As part of our Dazed Texts series, the actor delivers a passionate plea to save the climate, using the words of the 2019 bill put forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
“I want children of my own in the future, but it scares me that the world they will live in could be unsafe,” Maisie Williams told Dazed last year. “I don’t want to be denied the right to have a child because the world is burning.”
Known to many as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, and for her roles in the recent TV series, Two Weeks to Live, and upcoming film, The New Mutants, Williams is also a keen climate activist; part of a generation that’s mobilising for action. As well as being an ambassador for WaterAid and a spokesperson for Greenpeace and the Dolphin Project, the actor is currently working on a documentary about salmon fishing and protecting endangered whales, titled Searching for Chinook.
Having first learned about the climate crisis at school, Williams has since expressed her dismay at those in “really powerful places who still seem to refuse the science”. Now, in the latest episode of Dazed Texts, the actor addresses this inaction, and makes a passionate plea about the urgency of change. Reciting the Green New Deal – put forward by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 – Williams reflects on the damage caused by the crisis and outlines the steps we need to take to protect the planet and young people’s future.
“This is a resolution,” she cries, “recognising the duty of governments (and all of us little people) to create a Green New Deal.”
Williams goes on to list the aims of the deal, including achieving “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions”, creating “millions of good, high-wage jobs”, and securing “clean air and water, healthy food, and a sustainable environment” for all. “I mean, yeah,” she adds, “we want all those things.”
“The duty is to promote justice and equity,” concludes Williams, “by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of colour, migrant communities, deindustrialised communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”
The Green New Deal is a package of US legislation which aims to address climate change and economic equality. As explained in a 2019 Dazed op-ed, the plan was first proposed in 2007, but the idea saw an enormous surge in support last year, after AOC unveiled her radical vision for a just transition. It’s an ambitious ten-year national action plan to tackle climate breakdown in a way that improves peoples’ lives and builds a fairer, more democratic society and economy.
Williams’ rendition is part of Dazed’s partnership with #TOGETHERBAND, a campaign raising awareness for the UN’s crucial global goals, 17 targets that range from promoting gender equality to working toward greater sustainability, with the aim to make the world a better place by 2030. This edition of Dazed Texts focuses on ‘affordable and clean energy’, an aim which will encourage growth and help the environment by ensuring universal access to affordable electricity by 2030.
Previous Dazed Texts have featured Simran Randhawa considering love and consumerism as she recites an extract from bell hooks’ seminal book, All About Love, and Rose McGowan, who took on the behemoth that is Facebook by offering her magnetic take on Mark Zuckerberg’s congress testimony.
Remember the little Arya Stark who fought her way through “Game of Thrones”? Maisie Williams was her. Today, at the age of 23, the Bristol-born star has seduced Hollywood – she recently starred in the blockbuster “The New Mutant” – but also the jewelry house Cartier, which has engaged her as an ambassador. For Numéro art, the actress, director, producer and muse agreed to incarnate the great masterpieces of painting, from Munch’s “The Scream” to Caravaggio’s “Bacchus”.
Maisie Williams rejoue “Le Cri” d’Edvard Munch. Manteau en laine, Miu Miu. Montre “Pasha” 41mm en or jaune, Cartier. (Click to see large image)
For an entire decade, her skill in wielding the sword electrified audiences the world over. She was the flamboyant Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, a child traumatized by adult vio- lence who, over the seasons, became a household heroine. Maisie Williams, who is now 23, did not enjoy a normal adolescence, but was plunged into a high-octane Hollywood existence. Last year she was back on the screen, both in the series Two Weeks to Live and the blockbuster The New Mutants. But she also took on the more glamorous role of ambassador to the house of Cartier for its new Pasha watch. Now a producer as well as an actress, highly committed to feminist and environmental causes, Williams is at last getting a taste of a more normal daily life for someone her age. When Numéro art interviewed her, in Paris where she was staying this summer, we found an actress in the full bloom of her youth, brimming with assured ideas and new ambitions.
Numéro art: You’ve been living in Paris for a few months. Why did you choose the the French capital?
Maisie Williams: I really like being here. I feel very inspired, much more than in London. Also, I’m working with my boyfriend [fashion-world entrepreneur Reuben Selby] on his brand’s first collection. We worked on it during lockdown and would like to do a fashion show at the Ritz. And since everything goes through Zoom, I’m much better off here.
Everyone knows you as an actress, especially in Game of Thrones, but your spectrum is much broader.
I’ve always considered myself a creative person. My true expression crosses several mediums. Limiting yourself to just one form of creativity doesn’t make sense to me. Music influences my acting, my personality is nourished by my relationship with fashion. The range of things that interest me is constantly expanding. Producing has taken a certain place in my life recently, and I’m planning on showcasing young artists. I’m also developing a series that I hope to fund before the end of the year. I’m writing it, producing it and intend to direct it. But it’s a long process! I’ve also been painting for two or three years. But I’m not forgetting my work as an actress – I’m going to start shooting a film about the true story of a ceramicist from the 1920s, which has helped me get into pottery.
Une réinterprétation de “L’Etoile” d’Edgar Degas. Tutu en tulle et satin brodé, Repetto. jupe à volants en cuir et tissu technique, et souliers, Louis Vuitton. Collants, Falke. Boucles d’oreilles “Juste un clou” en or jaune et diamants, et montre “Pasha” 35mm en or rose, Cartier. Sur la jupe, broche, Tétier Bijoux. Ruban, Mokuba. Au fond à gauche, pantalon en laine, Celine par Hedi Slimane.
What are you inspired by at the moment that fuels this creative whirlwind?
I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music. It puts me in a suspended state. Debussy. I find it very useful for refocusing. Creating such pure art is very powerful. I also set myself the goal of watching a movie a day. I’ve explored the films of Yorgos Lanthimos, Charlie Kaufman and Alex Garland, who wrote The Beach and also directed Ex Machina. I’ve watched a lot of Alma Har’el’s films, including her shorts.
You’re originally from Bristol, so you could have been in the series Skins, which was shot there and marked the 2000s with its trashy representation of teens.
I was eight when Skins started. I discovered it as a vintage series seven years later. [Laughs.] So I couldn’t have been cast. My debut in the audiovisual industry was very different from what you imagine when you think of actresses and actors from England. It’s very difficult to become an actress when you’re from a working-class family. You’re put in a “realistic” box and kept in reserve. Personally, I’ve never felt reduced to just one part of myself. I feel like I can walk into lots of companies and interest a wide variety of people. I have the ability to adapt to the people I meet, including professionally. I’m able to be charming, even if I don’t have social standing. In my opinion, this is the key to success. You have to know how to wear several hats.
Let’s talk about Game of Thrones, which ended in 2019. The role of Arya Stark brought you worldwide stardom, but most of all, you spent all your adolescence and more playing this tenacious character. Does the series seem like a time capsule to you today?
Yes it does. I see that part of my life as a very special mo- ment that will be frozen in time forever. From now on I’ll only be able to see it from the outside – I’ll never again know and understand my life as it was then. But it’s pretty healthy to think of it that way. What happened to me is incredibly bizarre, perhaps one of the most bizarre experiences a young person can have. I learned a lot about myself, I got out, that door is now closed. It’s a very powerful feeling.
Réinterprétation des “Hasards heureux de l’escarpolette” de Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Bustier à paniers et traîne en satin, Moschino. Jupe en taffetas, Patou. Minerve, Gucci. Bague, Tétier Bijoux. Boucles d’oreilles “Juste un clou” en or jaune et diamants, Cartier. Mules, Amina Muaddi. Au fond, chemise en flanelle de laine, Max Mara. À gauche, veste en laine, Acne Studios. Pantalon en laine, Boss.
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