The actress and fashion favorite is just as strong as her warrior character in Game of Thrones, finds HERMIONE EYREPhotographs by EMMA TEMPEST
Styling by CHARLOTTE BLAZEBY
Gwendoline Christie arrives at the St Pancras Hotel in London looking magnificent in a Giles Deacon cape, exclaiming, “And WHY haven’t we met before?” in a swooping, resonant voice. “WHO has been keeping us apart?” Christie often speaks in CAPITALS, her expressive voice changing registers and layering emphasis as she delivers her conversational lines. “IT WAS DIVINE” (her verdict on Anna Nicole, the opera); “I’m BATS about Miu Miu and Prada.” She also uses my name frequently, in the teasing manner of a natural flirt. She is wittier and a thousand times more feminine than her most famous role (to date), the stern-faced, bone-crunching warrior Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s epic Game of Thrones, a television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series.
PROFESSION: Actress/enemy slayer
MY STYLE IS: Mythic Space Horse with chocolate-box tendencies.
GO-TO LABELS: Gile Deacon, Miu Miu, Prada, Roksanda Illincic, Richard Nicoll and Louise Gray – being in her studio is endlessly fun.
FAIL-SAFE PIECES: For day, Acne Studios jeans. For evening, a black crepe Miu Miu dress – it’s a dear old faithful – and a cashmere cape by Giles that transforms any outfit.
FAVORITE ACCESSORIES: My Roger Vivier pumps are timeless.
So impactful is her performance that Barack Obama is reported to have asked the show’s producers after her character’s well-being, and Mike Tyson once accosted her on the red carpet for a joint selfie (with the stipulation that she put him in a headlock).
In 2015, Christie’s fortunes look set to rise further with roles in blockbusters The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two and Star Wars VII. Her coterie of influential friends insist this is simply nature taking its course: the actor Simon Callow, her friend and mentor after she left London’s Drama Centre, said he could “smell success” coming her way.
“I was incredibly lucky to leave drama school and work with [director] Declan Donnellan at the Royal Shakespeare Company for my first job,” says Christie. “I never had to go too long without being employed.” Still, for eight years, she walked Callow’s dogs to earn extra money. “I miss them so much,” she says. “They were the best friends I ever had! Two boxers called Biff and Roxy; two glorious beings that I fell in love with.” She was busy taking Biff and Roxy for four-hour romps across north London’s parks and canals when it came to her attention that fans of Game of Thrones were lobbying online for her to play Brienne in the TV adaptation of the novels.
“There was this wonderfully encouraging wave of support,” says Christie. “I read the books and I really, really wanted to play the part. I started kundalini yoga, kickboxing and running, and completely changed my diet. I felt I wanted to undergo what was necessary for the part.” This was all before her first audition. “I love a challenge,” she shrugs. “And I love defying limitation, gender stereotypes and people’s expectations of me as an actress.”
“I love DEFYING limitation, gender STEREOTYPES and people’s expectations of me as an ACTRESS”
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By Johanna Schneller
November 12, 2014 | 12:00am
She had to be willing to shave her head. That was a deal-breaker.
Natalie Dormer had just received the call every actor wants — she was a contender for the final “Hunger Games” films, “Mockingjay” Parts 1 and 2, for a key role: Cressida, a documentary filmmaker who turns Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) into an icon of the revolution.
In the novel, Cressida’s head is not only shaved, it’s also tattooed with an elaborate vine. Would Dormer, who’s known for playing bewitching characters — Margaery Tyrell on “Game of Thrones,” Moriarty on “Elementary” — sacrifice her lovely mane?
Dormer, 32, did what she always does: She convened her friends. “We went round the dinner table, and the opinion was unanimous,” she says by phone from Los Angeles. “You’d have to be an idiot to say no to ‘Hunger Games.’ And hair grows back.”
Ultimately, director Francis Lawrence decided Cressida would look edgier if she shaved only one side of her head.
For the next nine months, as the two films shot back to back, Dormer buzzed half her skull every day, and rocked some funky red carpet experiments by night. (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” opens Nov. 21.)
“It was liberating, actually,” Dormer says now. “It’s interesting how much we women perceive that our sense of attractiveness or physical allure is to do with our hair.” She laughs.
“Though it was chilly — there were too many polar vortexes this past winter for my liking. And it does feel peculiar when you lie on one side, then roll over.”
BY LENNARD GUI
Harington is the star of Jimmy Choo Man and the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign.
He’s the star of Jimmy Choo’s new fashion and fragrance campaign, but what does the British actor know about the future of Jon Snow?
“Get it out of the way!”
Kit Harington seems to be in no mood to talk about his hair. God knows how many times he’s had to do it in the last 24 hours. Maybe he’s lost his sense of humour over it.
The day before our meeting, Harington spent all evening being drilled by French and British reporters about his role as the face of Jimmy Choo Man fragrance, his part as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones, and possibly his film foray in Pompeii (although journalists had been cautioned to steer clear of that volcanic topic).
And then a fire broke out – literally, a kitchen in the hotel was on fire – forcing everyone out into the streets, while Harington was rushed to a more secure part of the building, along with a French fashion writer who spent an hour waiting with him as they chatted about … stuff.
“He didn’t say very much,” she reported back later. “He seemed distracted and a bit distressed.” Visions of Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercial accident flashed before my eyes. You know – “Tito, my hair!”
So, here we are on a Tuesday afternoon, at the Jimmy Choo office in central London, where they’ve somehow managed to get Harington in for one hour for a round of interviews with the foreign press who are still here for Fashion Week. Ten minutes is not a lot of time to get into a person’s head, let alone a celebrity’s mind.
But Harington is clear: Ask the bloody question about the hair, and let’s move on.
It’s meant to be cheeky: when you do cut your hair, will you: A) film it? B) give it to charity C) have a party?
He laughs. He’s not un-amused.
“I’ll probably do it for a role, whenever the role is after Thrones. I’ll probably film it, but I’ll keep it to myself. It would freak me out selling it off. I‘ll do hopefully lots of things for charity, but selling my hair is not going to be one of them.”
It’s grim up north: Maybe Jon Snow knows something about Game Of Thrones we don’t.
The face of Jimmy Choo Man
PUBLIC APPEARANCES (CAST AND CREW) > 2014 PUBLIC APPEARANCES > APR 4: SEASON 4 PREMIERE – HAMBURG, GERMANY
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CANDIDS & SNAPSHOTS > 2014 CANDIDS > NOV 5: FILMING IN PARIS – RICHARD MADDEN
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INDIVIDUAL CAST MEMBERS – PHOTOSHOOTS, MAGAZINES, ETC > GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE > 2014 HARPER’S BAZAAR PHOTOS
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