Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline Christie

Born in
Sussex, England, UK
6' 3

Gwendoline Christie's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Game of Thrones TV Show
Game of Thrones
Wizards vs Aliens (UK) TV Show
Wizards vs Aliens (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Christie grew up in a hamlet near the South Downs in southern England. She trained as a semi-professional gymnast as a child, but after a spine injury forced her to abandon that career, she took up acting. She graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005 and lives in London. In an interview with the Radio Times, she stated that she's "lost track" of her age.

Her striking height, makes her feel "pretty genderless" at times, Christie said in 2013. Intrigued by her stature, 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), photographer Polly Borland made Christie the subject of a noted series of photographs, Bunny, between 2002 and 2008. According to Christie, she felt then that the photographs, in which she appears mostly naked, could help her come to terms with her body, and challenge notions of femininity. But in retrospect, she said, she was shocked that she had agreed to them.

In July 2011, Christie was cast as the warrior Brienne of Tarth in the second season of HBO's fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. Her character, an unusually tall, muscular and plain-looking woman, is a favourite among many readers of the novels, and Christie had been proposed for the role on fan websites long before auditions took place.

Christie said that she could draw on her own experiences of having been bullied for her height and androgynous looks to play the part of Brienne, a role that she was passionate to obtain after reading the A Song of Ice and Fire novels which the show adapts. To prepare even for the auditions, she started wearing unisex clothing to help her get into her character's more masculine mindset, and took up an intensive training regime, gaining over a stone (6.4 kg, 14 lb) of muscle mass. According to series co-writer and -producer George R.R. Martin, she obtained the role practically without debate after an arresting audition at which she appeared already made up and costumed as Brienne. After being cast in the role, she prepared for it by taking horsemanship, sword-fighting and stagefighting lessons.

Her debut in the second season's third episode on April 15, 2012 was well received by critics. Nina Shen Rastogi praised her "eloquent and economical physical performance", noting that her walk, stance and mien effectively conveyed Brienne's single-minded devotion to her self-given quest to become a knight and to her king Renly.

She played Captain Phasma in the 2015 movie Stars Wars VII The Force Awakens. Her female voice produced a jarring contrast to the usual gruff storm trooper dialogue. She never removed her helmet, so audiences never saw her face.


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