The character, Brienne of Tarth, has over time become one of the most beloved characters on Game of Thrones. This comes down to the writing of George R.R. Martin and the producers David Benioff and DB Weiss. But a large part of this has to do with the phenomenal acting of the woman who plays the character.
Gwendoline Christie is one of the stars who came into the spotlight after appearing in Game of Thrones. Since she gained stardom, she has starred in two other blockbuster franchises – Star Wars and The Hunger Games – and become modelling sensation of some sort.
There is indeed more to the actress than just wielding swords and swearing on her honour. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Gwendoline Christie.
1. Before acting, she wanted to be a professional dancer or gymnast. She learnt ballet and tap from the age of 7 and was also training in rhythmic gymnastics before she found acting.
2. At the age of 11, Christie suffered a major spinal injury which dashed her hopes of becoming a professional dancer or gymnast. As a result, she decided she “would be an actress instead. I knew I’d get to wear frocks, dress up, wear make-up, and high-heels, or not… And then the obsession switched to classical works and Shakespeare.”
3. While she attended the Drama Centre London, she was told she was too tall for acting. “I was told I was rubbish all day, every day; I wasn’t going to work, I was too tall”. However, this only spurred her to hold on to her dreams of acting.
4. At some point, Christie considered becoming a nun because she felt her height was a stumbling block to her acting career. “I had a very idealised idea of what silence, daily prayer and harvesting vegetables from a walled garden might be,” she told The Times. It was, however, her mentor Simon Callow who deterred hter from the nunnery by telling her that he could “smell” success was coming for her.
5. According to Christ, her role as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones changed her life. “I was in a car when I found out I got the role,” she explained about the role. “I just burst into tears. I’d worked so hard. I had totally transformed myself. I had made a decision to confront a side of my physicality that was more masculine, the scale of my own body and also, perhaps, my own vulnerability. It was tough; I felt I had to step outside my normal self, to look at myself in a different way. Luckily for me, the character I saw in Brienne of Tarth was the first opportunity I had to do just that. I shall forever be thankful.”
6. She is 6 feet, 3 tall.*
7. According to the producers of Game of Thrones, they almost hired Christieon the spot because of how well she fit the role of Brienne of Tarth. Even fans of the show were in agreement than no one else could play the role better. The producers confirmed that she blew everyone away when she came for the audition.
8. Christie may be admired for her height now but she used to be bullied for it in school. In 2017, she told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I absolutely hated school because I was bullied quite a lot… [I] really enjoyed being in the library, but I didn’t enjoy the other students”.
9. She had to cut her hair for her role as Brienne and for her, this was a hard thing to do. She had struggled with her femininity growing up and her long blonde hair was what made her feel more feminine. This was why it was very hard for her to cut it. However, she went through with it and even practiced her sword fighting and horse riding for the role. But once she was done, she locked herself in a trailer and wept for two whole hours.
10. Interestingly, Christie does not know her age. Her mother lost her birth certificate and everyone in the house cannot remember the year she was born. Even though Christie can easily solve this by taking a trip to the registration office, she says she actually enjoys not knowing her age.
Did you like these facts about Gwendoline Christie? Tell us in the comment section below.