British actress Gwendoline Christie has become a household name amongst genre geeks for her star turn as Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. Now, the actress is trying something different with a starring role as the shiny chrome-plated stormtrooper Captain Phasma in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
Details about the role have been kept under tight guard, all that’s known really is the character’s appearance and that she’s the first female villain in the franchise. Yet her gender is rather ‘matter-of-fact’ in this case, which Christie tells EW is very important:
“We know very little about her at this stage, but what I think people are drawn to is that this is a very progressive female character. We see Captain Phasma, and we see the costume from head to toe, and we know that it is a woman. But we are used to, in our media, connecting to female characters via the way that they look, from the way they are made flesh.”
The full body armour and helmet was also an acting challenge for Christie:
“It wasn’t just about what I was expressing above the neck, it was also as focused on what I was expressing below the neck. It was an interesting acting experience as well as a fangirl’s dream… She’s Star Wars’ first female villain. It’s incredible, it’s timely, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
We’ll soon get to know Captain Phasma when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens on December 18th.