With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” open in some countries and continuing to go wide this weekend, the world will be introduced to a host of new characters, including Gwendoline Christie's much-discussed Captain Phasma.
The character created a stir with the first introduction of the Chrome Trooper armor and has become more and more of a point of intrigue since “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie's casting was announced. Christie, who plays the unrelenting Brienne of Tarth on the HBO series, seemed to be a perfect fit for the “Star Wars” universe, and this character in particular.
Even in the early marketing stages, Phasma became a fan favorite. It's true that phenomena is in large part that is due to the character's design, but it's also what Christie carries with her as an actress.
It's difficult not to see the similarities between Phasma and Brienne, as they're both imposing warriors covered in armor, but Christie emphasizes that the costumes are in fact quite distinct, and that informs the portrayal.
“They're actually very different costuming,” Christie told Hitfix when we sat down with her during the press tour for the film. “It's costuming of a different kind. Captain Phasma is covered in armor down to and even over her feet and that gives a very different physical sensation. The costuming really does impact any role you play. So wearing something that is so high-functioning and imposing and unmalleable certainly informed the character of Captain Phasma.”
Brienne has a bit of an clunkier feel, which likely influences that role in part. To be fair, though, high-functioning, imposing, and umalleable are also words that can be used to describe “Game of Thrones'” Brienne of Tarth. It's also interesting to note that both Phasma and Brienne are directing those traits towards what they perceive to be right and good, whether or not we happen to agree with their perspective.
As our own Drew McWeeny and Donna Dickens notes, Christie was cast — at least in part — as a response to initial fan concern about the ratio of male to female characters in “The Force Awakens.” As far as Christie is concerned, inclusion is never a bad thing.
“I am truly heartened that there's been diversity in the casting,” the actress said. “And from a personal perspective I love Captain Phasma because to me she is a modern kind of female character. She's 'Star Wars'' first on-screen female villain. And more than that, this is a female character who we've formed a relationship with because of her character and actions, rather than how she's been made flesh.”
Stay tuned for more on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” from Gwendoline Christie, and Rey herself, Daisy Ridley, in the days to come.