Gwendoline Christie found Captain Phasma's costume "very liberating"
Hopefully STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will offer us no shortage of memorable characters once we finally see it, but thanks to the the wonderfully presented teasers and images we've seen so far, several of the film's characters have already been the topic of many a discussion; one of those characters is Gwendoline Christie's chrome-covered Captain Phasma. The Game of Thrones actress spoke with Variety recently to comment on bringing the already memorable character to life.
It was very important to J.J. that I was there acting a part, I found it to be a really interesting acting challenge, not just because of what I felt this character was representing — and it was just what I felt, and we talked about it a little bit, but it was never like a manifesto, ‘this is what it must be’ — and it was exciting to me to have that weight of responsibility taken away, of having to be a certain way as a woman, to have to be mindful in a way that isn’t always useful. To have that stripped away was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things. I had to focus on what my body was communicating and what exactly my voice is communicating. It becomes about the way in which you hold your hand, the way in which you walk, where your weight lies and what you want that to mean, and I wanted to give the character identity. I thought it was interesting to make something about the character identifiably female in a non-superficial way, and I hope that comes across.
Many of us were first introduced to Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones in which she plays Brienne of Tarth, an intimidating and loyal warrior who hands out death and ass-kicking in equal measure; however, despite some similarities, Captain Phasma will be someone very different from her previous roles.
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, 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
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS opens on December 18, 2015. Almost there, almost there.
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