Richard Madden & Pedro Pascal » things they said at Tampa Bay Comic Con
How were you initially cast as Brienne? George R.R. Martin’s said that you came in dressed in character and landed it on the spot.
I love that story. I wish it were real. So many people have asked me if I walked into the audition in armor, or that I walked into the audition on a horse, but I’m afraid neither of those things are true. I heard about the part of Brienne because there was something on the Internet about me being cast in an HBO series, so I Googled this and found amazing forums filled with hundreds of passionate people brought together over their love for this series of books. I then had a look at the character of Brienne, started reading the books, totally fell in love with her, and wanted to play her really, really badly.
I knew it would be a very physical role and hadn’t done any sword fighting before, so I lost about a stone-and-a-half in weight, and trained with a friend in kickboxing, yoga, and did all that I could to get into the right kind of shape. Also, prior to the part I had long, blonde hair, and was dressed in a consciously feminized manner. Without makeup, I’m very, very fair—I have incredibly blonde, pale eyebrows and eyelashes—and Brienne was an outsider who was considered to be ugly, so I thought about what that meant, and I thought about the ways in which women are conceived in society and about the constrictions of conventions of attractiveness, and I felt that if I stripped all those things away in myself, that would give me a better chance of being cast in this role, because that’s where I felt Brienne and I could meet. So, I stopped wearing makeup and stopped wearing very feminized clothing, and I paid attention to the way I walked, held my body, and spoke, and tried to direct that to a more neutralized state. I was prepared to have my hair cut off for the role, and a lot of women’s notions of femininity and their identity is tied up with their hair, so I felt that it was important that Brienne have short hair because she’s practical. I felt it would be a useful challenge to let go of those things and embrace something else—to embrace my androgyny.
Full interview here.
All the color had been leached from Winterfell until only grey and white remained. The Stark colors. Theon did not know whether he ought to find that ominous or reassuring. Even the sky was grey. Grey and grey and greyer. The whole world grey, everywhere you look, everything grey except the eyes of the bride. The eyes of the bride were brown. Big and brown and full of fear. It was not right that she should look to him for rescue.
"Imagine; I used to have really long blonde hair, always wearing heels, lots of make-up. I had been someone who was highly feminised and had chosen to look that way, partly because I was 6ft 3in but also I was into that aesthetic. I knew it had to be stripped away. I knew this would be an important part, not just for my work but in terms of my own development, because I would be confronting elements of myself that I didn’t want to confront (…) To see yourself displayed as unattractive, large, masculine, it’s quite tough… But I know it’s just perspective. A social conditioning that causes us to view these traits in a woman in a negative way." — Gwendoline Christie
Jon glanced back at Stannis. For an instant their eyes met. Then the king nodded and went back inside his tower.