Maisie Williams reveals Game of Thrones new season “great twist” about Jon Snow’s death
18-year-old Maisie Williams is an English actress, best known for her role as Arya Stark in the popular TV series Game of Thrones. The award-winning young talent has also guest starred on Doctor Who and appeared in several independent films throughout her career.
Nominated for her role as troubled girl, Lydia Lamont in Carol Morley’s film The Falling, Maisie Williams chatted to us about the film, answered burning Game of Thrones questions – hinting at a “great twist” – discussed exciting future project. She may even have let out a little secret!
So how does it feel to be nominated?
I’m so so grateful, I’m so pleased to be here. Just to come to these shows is incredible, but to actually be nominated is so special. So yeah, I’m buzzing!
Can you tell us a little bit about the film and what it was like being in it?
The Falling was so much fun to do. My character Lydia was a character I don’t usually get cast and I never usually get seen playing that sort of character. But I had great fun and it’s a total bonus that other people enjoy it too!
You’ve played a lot of interesting characters in TV shows and films. How do you prepare yourself to get into that character? Do you bring in aspects of yourself?
I guess it really depends. If there are scenes where I can relate, then I try to bring in aspects of myself. But if there’s a scene where I cannot relate then I try to convince myself that it’s happening to me.
Films and TV shows: which do you prefer? What’s the difference?
They’re both great for very different reasons. They’re also varied – a studio film is totally different to an independent. Directors very differently on different things. On Game of Thrones, we shoot all the scenes all the time with all the directors. On Doctor Who we did blocks. So everything is different, no matter whether it’s television or film.
Any upcoming films and any people you want to work with in particular?
There’s someone I’ll possibly be working with this year called Chris Foggin. He’s a phenomenal director. I’ve been wanting to work with him for so long and now I’m actually going to get to so I’m excited for that!
What was it like being cast in a film like The Falling?
I was just so thrilled when I was chosen to play Lydia in The Falling. It was a film that I wanted to be part of, a director and writer that I wanted to work with, and a whole group of girls that I was so impressed with. Now that it’s gone on to do so well and be received so well, that’s all just a bonus really! I don’t pick roles for the outcome, I pick them for the journey or the making of the film, and how fun that’s going to be. I had a great time and all this is just a bonus, so I’m so grateful.
Talking about coming of age, the season of Game of Thrones was a huge one for your character. Can you tell us a bit about that journey?
Last year, it was all building up to that. A lot of people watching that were like “what is going on?”,”‘why is Arya still sweeping floors?” I was kind of like that too when I was reading the scripts, like why is Arya still sweeping floors? But then it all builds up to the betrayal and the kill, ultimately, which was so much fun to do. I love playing characters like Lydia but Arya, she’s a cool kid.
What are you most looking forward to about continuing that journey now with season 6?
I love shooting this series and I think people are really going to enjoy it. Everything is now sort of wrapping up and sorting its place for the finale. I love that all the pieces are coming together. There’s going to be some real cinematic shots that I read in scripts and I can’t wait to watch. People should be really excited!
As a member of the Stark clan, how sad was what happened to Kit [Harington] in the last season?
It was awful, it was really awful. Everyone was so sad about it, and I feel so mean because I speak to people and they’re like “Jon Snow, is he back?” It’s really heart breaking because people are like “yeah, but he’s coming back though”. It’s a great twist. I can’t say that he’s going to be alive…
Talking about death threats and people having a strong reaction, your appearance on Doctor Who provoked quite a strong reaction. How did you feel about all of that?
I didn’t really think about it until it came out and I was like “I just killed a really loved character…”; she didn’t actually kill her, it was just by default that it was her fault. But I had great fun shooting and there’s no hard feelings, me and Jenna [Coleman] still get on very well. We’ll always be friends, we can forget this and move on.
What was it like working with Peter Capaldi, a fantastic actor?
Such a fantastic actor. I had so much fun and he was so great. He was just such a trooper – he’s in like every single scene, always. He had no qualms about lines or about anything, he was always totally on the ball. So when I came in, not knowing what was going on, he was really really great at making sure I was comfortable and happy.
Now looking at the future, what have you got planned for 2016?
2016 – there’s a couple really really special projects that I’m really excited for. Independent projects, which are my absolute favourite things to do. I’m really looking forward to this year, I have a really good feeling about it!
Finally, do you have a message for the fans who love the show and are looking forward to seeing season 6, 7, maybe even 8?
Thank you so much for giving me the best job in the world. Enjoy the new series – if you don’t, then I’m really sorry but I thought it was a really good one!
Photo and video: Filippo L’Astorina