Gwendoline Christie plays fearsome fighters in both Westeros and a galaxy far, far away. And while the statuesque British actress keeps the two worlds distinct in her mind, her combat skills are actually a bridge between them.
Christie's fight with Finn (John Boyega) as Captain Phasma in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and the face-off between Brienne of Tarth and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) on "Game of Thrones" were created by the same choreographer, C.C. Smiff. (The Finn-Phasma fight is teased in "The Last Jedi" trailer.)
"It was C.C. who taught me to fight, taught me to sword fight and really facilitated me in terms of giving me the confidence to go further," she said in a recent interview.
Not that there was too far to go in "The Last Jedi." Captain Phasma's armor is "incredibly restrictive," Christie said: "It's challenging just to walk."
Still, the 39-year-old actress was "delighted" to play the mysterious character in "The Force Awakens" and reprise it in "The Last Jedi." She said she loves Phasma's chromed appearance and genderless power.
"I just go back to the costume, of it being genderless, of it not needing to display any sexuality, and by that I mean not needing to show the delineations of a woman's body," she said. "That feels limitless and I think that connects to men and women."
Fans were so taken by Phasma's look when it was revealed ahead of "The Force Awakens" in 2015 that some balked about her brief screen time.
"You've been asked to be in a 'Star Wars' film. You can't start complaining, 'Oh, there wasn't more of me,'" Christie said. "What I will say about what you see of Captain Phasma (in the new film) — which I, of course, can't really say anything — but I don't think people will be disappointed."
For her part, she's just grateful for her place in two vast and beloved worlds, regardless of what kind of fighting it demands.
"What a huge privilege to be part of these two amazing things. 'Game of Thrones' — nobody knew that it would enjoy such incredible success, it's become a global phenomenon — and I've grown up with Star Wars," Christie said. "I've been hugely lucky in the last few years of my career and I'm just really delighted to be part of the film."
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