‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Actress Reveals New Captain Phasma Details

By September 21, 2015

This year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens promises to not only rejuvenate the Star Wars franchise into entirely new fandom heights, but also introduce some interesting new characters and aspects of the SW universe for fans onscreen. Whether it be Adam Driver’s unconventional, Sith-obsessed Kylo Ren, or his mysterious boss, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) – it looks like J.J. Abrams and co. are going to be able to introduce some badass villains into this franchise without recycling from the previous installments.

However, one of the more unique characters set to be introduced in The Force Awakens is Captain Phasma. The chrome stormtrooper that captured all of our hearts during that second trailer looks like she’ll be putting any of the previous stormtroopers to shame, and might even be giving Rex and his crew from The Clone Wars a run for their money when it comes to the most memorable as well.

While speaking recently with Variety, actress Gwendoline Christie spoke about what it was like playing Phasma in the film, and what her process for getting into the character was, from all the way back to the pre-production preparations made between herself and director J.J. Abrams. In regards to how the costume’s chrome, metal armor affected her performance, Christie revealed the following:

“It was very important to J.J. that I was there acting a part,” she noted. “I found it to be a really interesting acting challenge, not just because of what I felt this character was representing — and it was just what I felt, and we talked about it a little bit, but it was never like a manifesto, ‘this is what it must be’ — and it was exciting to me to have that weight of responsibility taken away, of having to be a certain way as a woman, to have to be mindful in a way that isn’t always useful. To have that stripped away was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things. I had to focus on what my body was communicating and what exactly my voice is communicating.

It becomes about the way in which you hold your hand, the way in which you walk, where your weight lies and what you want that to mean, and I wanted to give the character identity. I thought it was interesting to make something about the character identifiably female in a non-superficial way, and I hope that comes across.”

What she means here is that the armor, and the fact that it could be worn by both a male or a female, allowed her freedom to completely mold her performance as the character. Instead of wearing armor made only for a female character, the armor looks like any of the other stormtroopers (only chrome) and meant that she could add the femininity to the character’s posture and physicality instead of the armor doing the identifying for her.

While some people have complained about the armor’s look already (saw that coming from a mile away Internet), Christie seemed to welcome not only its look, but also the freedom it’s mystery allowed her to bring to the role:

“I don’t think many female actors get the opportunity to play a part where they’re not having to think about the way their face looks, but I found exactly the same thing with Brienne of Tarth, and that was very liberating. It was great as an actor to work on your skills — that it isn’t about holding your head so you look beautiful. It’s about what you’re transmitting, and to be in service of an idea greater than yourself, whether it’s the character’s overriding objective or, beyond that, hopefully something more sociopolitical. We have seen an image of [Phasma] and again, it’s an unconventional kind of woman exhibiting a kind of strength, but in a very different way to my other two characters.”

Personally, I think that Christie is going to crush this role. She’s already proven her acting ability and pure physicality onscreen through her breakout role on Game of Thrones, and with her, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – something tells me audiences are going to get to see some incredibly unique and different cinematic villains in The Force Awakens. 

We know next-to-nothing about Phasma’s character or role in the movie’s story too, but judging by Christie’s enthusiasm for the character and the eye-catching chrome armor as well, it looks like she’ll be an integral part to not only The Force Awakens, but also the entire trilogy as well possibly. I don’ think we’re going to see her bonking her head on a blast door anytime soon.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is set to hit theatres on December 18th.

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable