One of the hottest heroines in pop culture is about to get a hundred times hotter. And, in today’s Movie Morsels, actress Gwendoline Christie discusses her roles in both Game of Thrones AND Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Plus, the latest on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Ouija 2, as well as news on Kristen Bell and Brie Larson‘s next projects!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I love the name Captain Phasma. Of all the new characters’ names in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, none so recaptures the spirit of the 1930s Flash Gordon serials that inspired the original Star Wars trilogy as that of the First Order’s chrome-plated officer. But as much as I love the name, I love the woman who plays Phasma, Gwendoline Christie, even more. So it’s thrilling to hear the actress drawing comparisons between her role in J.J. Abrams’ continuation of George Lucas’ space saga and Game of Thrones‘ Brienne of Tarth…
“I don’t think many female actors get the opportunity to play a part where they’re not having to think about the way their face looks, but I found exactly the same thing with Brienne of Tarth, and that was very liberating. It was great as an actor to work on your skills — that it isn’t about holding your head so you look beautiful. It’s about what you’re transmitting, and to be in service of an idea greater than yourself, whether it’s the character’s overriding objective or, beyond that, hopefully something more sociopolitical. We have seen an image of [Phasma] and again, it’s an unconventional kind of woman exhibiting a kind of strength, but in a very different way to my other two characters.”
Regarding Abrams’ choice to have Christie play the role on set and not simply provide Phasma’s voice, the actress says, “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 just what I felt, and we talked about it a little bit, but it was never like a manifesto, ‘this is what it must be’ — 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… 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.”
Considering all three franchises in which she now stars (including The Hunger Games, which will conclude with November 20’s Mockingjay — Part 2), Christie comments, “It’s great to be involved in three big franchises, but [they’re] 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.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
In honor of this weekend’s Talk Like a Pirate Day (held on September 19th), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales producer Jerry Bruckheimer has tweeted a new photo from the set of the fifth installment of his Johnny Depp-starring franchise…
— JERRY BRUCKHEIMER (@BRUCKHEIMERJB) September 19, 2015
Directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning, and co-starring Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, and new leading lady Kaya Scodelario, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens on July 7, 2017.
Battle of the Sexes
The Movie Gods taketh and the Movie Gods giveth… One of my favorite actresses, Emma Stone, will no longer play tennis legend Billie Jean King in directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Battle of the Sexes. The news would bum me out if Stone wasn’t being replaced by another of my favorite actresses, the always enchanting Brie Larson (pictured above).
E.T. and Legends of the Fall star Henry Thomas is joining the cast of Ouija 2, directed by Oculus helmer Mike Flanagan. Also featuring Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, and Lulu Wilson, the Ouija sequel lands on October 21, 2016.
Finally today… Kristen Bell will appear alongside hubbie Dax Shepard and not-hubbie Michael Pena in the action-comedy adaptation of ’80s TV fave CHiPs, co-starring Adam Brody, Rosa Salazar, and Vincent D’Onofrio (as the film’s Big Bad).
What do you think of today’s top stories? Let us know below!