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Gwendoline Christie grew up in a hamlet near South Downs in southern England. Before taking up acting, she trained as a gymnast, but a spine injury forced her to stop. Her road to acting was a frustrating one. “Particularly at the beginning, I would be told, ‘Sorry, love, you’re too tall.’ At one stage I was like, ‘I’ll give this another six months and if this persists, I’ll become a nun.’”
Gwendoline Christie graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005. Polly Borland, a photographer, was inspired by Gwendoline’s height to create a series of photos around her.
Gwendoline Christie has also appeared in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and “Wizards vs. Aliens,” among other projects.
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Christie’s career previous to “Game of Thrones” was mainly in theatre. She said of the attention, “Now instead of people coming up to me and asking how tall am I, now they come up and ask if I’m an actress and I’ve been waiting my whole life for that, so actually it’s improved, and people are so nice. It’s a glorious thing.”
Christie drew on her own experiences of being bullied to play the role of Brienne. Creator George RR Martin said she landed the role practically without debate after her awesome audition.
Christie said, “Because the character is very masculine, I changed what I wore. Because I was trained as a dancer, which helps feminize you if you’re extremely tall, I deliberately started wearing very unisexual clothing.”
Christie said after playing Brienne of Tarth, “I know how to look after myself in a fight now.” She said in an interview that after getting her haircut for the role, she cried for two hours. “It was very hard having that haircut, and I’d really like to sit here next to you and talk about that in intimate detail, so you can enjoy my vibrating vulnerability.” She added, “It’s very hard as a tall woman to remove your deliberately pronounced feminine aspects and look more masculine. But in service to a part I do absolutely love and I do believe is doing something to change notions of femininity, then it’s actually a pleasure.”
Gwendoline Christie lives in London, England.
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