Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already seen plenty of attention aimed at its new stars and featured protagonists and antagonists, with characters like Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) preemptive favorites already. On the other side of the force, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Imperial Trooper Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) have also seen significant appraisal after appearing in a series of promotional character images.
As more information comes out leading up to the theatrical release of Episode VII in December 2015, all eyes are aimed towards a galaxy far, far away, and word from Christie herself might lend further insight into what kind of antagonist the Game of Thrones actress hopes to bring to the Star Wars universe.
In a recent conversation with Variety, Christie discussed the nuance and depth that she was able to bring to Captain Phasma, and the challenges in presenting a strong female character within not only the science-fiction genre, but specifically Star Wars. On inhabiting the cinematic villain, all the way down to wearing the armor and cloak herself, Christie remarked:
"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 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."
On donning the imperial armor without sacrificing the character's femininity, the actress further clarified:
"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."
As for how her new role in director J.J. Abrams' film pairs with her most recent genre work within the fantasy realm on HBO, and in her upcoming role in the final film of The Hunger Games franchise, Christie stated:
"It’s great to be involved in three big franchises that are looking to expand our consciousness about each other as human beings, and that’s very exciting. They are three enormous things, however, the quality of the writing and the concepts are very, very well developed and very relevant, so everyone seems engaged in the excitement of what these things are doing. All three projects are incredibly progressive, so it feels as though everyone’s caught up with the idea of that, and everyone’s dedicated to giving their absolute best and honoring the set of ideas and setting them forth into the world."
It will certainly be exciting to see the actress who brought Brienne of Tarth to life appear on the big screen twice over this fall, with her role in Mockingjay - Part 2 in November 2015 a fitting appetizer for what she is likely to accomplish within the Star Wars universe. Until her mega-franchise debut, however, fans may just have to tide themselves over with images of Christie in full Galactic Empire regalia.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will see theatrical release starting on December 18th, 2015. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will follow on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode XI is expected to see theatrical release in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.