Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Gwendoline Christie incredibly proud to play 'progressive' first female villain

Captain Phasma wears armour that is not sculpted to the female form and connects with audiences 'as a human being' 

Jess Denham
Monday 02 November 2015 10:13
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Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Gwendoline Christie has revealed how proud she is to be playing a “progressive female character” in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The British actress, also known for Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, admires how villain Captain Phasma’s female gender is of no consequence in the movie and does not need to show skin to appeal as a woman.

“We know very little about her at this stage but what I think people are drawn to is that this is a very progressive female character,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

“We see Captain Phasma and we see the costume from head to toe and we know that it is a woman. But we are used to, in our media, connecting to female characters via the way they look, from the way they are made flesh.”

It remains unknown whether audiences will even see Christie’s face as Captain Phasma, the franchise’s first female baddie, wears silver armour and a hefty helmet.

Furthermore, her armour is not sculpted to her body, giving her an androgynous shape and making a change from female characters’ often skimpy dress (Wonder Woman, we're looking at you).

Instead of relying on the physical to make an impact, Captain Phasma expresses herself through her actions in a similar way to other masked villains like Darth Vader.

“We are actually connecting to a female character as a human being,” Christie said. “It wasn’t just about what I was expressing above the neck, it was also as focused on what I was expressing below the neck.

“It was an interesting acting experience as well as a fangirl’s dream.”

New Star Wars film trailer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in UK cinemas on 17 December.

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