Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has said she never expected women who looked like her to be represented.
The actress, who played the powerful knight Brienne, believed the mould of a mainstream female star would never be broken.
Christie said that people who looked like her were absent on screen, and diversity was not taken seriously.
The actress spoke to GQ Style about the life-changing experience of working on Game Of Thrones, and how her starring role made her a mascot for outsiders.
She said: “So many women come up to me and talk about what it means to feel represented outside of the constraints of conventional society.
“In 2011, I didn’t think I would ever see women that looked like me in mainstream entertainment.
“It felt like there was one mould that wouldn’t be broken and diversity was not a part of the conversation. So the fact that Brienne existed? Wow.”
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THANK YOU. There is no other way to start this. @gameofthrones has changed my life beyond anything I could have comprehended. Playing Brienne of Tarth has redefined the way I look at the world, women and particularly myself. I have never felt so exposed by a character, but happy knowing that those feelings of discomfort were about shaking off convention and embracing strength and authenticity. This photograph was taken on my very last day saying goodbye to my friend Ciaran, he worked on the show from the beginning as an AD and was the first person I met on ‘Game of Thrones’ - he treated me with respect, kindness and great humour every single day. I shall miss seeing his smiling face in the misty dawn mornings, warmly welcoming me to set. I shall miss everyone that gave so much of themselves helping to create ‘Game of Thrones’; it was a privilege to work with such talented creatives, cast and crew. I am just so very grateful for this phenomenal opportunity and the incredible support that you’ve all given me, all your kind words and cheer - it truly means a great deal to have been part of something so many of us have loved. My heart aches with how much I will miss Ser Brienne of Tarth. But what she has inspired I will take with me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ⚔️🖤
The star said that playing Brienne changed her life, and offered her a deeper insight into how people work, and making her hopeful.
She said: “What occurred was a shift; something spoke to me and allowed me an insight into humanity.
“Thrones, and Brienne, together they gave me a lot of hope, and a lot of experience.”
The full interview can be read in the Autumn/Winter issue of GQ Style.