Most fans know of Gwendoline Christie through her iconic roles on both Game of Thrones and Stars Wars.
As important as those productions have been in the development of the 44-year-old actor’s career, it’s her most recent work in Wednesday, the new comedy horror Netflix series focusing on Wednesday Addams and starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, that Gwendoline wishes to focus on.
In the new series, Gwendoline takes on the part of Principal Larissa Weems, the leader of the Nevermore Academy that Wednesday transfers to at the beginning of the first episode.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor reminisced about the moment she got the part, specifically recalling walking through a field as director Tim Burton texted her to meet about potentially playing the role, which he eventually offered to her directly.
"He said, 'You can do whatever you like with the character, feel free to make it whatever you want and we'll keep talking about it,'" Gwendoline said to the outlet. "And that was an unbelievable opportunity from this great cinematic master."
Discussing the shaping of the character, Gwendoline mentioned feeling inspired by two historical figures: actor Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak (whom Gwendoline actually resembles in the Netflix show!).
"I wanted to push that idea. I like to transform into characters and people that are very far away from myself and I would never be cast as this part. It was an opportunity to create that and to inhabit that sort of impenetrable, imperious character with that classic idea of femininity," the star explained. “But whereas Hitchcock heroins tend to have all sorts of trauma being exacted upon them, for this to be a woman who was in charge of her own fate, who was ruthlessly ambitious and who was willingly putting herself into dangerous and extreme situations, was exciting to me.”
The resulting character is one that's clearly of utmost importance within the show's storyline and Gwendoline's own life and feeling of self. In fact, while praising the show's hair and makeup teams in helping her transform into Larissa, the actor confessed, "it is the first time I've ever felt beautiful on screen."
"The way [costume designer Colleen Atwood] made me feel was my body felt celebrated and beautiful," Gwendoline candidly said to the outlet. "Never once did I feel like there was something to hide or something to be ashamed of. She made me feel incredible. She was also enormously collaborative and wanted to know what I thought, which I was quite nervous initially to show her any references, but she welcomed them and she loved them."
Needless to say, the collaboration yielded astounding results: Wednesday is an addicting show because of its exciting plot lines and incredible starring actors.
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Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.
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