With the hit series behind her, the 23-year-old British actress is ready to forge her own path, both with a new crop of films and as a brand ambassador for Cartier’s Pasha collection
Last fall Maisie Williams turned heads during Paris Fashion Week, wearing matching outfits (and makeup) with her boyfriend, Reuben Selby, while sitting front row at Thom Browne. This year, the actor spent her summer in Paris, building partnerships with brands such as Cartier, Jacquemus, Courrèges, and awaiting her next chapter. “As an actress, the best advice I received was to put my personality aside in order to find one that matches each role,” she says. “In fashion, it’s different—you have to understand exactly who you are to be able to represent the brand and the look.”
It’s nearly impossible to forget Arya Stark’s personality. The ruthless warrior Williams played from ages 13 to 21 (eight seasons) on Game of Thrones was beloved among a cast of distinct, oversized personalities. Arya began as a mischievous young girl and grew into an avenging assassin—a tomboy surviving in a male-dominated world. And it can’t be easy to experiment with one’s masculine side while also becoming a young woman; nor to build one’s own character when playing someone else. With short hair and flattened breasts, Arya had to grow up very fast and learn how to protect herself. Williams too. Both Arya and Williams have silenced their critics in different ways: the pretenders to the throne for Arya, and the internet trolls that have disparaged Williams’ looks. Both subverted feminine stereotypes. We’ll never forget Arya discussing her period between battles, reminding Jon Snow that women continually see more blood than men. Now Williams is free to take back her own body and become herself.
For all that blood and violence, Williams is still not finished, and joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe in her role as Rahne in the latest X-Men movie, The New Mutants. Sitting amid the horror and superhero genres, The New Mutants is a real lockdown movie, perfect for a generation traumatized by the global pandemic. “The young mutants are in lockdown in a medical center, apparently to protect themselves and understand their powers, since they don’t know their nature or how big they can get,” she says. “My character is discovering her sexuality, falling in love with another girl, and they are protecting each other instead of fighting. It offers a new perspective to the Marvel movies. It’s somewhere in between The Breakfast Club and Stephen King.”
Coincidentally, confinement seemed to be a theme, with two other related projects from Williams this year. In the TV series Two Weeks to Live, she stars as Kim, a young woman who has been raised in violent doomsday-prepper isolation for years. She rejoins society to avenge the death of her father, and quickly finds herself mixed up in a prank gone horribly wrong. Williams also stars in The Owners, a horror film based on a graphic novel, in which a group of young lawless kids try to break into an old Victorian mansion owned by an elderly couple. “It’s set in the ’90s, so I created a style for it, full of denim and with bleached hair. Like everyone else I’m obsessed with ’90s style,” says Williams.
The actress has also recently invested her time and resources into her own production company. “I created Pint-Sized Pictures with two girlfriends to showcase unknown women’s talents,” she says. “We’re working on music videos, short and long films, and sometimes shows. As for the name, it’s because I’m short, the height of a pint!”
From supporting creative talents and mentoring young women to establishing her own style in acting and fashion, Williams is very much a product of her generation. Add to that animal activism, too. After the many years spent in Westeros, she’s determined to make up for lost time.
Source: L’Officiel USA
For eight years, the British actress was one of television’s most beloved swordwielding, baddie-slaying teenage anti-heroines. Her next big act: mutant, producer, champion for up-and-coming creatives and possibly the next most powerful woman in entertainment and the arts. Here, an exclusive close-up.
Even among superheroes, the X-Men have long been a metaphor for growing up, fighting oppression and finding one’s own space within a society that hates and fears them. Perhaps you’ll find that those themes sound too familiar for comfort in 2020, given everything that’s been going on in the year so far.
The same themes are amplified in the upcoming (and long delayed) instalment in the X-Men series, The New Mutants, released in cinemas recently. The film is a horror-tinged spin-off from that universe focusing on a younger set of superheroes-in-training.
Among them: Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane, a teenage mutant with lycanthropic powers who – in a nutshell – was raised in an ultra-religious setting. (Her father was a reverend, strict to the point of abusive to correct any perceived “sins” so much so that he led an angry mob to hunt her down when her powers began to manifest.)
And few are as befitting to give depth to this complex and troubled character as the inimitable Maisie Williams, aka the British actress who – throughout her teenhood – won the world over playing anti-heroine Arya Stark in the HBO epic that was Game of Thrones (GOT).
“Rahne is a stark contrast to the characters I have played before. She is sensitive, she is fragile and nervous, she is uncomfortable in her own skin, and the opportunity to play someone with a physicality like that was something that I didn’t want to miss out on,” says Williams, now 23, in an e-mail interview ahead of our exclusive photo shoot. “When I was a teenager, I used to feel very uncomfortable in my own skin and I know Rahne feels that way.”
It’s no secret that Williams has struggled with bullying, especially when she had returned to school after filming a couple of seasons of GOT. Never mind that her much-loved character was a young noble-turned-deadly assassin, all to right heinous wrongs, Robin Hood-style. These days though, she’s doing the fighting on her own terms.
As is the case with many of the creatives of her generation, she has her fingers in many pies. She’s also a film producer and start-up founder, most notably for Daisie, an app she helped establish in 2017. Officially made public last year, it’s meant to be a platform that emphasises transparency to make it easier for up-and-coming creatives of different mediums (fashion, art, photography, film, music and more) to cross-pollinate and showcase their work.
While she’s keeping her plans for it on the down-low, it’s hard to ignore how an endeavour like it feels particularly relevant at a time when multiple cultural movements are emerging to question and rebalance traditional power dynamics.
“WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, I USED TO FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AND I KNOW RAHNE FEELS THAT WAY.” – MAISIE WILLIAMS
Read the manifesto on the app’s website that talks about how industry gatekeepers “hold all the power and select only those whom they deem talented enough to advance to the next level… It’s a divisive and alienating way to maintain the status quo and we stand with many others demanding radical transformation”.
“As an actor you have freedom, but with certain boundaries. At the end of the day, you’re still saying someone else’s words,” says Williams. “That’s why I’m so drawn to producing. I would love to create a show or film or anything from the ground up. That way you have full creative control of the set, costumes, words, lighting; you can orchestrate everything.”
It’s often said that actors struggle with being typecast as their most iconic characters, but one gets the sense that Williams – with her take-charge ethos and genre-spanning projects – is doing just fine post GOT. Aside from The New Mutants, her next television role comes in the British dark comedy Two Weeks to Live, scheduled to launch this autumn. In it, she plays Kim Noakes, a young woman who decides to re-enter real life after years of isolation and survivalist techniques she’s had to endure, imposed by her paranoid mother.
Her projects outside of film are likewise demonstrative of her zeal. Of late, she’s been something of a fashion darling, stealing the spotlight at Fashion Week where she’s a front-row regular at brands like Thom Browne and – for Fall/Winter 2020 – Givenchy. Even more recently, she was made one of five young ambassadors of Cartier’s Pasha de Cartier timepiece for achieving success due to her “differences, creativity, connection, multidisciplinary talents, and generosity”.
The most beguiling part about this pint-sized mogul-in-the-making (fun fact: her production company is called PintSized Pictures) however might just be that she doesn’t seem overly obsessed with all that acclaim. “That’s the beauty of being an overachiever,” she says. “Even if the acting ended tomorrow, there are so many things in life I want to pursue. I’ve always wanted to make dolls – maybe out of clay? And then I can make tiny clothes for them.”
This article first appeared in the Sept 2020 Not-Your-Usual-September Edition of FEMALE.
Source: Female Magazine
Maisie, you once described success as getting to learn things on set that you didn’t think yourself capable of. Has that influenced the characters you choose to play?
(Laughs) That’s funny that the young me was like, “I want to learn new skills!” I get what she was saying but these days I’ll do a film because I like the genre or because it’s something more tonally interesting to me. I think I’ve done a lot of big action stuff and a lot things that are somewhat surreal and hyperreal, so I guess I’m now really craving doing something which is a lot more authentic and a lot more honest to the girl who I am. I feel like there’s so many other sides to myself which I haven’t been able to show yet.
So you want to move away from these more physically demanding action roles?
I’m interested less in that and more in something like Blue Valentine, where it’s a very intense relationship, whether that’s romantic or just friendship or whatever, and it’s just very rooted within now. You just see two flawed people who are trying to navigate the world together — less physically draining and more emotionally draining, I guess.
And that kind of character can be just as, if not more, complex and interesting as one who is a fighter or a hero.
I think that there’s so much strength in women who aren’t the typically masculine view of powerful. I think this is something that Taylor Swift and Lana del Rey speak about all the time… So many of the women I’ve played have been overly masculine and they’ve been applauded for that, but there’s also a strength in a woman who isn’t shouting and screaming; a woman who is incredibly vulnerable and is just in some ways more complex. There’s a part of myself which is like that too, and I really try and learn about that. I’m very sensitive to my own emotions but also to other people’s, so the thought of creating a story between two people where there’s so many questions to be answered, that just really interests me.
Apparently when you played Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, you drew on a lot of your own feelings and past experiences. How do you go about channeling those emotions for a part?
Yeah. I think it’s called emotional memory, I can’t remember the exact term, but basically, you find a time in your life where you felt something similar to this and you try and understand why it made you feel that way and what it was about and why it affected you. Then you manipulate the situation that you’re doing on screen, and fit it into those very real memories and emotions. A lot of my real idols speak about their process and quite often speak about the art of pretend and imagination and being able to push that very far… But sometimes you can push it too far and things can become too real, and you can lose yourself a bit.
It sounds like it has the potential to be an almost torturous experience, reliving all those very real emotions.
It does… I think that because I was so young, I didn’t really know how to protect my own emotional state. I did that quite often where I dug up a lot of things that made me feel horrific emotions — and that’s what I ended up being praised for, you know? But I think now I’ve learned to protect myself more and not have to dig things up that hurt as much. I still do that, but there’s a way of doing that now which is more about the imagination.
How do you do that?
I think what really helps for me is when I can play a character who has an accent! Then it’s like a distance between yourself and the character. You can also do that with costume and make up… Being able to create this new person is ultimately something which really protects me at the end of the day: being able to remove all the make up and the wig and the clothes and leave it at work, and then go home and be myself again.
What about when the role isn’t so far removed from yourself? Does that make it harder to leave it on set?
Well, sometimes when you’re playing a teenage girl, like for example Mary from my last film The Owners, who is just like you or similar to you, you can get lost in it and it can become very honest and real. I think a lot of women, not necessarily me, but a lot of women can relate to her situation of giving so much to a relationship that is not giving enough back to you. So that film for me was a lot more gritty and… I don’t want to say realistic because horror movies rarely are, but there was something about it that was more authentic. But the role that really stuck with me in that way was Lydia from the film The Falling, It’s about an all-girls school in the sixties. Lydia’s best friend dies and after that, she sort of has these bouts of hysteria and starts becoming a negative influence on a lot of the girls around her.
What was it about the role that stuck with you?
It was such an interesting time in my life, I had left school but I just so desperately wanted to fit in, but nothing about me was ever supposed to fit in. I didn’t know if I was a grown up yet or if I was still a child. I was working on set on my own, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I think the combination of all of those things went into this film and I can see it all on my face. Looking back I feel bad for that girl because I was so lost. But for the movie, it’s so wonderful and it’s the proudest thing that I’ve ever been a part of… And I can say that now because I’m here and although I’m still a very emotionally sensitive person, I’m also a much happier person! (Laughs)
Emma Stone said that she used to think that being a sensitive person was a curse — but lately she is trying to use that as a compelling force for discovery and change.
Oh, she’s a longtime idol of mine! I have always related to a lot of the things that she’s said, so it’s very interesting that she said that. I’ve found that this sensitivity can be a curse and it can be really painful… I definitely am trying to manage my worries and anxieties and combat a lot of things with rationality and evidence. But when you are a panic prone person, that’s just like the battle of overcoming your mental illness. I try and meditate a lot. I meditate every night before I go to bed because otherwise I can’t sleep… So it’s just a lot of combating things with calmness and with reality. And the thing I think I’ve learned the most this year is being able to be empathetic.
In what ways?
I think the most painful thing is when I carry so much for other people. Like, I’m learning that you can be aware of someone’s feelings and help them, but you don’t have to take responsibility for them. You don’t have to hold this weight for them. Ultimately that’s their journey and there’s nothing you can do which will change that. People have to change things for themselves. Learning to not take the responsibility for other people’s emotions really does set you free.
Source: The Talks
The New Mutants and Game of Thrones actor covers the Summer 2020 issue of Wonderland.
Maisie Williams has had a busy decade. Having starred as fan favourite Arya Stark in the culture-dominating phenomenon that was Game of Thrones, winning worldwide adulation and acclaim along the way, the actor is now looking forward to being able to spread her wings. Next up is Sky’s Two Weeks to Live, alongside Fleabag’s Sian Clifford, before Williams embarks on another colossal franchise journey, joining the MCU in X-Men spin-off: The New Mutants.
Covering our Summer 2020 issue with a story shot from home by Ruben Selby, Williams reflects on Game of Thrones and the frenzy surrounding it, moving on from the show, and her excitement at being able to take on new challenges more in line with her personal taste. Also developing a limited series, Williams extolls the dynamic of a mostly-female set, and talks at length about the importance of female writers and directors being given more opportunities in an industry that has for too long shut them out.
Source: Wonderland Magazine
Words by Maisie Williams
Unpacking, folding, refolding, packing, repeat.
This was the only ritual I knew since the age of 12 – back then I probably skipped step 2 and step 3, but as I grew up I realised these were crucial steps for a clear head. When I look back at my teens everything seems a little chaotic.
I would travel almost weekly for six months every year.
I’d go from car to plane to hotel to bed.
To trailer to set to lunch to set.
To hotel to bed to trailer to set.
Scrub the dirt from my nails and the grime from my neck. From set to plane to home to bed.
From bed to bus to school to desk. From desk to chair to chair to desk. Then desk to bus and home to bed.
And then I’d start all over again. It was fun and exciting but I started to lose myself, I needed a change but I didn’t know how.
These days when I wake up, before anything else, I like to creep my toes all the way down the sheets on my bed and poke them out the end of my duvet. I stretch my arms way over my head and rest them on the cold wall above me and I hold myself there. As my body begins to wake up, I reach my warm arm out of the cover and pull open the curtains from the comfort of my bed. The blue light creeps through the window and lights up the room, it’s probably around this time when Reuben rolls over to face me. Every morning we smile. The first thing I get to see every single day is a big, sleepy warm smile. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sip it throughout the day, it’s my favourite part.
We lay awake under the covers and all is quiet. I take time to think over my day, the things I must do, the places I must go. I hear my heartbeat, I hear his, I hear the gentle hum of the boiler, and sometimes I hear the neighbours talking. Only when I’ve heard just about all the things I can try to hear, it’s time to get out of bed.
Everyday, no matter which continent, country or city, this is how I wake up.
Nothing seriously bad would happen if I didn’t do those things, the world would not end, my heart would not stop beating. But these little rules and rituals I have grown to live by make the other parts of my life complete and worth living. Time is my new ritual. Time spent laughing and walking instead of crying and rushing. Time to be with people I love and time to be alone. Time to pause and breathe in my beautiful life. I take time to do whatever I want.
Source: Metal Magazine
Magazine Scans > Magazine Scans from 2019 > Autumn/Winter 2019/2020 | Metal Magazine
Screen Captures > Photoshoots Making Of > 2019 | Metal Autumn/Winter 2019/2020: “Rituals”
Photoshoots & Portraits > Photoshoots from 2019 > Session #20 – Metal
Daisie x Tove Lo is your chance to work on a real brief, with an amazing creator and get paid for it! Get involved at https://daisie.com/tovelo
We’re teaming up with Tove Lo, in the post-release glow of her new album, Sunshine Kitty, to give our community the opportunity to work on ideas inspired by the themes explored in Tove’s new album, Sunshine Kitty.
Head to the Daisie project for more information about the opportunity and how you could be in with the chance of making your concept a reality.
Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams hits the runway on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Maisie Williams might be known as a Faceless assassin on Game Of Thrones, but she’s showing a different kind of fierce on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
The UK version of the reality show arrives on Thursday 3 October, with Andrew Garfield the first celebrity guest judge to offer runway critiques.
The judging panel for the second episode has been revealed in new pictures, showing Maisie Williams strutting the runway alongside Graham Norton, Michelle Visage and RuPaul.
Ten queens are set to compete for the title of the UK’s first Drag Race Superstar, with the line-up including Cheryl Hole, Gothy Kendoll, Scaredy Kat and Baga Chipz.
Other guest judges announced include Lorraine Kelly, Stacey Dooley, Cheryl, Geri Horner, Michaela Coel, Jade Thirlwall, MNEK, Twiggy, Curtis Pritchard and AJ Pritchard.
Speaking about the series, RuPaul said: ‘Each of the UK queens is so unique, so courageous and so special. I can’t wait for the UK – and the world – to fall in love with them the same way I did.’
I’ve updated our photo gallery with 195 screencaptures of Maisie in RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (October 10, 2019) and also I’ve added 4 photos of this appearance. Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!
Screen Captures > Television Shows > October 10, 2019 | RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2019 > October 10 | RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
We’re just a few weeks away from the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) is stirring the pot by speaking to Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a lot of death this year,” she said.
We’ve heard about how the opening of season 8 will mimic the opening of season 1, with Daenerys and her entourage arriving at Winterfell much as King Robert and his arrived back in the series premiere. To hear Williams tell it, the comparisons go deeper than that. “After reading the scripts I went back and watched season 1 again because so much of it refers back to that season,” she said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar.”
And also I watched just to remind myself of the arc I’ve taken already. I wanted Arya to go full circle and try for some kind of normalcy like when she was younger. Basically this year it’s like she has a dual personality — there are so many emotions and memories that come flooding back when you’re with your family and the things that you fight for become very different, yet she’s also remaining on this path to try and kill Cersei and remembering her list and getting closer to that. So there’s this split with Arya between trying to be who she wants to be — getting back to the naïveté and innocence with her family — and unfinished business.
Williams also had some thoughts about standing unified with Sansa, played by her real-life best friend Sophie Turner. “It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her.”
Last season it was really tough for Sansa because Jon was thinking with his penis and it kind of made Sansa look bitter. This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon. It felt nice and powerful to stand next to Sophie. Sophie and I are the tightest of friends when sitting across from anyone, so no acting required.
Ah, so Arya is going to call out Jon’s reasons for bending the knee to Daenerys? I’m already looking forward to that drama.
But let’s get back to death. Arya’s always been a bit of a prodigy when it comes to killing, but in seven seasons, she’s never taken part in any major battles. In season 8, that changes. “I feel like I’ve always been a part of this big show but in terms of being part of the episodes that really define us, this is my first taste of it.”
And finally, there’s the ending. “People don’t want it to end,” Williams said, as if we didn’t already know all too well. “No matter how you end it, people don’t want it to end. So the ending is not going to be okay, because ‘the end’ is not okay. You know what I mean? I think the way we end it is right. And I think it’s time.”
When Game of Thrones does end on May 19, Williams already has jobs lined up, and she’s thankful her time on the show trained her for what’s next in her career.
I’m nervous about what comes next and just want to prove myself as an actor now and make the most of this series. There are not many opportunities to do everything with one character and there’s a whole spectrum I get to do. So whatever happens after, I made this count.
Yes you did. Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 14.
Source: Winter Is Coming