Posted on 26 September 2018.

Posted in: Main Stage





'Maisie Williams is tucking into a plate of avocado toast. ‘I don’t think anyone looks at the younger generation and goes, “I’m so inspired by you guys,”’ she says.

The statement is an ironic one, considering how many men and women of all ages want to be more like Arya Stark, the princess-turned-serial-killer-with-a-cause she portrays on Game of Thrones, the fantasy series from HBO. The show grew from a cult hit to a worldwide smash, with devoted fans on every continent – thanks in no small part to child heroine Arya and her highly creative ways of avenging her family members’ deaths.

‘I’m the serial killer everyone’s rooting for,’ she says.

And root they do. No doubt this is because Arya has become something of a feminist icon, using her sword training to bring an end to tyrannical men who beat and rape women, who murder the pregnant and who cut the throats of mothers. Game of Thrones has been accused of misogyny in the past, but it’s been fascinating to watch the narrative turn in favour of powerful women'

'Maisie has enjoyed seeing her character turn to the dark side, too. After having earned a starring role in the record-breaking television show at the age of 12, she has grown up before our very eyes, becoming a young force in Hollywood who is as bold and uncompromising as her popular alter-ego.'

'Maisie makes no apologies for her textbook Generation Z-isms. ‘We are the future, with our vlogging and phones and all that,’ she assures me. And as we lunch in a hotel restaurant in London’s Soho, Maisie (dressed in a very un-Arya-like fluffy pink jacket) is grinning a lot more than you might expect if you’ve seen her serious, dour-faced character in action on the show.

‘Personally, I love watching YouTube videos,’ she says cheerfully. ‘Jenna Marbles making a soap bed for her dog, that’s what I want to watch.’

Maisie embodies a unique mix of social and cultural awareness, plus endearing goofiness, which is all part of her appeal. For example, when she saw a Daily Mail headline broadcasting that she’d attended a charity ball wearing a dress with no bra, she posted a revised version on Twitter with a correction stating that she helped ‘raise thousands for the NSPCC’. Maisie is charitably and politically minded. And yet her feed is also filled with gems like this: ‘If you’re having a bad day, just look at this picture of me holding a cow’s nipple while in Barcelona many years ago.’

'As we chat, it’s easy to forget that Maisie has the CV of a woman two or three times her age. She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama in 2016, and her upcoming projects include a starring role in Marvel’s X-Men horror film The New Mutants.'

'When conversation turns to what’s next, Maisie admits that, as she grows older, she’s at a crossroads. ‘I’m still young, but I could play a 21-year-old with their own family – getting offered that sort of part is very intriguing. More recently, I’ve been reading scripts of 16-year-old characters and thinking, these are complex girls I couldn’t have played when I was 16, but now I can really get into their psyche.’'

To read the full interview visit Elle magazine online here.


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