Growing up on camera is tough for anyone, but when you grow up on one of the biggest shows in history it’s especially difficult. For Maisie Williams, who played Arya on Game of Thrones, the experience brought her plenty of fame but she’s speaking out about the toll it took on her.
Williams had previously spoken about how pressures from the show impacted her mental health, and now she’s admitted that at times playing Arya had made her ‘ashamed’ of her body. In a video she shot with Vogue about her evolving fashion sense, Williams spoke about how young she looked when she was first playing Arya and how it impacted her sense of self as an actress playing a younger character.
“Maybe around Season 2 or 3, my body started to mature and I started to become a woman,” Williams said. “But Arya was still very much trying to be disguised as a boy.”
Williams described the ways costume designers tried to hide that she was maturing and, getting older, which became a bigger challenge when they’re trying to make a believable Arry, the boy she was supposed to be in hiding as while making it North.
“”I had really short hair and they constantly covered me in dirt and shaded my nose so it looked really broad and I look, like, really manly,” Williams said. “And they also put this strap across my chest to, like, flatten any growth that had started.
It’s a weird thing for a young actress to have to experience, especially when the source material has to be rectified with what’s actually happening in the script and in the real world. And it’s something that Williams also had to reconcile with as she was learning about herself off the screen.
“That just felt horrible for like six months of the year,” she said. “And I felt kind of a bit ashamed for a while.”
The video cuts out there, but the clip is meant to indicate that she’s now exploring a more mature sense of fashion now that her days of playing a disguised preteen are behind her. Still, it’s really interesting to consider how hard it was to play a character in hiding, and what it does to you as a person along the way. Arya is officially behind Williams and she’s been open about the experience, which has certainly been good for her in a lot of ways. But it doesn’t mean it was always easy.
[via USA Today]