You may best know her as Arya Stark, but IRL Games of Thrones actress Maisie Williams is not quite like the character she portrays on screen.
In a new interview with The Irish Times, Williams opens up not only about growing up under the spotlight—she’s 20 years old and joined the GoT cast at 12—but the pressure that’s placed on women in Hollywood. Specifically, she says often times success is up to how beautiful others think you are.
“It’s only now I’m starting to realize the characters that are available to me because of the way I look and the characters that aren’t available to me,” she said. “It’s a very shallow industry. And I don’t look like someone who is cast in roles that are, well, sexualized.”
She continued to explain that while she certainly admires the best of the best, she realizes looks are sadly a part of the business. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m completely in awe of Hollywood’s leading ladies. I love looking at those totally jaw-droppingly beautiful women. But I think it’s sad that you only get to see one type of beautiful on screen,” she added.
The star added that she loves portraying Arya because of her strength, and the show has taught her that she’s a feminist. “I didn’t even know what the word feminist meant until I became actress,” she said, explaining that she also grew up sheltered. And she didn’t fully comprehend racial differences when she was young, which helped her see everyone in an equal light, she said.
Her feminist favorite? “Growing up, I loved Chicken Run, because it’s driven by Ginger, who is such a fantastic character,” she said. “So to be a part of that same world and to be playing another woman who is popular for her talents and not for her looks, and whose main story arc has nothing to do with the interest of boys, is very cool.”
Something tells us Maisie’s going to go very far.