positive and unexpected. And she gets a great last line."
Not only that, but Christie has made it clear that she shares a deep bond with her character, one that she had before being cast on the show. As the actor told Radio Times back in 2017, she began training for the role in preparing herself and becoming more comfortable for the androgynous appearance of Brienne.
Speaking to LA Times, she expanded on this: "I was very scared to go near my androgyny, my masculinity and my physical strength — and the strength which I felt of my own opinions, especially some of my opinions about women."
The actor went on to speak about how this transformation helped her form an entirely new facet to herself, and how it also set a more realistic example of women on television.
"I wanted the possibility of being recognised for everything that character represents, for what she's meant to me and for the part I feel she's played, in some small way, in the burgeoning landscape we have in entertainment of seeing women in a different way. A more realistic way and a more unconventional way."
What an icon. Bring on the Emmy.