In a new interview with Variety, actress Gwendoline Christie talks about her two imposing, soon-to-be-iconic characters. In the Emmy record-setting Game of Thrones, she plays the female knight Brienne of Tarth, while in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she'll portray villain Captain Phasma, in shiny chrome stormtrooper armor.
"I don't think many female actors get the opportunity to play a part where they're not having to think about the way their face looks, but I found exactly the same thing with Brienne of Tarth, and that was very liberating," Christie told Variety. "It was great as an actor to work on your skills — that it isn't about holding your head so you look beautiful. It's about what you're transmitting, and to be in service of an idea greater than yourself, whether it's the character's overriding objective or, beyond that, hopefully something more sociopolitical. We have seen an image of [Phasma] and again, it's an unconventional kind of woman exhibiting a kind of strength, but in a very different way to my other two characters."
She also said that while she's clad in helmet and armor, it was "very important to J.J." Abrams that she fully play the role of Captain Phasma. "I found it to be a really interesting acting challenge, not just because of what I felt this character was representing." Christie had a large hand in figuring that out, likely helped by Abrams co-writing the film. She said that not having "to be mindful" of acting "a certain way as a woman...was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015. See where it falls amongst other genre and franchise films in our full release schedule here.