“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is heading into another big weekend, as the Christmas holiday is upon us. One character that was a fan-favorite even prior the release of the film, and who many are looking forward to seeing more of, is Gwendoline Christie”s Captain Phasma.
I was able to sit down with the actress — who is perhaps most famously known for her portrayal of Brienne of Tarth on HBO”s “Game of Thrones” — during the press day for “The Force Awakens.” There she revealed her favorite “Star Wars” film and her very “Force Awakens” holiday plans.
Film critics, pundits, and fans are already busy working out where “The Force Awakens” fits into their overall “Star Wars” franchise rankings. Excluding the film that she is a part of, though, it”s back to basics for Christie.
“I just keep going back to ‘A New Hope,”” the actress said of her relationship with the previous films. “Because it was the first ‘Star Wars” film I saw and because I was so young.”
Many who are enjoying this current iteration of the franchise likely had a similar experience to Christie”s.
“I was about six and it was Christmas time and my family showed the film to me,” the actress recalled. “And it was very much presented as THIS is ‘Star Wars.” I was in awe of it. I was taken totally to another realm. And I remember watching it and I couldn't believe how excited and elated and evolved I felt. And how much I wanted to explore this land. And how much I wanted to get to know these characters. I thought they were so brilliant. I wanted to be with them. I wanted to be in their gang whether good or bad. They were two really cool gangs.
“It's something that I am continuing to explore and try to define,” She continued. “But it's very difficult to put your finger on exactly what it is about those films. But really to be more precise about it, I think it was about a group of misfits. I think it was because the Dark Side was so terrifying to me and so stylish. It looked great! And the landscapes were so impressive. And I also remember thinking — I mean it's the mind of a child – but, ‘Robots in sand!” It seemed to be such a foreign concept to me that I could not quite get hold of. And I was so bemused, but happily so, that I had such affection for these droids that made me laugh. I adored R2-D2 when he made me laugh. I was fearful when he got into trouble. Re-watching them I was surprised at how funny they are. They're so witty, the films. And so funny. And they also have a sort of spiritual mythology to them, which is kind of thought-provoking, but light.”
As to how deep into the mythology of the “Star Wars” lore she”s gotten — including the backstory of her own character and the evolution of the Chrome Troopers — well, Christie confesses that she”s been just a bit busy with “Game of Thrones.”
“The way that I work is I have to know what's going on,” the actress said. “It's about how much that character knows and how it fits into the world. Unfortunately, in these times one doesn't always have the time to uncover each piece of research — no matter how delightful that would be. Because the time to deliver the work can be limited.”
Christie is aware of the plethora of Wikipedia information, fan theories, and histories written about the “Star Wars” universe, though, and she confesses herself intrigued.
“I have found that the more I've been involved in this film that the more I want to know everything,” the actress emphasized. “And I'm really hoping that I will be afforded some time over Christmas to really start to dig in. You know I want to know everything. There's such a joy to being able to watch those films multiple, multiple times. And they are complex. At least I find them complex…That probably says something about me. Basically I'm saying that I'd really like to nerd out and I'm really hoping to over Christmas!”
We”d love to know what she discovers.
In the meantime, you can watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” now and decide where it ranks for you.