Gwendoline Christie: Playing Brienne of Tarth changed my life. I feel emotional

The rule-breaking, risk-taking actor and model on whats next after Game of Thrones

Little about the actor and sometime simulate Gwendoline Christie is rigorously conventional: she describes herself as someone who hears a norm and wants to sprint in the opposite counseling. Even so, in the hours before we fill, Christie has clearly outclassed herself. The 40 -year-old is just back from New York fashion week, where she dazed a Manhattan crowd silly by accompanying the runway garmented in a huge, floral, giant, rainbow-coloured … What was that thing, I invite?

” I like to think of it as a seductive sea cucumber ,” Christie says.” It moved like an underwater soul. It was phenomenal to wear something “thats been” the product of someone’s unbridled resource .” The attire( feathery, like a Sesame Street outfit minus the headpiece) was made by the Japanese decorator Tomo Koizumi, and evaluating by the reaction of Christie’s supporters online it was a ten-strike. For at least a few hours, their excited yak about the imminent final line of HBO’s GameOf Thrones, in which she plays the warrior Brienne of Tarth, was put aside for discussion of the dress.

“Well,” Christie says, leaning back into a sofa, dressed patently today in shirt, flared trousers and buckled shoes,” I was very entertained by it. It made me feel particularly present and stately. I’ve always found that interesting: robes that draw you feel more than yourself, rather than, as the status of women, wanting to be diminished, wanting to take over less office. I’m interested in exploring the opposite of that- what it’s like to take up more chamber .”

Christie posing the Tomo Koizumi dress.’ Why something isn’t the norm be appropriate to me .’ Photograph: Steven Ferdman/ Getty Images

To drastically distil a two-decade busines, Christie has tended to take acting errands frisking either royals or imperial protectors. Cast, straight out of a drama school, in a Declan Donnellan production of Great Expectations, she went on to play a Shakespearean king for the administrator in 2007′ s Cymbeline. This time Christie will dally Titania in a Nicholas Hytner version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Between came the name-making guardian roles: an armour-clad protectress in Game Of Thrones and stormtrooper Captain Phasma in two of the Star Wars movies.

Appropriately, her communicative style is a little bit regent, a little bit rank and file. Christie’s diction is snappy, pronounced, underlaid by a queenly growling that comes from the back of her throat. Her laugh- the loudest in any room- would not be out of residence in a military barracks. When Christie ascertains something funny she tilts back her president and howl at the ceiling. She’s interested in admitted rules of action, she says, and often feels persuasion to stoop or interrupt those rules.” Why something isn’t the norm is interesting to me. How does something or someone not conform? Why? What is sees as erroneous with not conforming? I’ve always been interested in that- I believe from a very dull view of my own physicality .”

Christie is very tall, 6ft 3in in flats. She makes free reference to her altitude in speech, though always with the little paperclipped hint attached, that this subject is “dull” for her,” something that in a not-very-interesting space tends to inform a lot of my life “. She first broke the 6ft obstruction when she was 14, a schoolgirl in the South Downs. And that’s a great deal of time, between 14 and 40, to be answering satirical public investigates about the weather up there. Of course she detects the subject dull.

Was she more of a conformer, I ask, when she was a kid?” Probably at primary and secondary schools ,” Christie says.” I probably wanted to exactly fit in. Schools are funny things. Any young person’s experience tends to be about trying to find some ease in fitting in .”

She did not fit in. As a girl Christie had offbeat interests, in recital artistry, foreign films- things not feeling ill catered for in rural areas in 1990 s England. She read a lot of imported mode magazines. She has spoken in the past about being bullied at clas.” I was incredibly lucky ,” she says now,” that there was something inside me that merely decided,’ Fine. If I’m outside the party, then I’m going to have a party of my own .'” Christie laughs softly, despairing of herself.” Because what else was I going to do? If you’re shut on the outside then you might as well enjoy yourself on the outside. Make the best of it .”

As Brienne in Game Of Thrones. Image: Lmkmedia

Her father was a salesman and her baby a homemaker. Christie left home when she was 18 to deplete a year as a voluntary at Central Saint Martins in London, assisting the MA fashion design students.” That time changed my reasoning, essentially ,” she says.” Being around those people, those students, manufactured my imagination expand .” She wanted to act.” But I didn’t fit that type, y’know? Actresses seemed to me to be classically beautiful. At that time they seemed to be incredibly thin. It was just an aesthetic that I didn’t fit. So I became interested in the actors who transformed themselves,[ Marlon] Brando, Tilda Swinton. Grace Jones really blew my thinker. Such a strong female, who really didn’t seem to take over other people’s possibilities. It was about her expectancies of herself. That was stupendous to me .”

In her early 20 s she attended the Drama Centre London and was told by her teachers, before graduation, that regular behaving duty would be hard to come by. They weren’t being remorseles, in Christie’s opinion, simply trying to be realistic. In a world of teeny-tiny male performers, being a 6ft 3in gal would limit her opportunities. As a alumnu, enterprises came in bursts. There was the breakthrough Cymbeline part, followed by the opportunity to play the monster in an ambitious production of Faustus at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester. There is a gorgeous video on YouTube that testifies Christie during this period of her life – high-priced in the vaulted eaves of the Royal Exchange and was just about to rehearse a stunt in which she’s lowered into the auditorium on cables. She tries an grandiose move on the ancestry, comes stuck upside down, and chuckles that familiar mock, wailing to nobody in particular:” I was trying something better !”

Styling: Steph Wilson. Stylist’s assistant: Rosalind Donoghue. Mane: Jonny Eagland at John Frieda. Makeup: Andrew Gallimore at CLM. Make: Emma Allan at Lemonade Productions. Dress, Roksanda. Photograph: Gustavo Papaleo/ The Guardian

During this period of fitful act Christie was given some measure of financial stability by the writer and performer Simon Callow, a Drama Centre graduate himself. Callow has been one of the largest anatomies in their own lives, she says, the whole thing being undertaken by fluke, off the back of what she announces” a foolish conversation-starter “. Callow had phoned the drama college, looking for a student which is likely to do some part-time filing for him while he wrote a volume.” I really liked the school secretary ,” Christie recalls,” and I wanted to impress her. But I felt incredibly dull and like I didn’t have anything of interest to say, so for some reason I had made it upon myself to lie and affirm that I’ enjoyed’ filing. Which I didn’t mind. But I certainly didn’t love it. The secretary told Simon:’ I’ve got time the person !'”

She went to Callow’s home for an interview,” spewing with perspire”, coerced by his honour and body of work.” How do you go into such a situation not feeling intimidated? Perhaps parties do now, perhaps millennials feel confident, I don’t know. Anyway, he reacted the door and this kindness ran out of him .” For times Christie acted as Callow’s research assistant and his dog-walker, and the two developed a mentor-mentee affinity.” I repute he coaxed me out of my eggshell when it came to being an actor. He would shout at me about my sleepy and disorganised attention, hurl diaries … At the time I was scared to say that I wanted to be an artist. I was scared of how that resounded. That it was naff, or a cliche, or banal. That it wasn’t realistic. Simon would say: ‘< em> Be an creator .’ He came to my play-acts and “ve been given” feedback. Which, sometimes, could be incredibly near the knuckle .”

Christie was doing all sorts at the time. She was plugged into the outsider prowes place, and jigged in music videos. “Shes had” pattern a bit, once posing semi-nude and masked for a Goldfrapp record cover. She sang well, and would sometimes join her friend, the outre musician Patrick Wolf, on place. At a gig in Berlin in 2011, Wolf told the crowd that Christie had just been given in a weird-sounding Tv appearance.” She’s been learning swordfighting and horseriding ,” Wolf said, inviting the public if they had is aware of this thing, Game Of Thrones? Some had, some hadn’t. Back then, it was a moderately niche succession of fantasy novels.

” No one had heard of it ,” is Christie’s memory. She threw herself into prep run, cutting her long “hairs-breadth” for the first time, and hiring a boxing instructor to strengthen her up. It would be her firstly suitable screen character, at the age of 33. She cannot have had much religion in the programme’s longevity, or in her own continued job, because even after her Thrones introduction in outpouring 2012, she deterred doing dog-walking switchings for Callow.

Does she remembered feeling agitated about what her mentor would think of her doing a swords-and-shields see?

” Yeah. Immensely .”

What did Callow repute?

‘ No one was more surprised than me that parties liked my attribute in Game of Thrones’ Photo: Gustavo Papaleo/ The Guardian. Coat, Roksanda. Pumps, Midnight 00.

Christie does an impression of the major performer, clique, teasingly scandalized, expecting his classically drilled protege: you’re doing sci-fi ? She chuckles herself skittish at the recognition, wheeze:” How was he to know? How was anyone to know ?” Before long, Game of Thrones was being watched by about 25 million sees in the US alone. Add at the least another 10 million in the UK and other subjects: Christie’s first Tv show was the TV show.

In the early sequence she had some wonderful vistums. There was a fight with a bearlike 6ft 6in baddie, played by Rory McCann, and a fight with an actual bear, giving full play to CGI. Christie was able to show off her subtler place inclinations, helping develop an amusing relationship between her own attribute, the bleak Brienne, and a devil-may-care challenger, Jaime, giving full play to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.” No one was more surprised than me that beings liked my character ,” Christie says.” I just assumed that, because she wasn’t a conventionally attractive woman, beings wouldn’t get behind her. I’m devastated that they did .”

Between seasonal Thrones shoots, on locale in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, Christie was given in the recent Star Wars reboot, appearing in two instalments as Captain Phasma, the stormtrooper who wore unique silver armour. I thoughts the scriptwriters could have given Phasma a little more that was unique in accordance with the rules of reference; but Christie seems satisfied, and she says she” could cry” to have been given the chance to be a part of everything there is. Her sideline as a fashion model kicked off around 2012, after the intervention of Kate Moss, who satisfied Christie at “states parties ” and offered her representation with her own organization. Christie afterwards became one of the faces of Vivienne Westwood. And in 2017, Jane Campion cast her as a rookie detective opposite Elisabeth Moss in the second season of Top Of The Lake, after Christie wrote the lead a supporter word. Again she toy against type- the tumultuous patrolman having an affair with her married boss, driving Moss’s self-contained persona to distraction.

In Cymbeline with Tom Hiddleston, 2007. Picture: Alastair Muir/ REX/ Shutterstock

By the time Game Of Thrones was halfway through its move, some witness, me included, began to wonder if the show’s novelists were taking their eye off Christie. The character of Brienne seemed to be left inactive through too many episodes- standing in the background, glowering silently, while meatier material went to others in Thrones’s large central assign. Freely, as the show started to taper towards its aspiration, Christie moved back into the thick-witted of the action. There has been a fan-pleasing reunion with Jaime, a swordfight with small children bravo, a romantic subplot involving a flame-haired marauder announced Tormund Giantsbane- touchstone Thrones stuff. What will come next for her, in the show’s final bouts, is a mystery. You’d be as well asking a agent to reel off country secrets. The cast have been well instructed not to uncover spoilers, and bat off inquests with ease.

” It was just a lot, a good deal, a lot. It was a lot !” Christie says of shooting the final streak. Recently, when I gratified one of her co-stars, Kit Harington, he told me that the workload” seemed to be designed to break us … I recollect everyone can walk on set towards the end exiting,’ I’ve had enough now. I adoration this, it’s been the most wonderful thing in “peoples lives”, I’ll miss it one day, but I’m < em> done .'” Christie sits poker-faced while I perform this paraphrase to her, learning where it’s leading. Then she breaks out into a smiling.” I agree with Kit. They mashed the orange. Every last drop of juice out of that orange! And just a straw was left behind .”

Can she say some more?

” That attribute has changed my life. I feel psychological. I feel emoji .”

Which emoji?

” Tears straight down, and the scream .”

Christie is just as cheerfully evasive when I try to ask about her romantic life. She regularly appears in garments made by clothes designer Giles Deacon, her collaborator for about the last five years. They sometimes sell Instagram endearments, and heart-eyed emojis, but she won’t be drawn on him.” Because I have a private life, Tom .” Instead we discuss the fashionable crowd in which she and Deacon move these days. Red carpets, intimate VIP defendants. Having heard Christie be addressed by her youth, when she often felt like an outsider examining in, I wonder how it sits with her now- to be an insider glancing out?

Christie with( from left) Nick Grimshaw, her partner Giles Deacon, Kelly Osbourne and Kate Moss, 2018. Image: Marc Piasecki/ GC Images

” I foresee the way world-wide is full of people who didn’t used to feel they fitted in ,” Christie says. But, yes, she takes my object.” There ought to have previous circumstances … where I’ve been told that I’m too niche to work with a company. And then, unexpectedly, that wasn’t the case any more .” I imagine she represents: with Games Of Thrones a stonking hit, some unnamed style brand decided this 6ft 3in bride in her mid-3 0s wasn’t too niche to hire after all.” Which I received funny ,” Christie says.

I suggest that she appoints the company. Call them out. Mortify them a little bit!

” No. Why? What would be the quality of that ?”

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photograph: Lucasfilm/ Bad Robot/ Walt Disney Studios/ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock

So the lesson is right there, I say. That it’s worth looking at unconventional aptitude more closely. That it’s boring and shiftless to think in terms of beings or things being too niche.” They’ve learned the lesson by casting me ,” Christie insists.” They’ve learned the lesson that we need to see some different things in presentation, and that people need to feel represented .” She shrugs. She’s no good at being confrontational, she says.” Instead you patronage people. You reinforce new people you believe in .” Like Tomo Koizumi, who realized her mad fashion week dress.” There’s no point dishing out the negativity. Everyone’s only human .”

We talk about life after Game Of Thrones, which began more or less as soon as we finish our interrogation.” Structure can be a ordaining ,” Christie says, be remembered that when she firstly indicated the contract, back in 2011,” I remember ensure how many years it could potentially be for. That seemed so far away .” Signing the endless contract was about the most conventional thing this determined eccentric had previously been done. Out the other side of it now, with” no time constraints , no planned clashes “, Christie says she looks forward to exploring a more tumultuous cosmo again.

She gives an example, her recent escapades at New York fashion week. Before are to be found in the oversized Koizumi costume, Christie was already taking up a lot of room, struggling to fit through doorways, when she was asked: which shoes? Flat ones, or eight-inch stages that would propagandize her up to high levels of about 7ft?” Anything that utters someone breath ,” she says,” even for a moment- it deprives their brain of oxygen and they enroll a slightly different country. It’s an extraordinary thing. It was a boxing manager on Game Of Thrones who told me that .” Christie opted the platforms.

* The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will air on 15 April on Sky Atlantic and Now TV

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