Gwendoline Christie has been cast in pretty much every epic series—The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and, now, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But even she gets blindsided by twists she never saw coming—including that her Star Wars character, Captain Phasma—the first female villain of the franchise—was originally conceived as a man.
"Really?" Christie said (her mouth dropping open according to Vulture). "No. No! It's so interesting, because I'm really uncovering more about this film from people like you than I knew before! Please just tell me everything he said!"
The writer, Kyle Buchanan, then went into the story of how co-writer Lawrence Kasdan had just revealed to him that the script—in shambles—had come to him after the original writer was released from the project, and that every casting decision was being made as the film was being written in its to-hit-screen form.
"Everything was happening simultaneously," Kasdan told Buchanan. "When the idea came up to make Phasma female, it was instantaneous: Everyone just said, 'Yes. That's great.'"
As for Christie, she is excited that they were able to see the character as female, not only for her casting sake, but for future films.
"I could not believe that a Star Wars film was doing something as progressive as this, I really couldn't. And I don't know if you agree with me, but I really do feel like an evolution of sorts is occurring. Entertainment projects like Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, andStar Wars have a more diverse range of characters—male and female, but particularly female—and what audiences seem to be saying is, 'We like this and this is what we want to see. We want to see something more unconventional than all the things we've seen before.'"
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Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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