Gwendoline Christie

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Gwendoline Christie
Gwendoline Christie 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Born1979/1980 (age 34–35)[1]
Worthing, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Years active2007–present
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
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Gwendoline Christie
Gwendoline Christie 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Born1979/1980 (age 34–35)[1]
Worthing, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Years active2007–present
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

Gwendoline Christie is a British actress. She is best known for portraying the warrior Brienne of Tarth in the HBO fantasy-drama series Game of Thrones and Lexi in the science fantasy series Wizards vs Aliens. In film, Christie started with minor roles in the Terry Gilliam films The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Zero Theorem, and is set to appear as Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and Part 2, and in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.

Early life[edit]

Christie was born in Worthing, West Sussex,[2] and grew up in a hamlet near the South Downs.[3] 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.[4] Christie graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005.[3]


Christie performing with Patrick Wolf at the London Palladium in 2009

Christie's mentor since drama school has been actor and author Simon Callow.[3] Her theatrical career includes a performance as the Queen in Shakespeare's Cymbeline[5] and "standing out" as Lucifer in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (2010).[6] On screen, Christie played supporting roles in Terry Gilliam's 2009 and 2013 films The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Zero Theorem, the BBC TV production The Seven Ages of Britain, and the 2012 television series Wizards vs Aliens, among others.

Christie's striking height, 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m),[2] attracted the attention of photographer Polly Borland, who made Christie the subject of a noted series of photographs, entitled Bunny, between 2002 and 2008.[7] According to Christie, she felt then that the photographs—in which she appears mostly nude—could help her come to terms with her body, and challenge notions of femininity. However, she later said that she was shocked in retrospect that she had agreed to them.[2]

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.[8] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[3] 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.[9] After being cast in the role, she prepared for it by taking horsemanship, sword-fighting, and stagefighting lessons.[3]

Her debut in the second season's third episode on 15 April 2012[10] 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.[11][12] For her role as Brienne, Christie was nominated for the 2013 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In April 2014 Christie was cast in the role of Commander Lyme for the final two films in the The Hunger Games series. Actress Lily Rabe had signed on for the part previously, but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts.[13]

Christie joined the cast of Star Wars Episode VII in June 2014.[14]



2007The Time Surgeon (short)The Tape
2009The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusClassy Shopper 2Cameo
2013The Zero TheoremStreet CommercialCameo
2014The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1Commander LymePost-production
2015The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2Post-production
2015Star Wars Episode VIITBAFilming


2010The Seven Ages of BritainThe Operator7 episodes
2012–presentGame of ThronesBrienne of Tarth21 episodes
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2012–presentWizards vs AliensLexi26 episodes


2007CymbelineQueenBarbican Theatre
2010Dr. FaustusLuciferRoyal Exchange, Manchester


  1. ^ Styles, Ruth (12 April 2013). "Fashion's unlikeliest couple: Designer Giles Deacon said to be dating fearsome Game of Thrones star, Gwendoline Christie". DailyMail. Retrieved 2 June 2014. "Christie, 33, plays warrior Brienne of Tarth" 
  2. ^ a b c McQuoid, Debbie (27 March 2013). "Gwendoline Christie: Natural Born Warrior". Stylist. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Game of Thrones: Gwendoline Christie Interview". SFX. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Lash, Jolie (17 April 2012). "'Game of Thrones' – Gwendoline Christie Talks Digging Deep To Play Brienne". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Best, Jason (30 May 2007). "Cymbeline". The Stage. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Walker, Lynne (16 September 2010). "Doctor Faustus, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Walker, Esther (29 June 2008). "How We Met: Gwendoline Christie & Polly Borland". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (8 July 2011). "'Game of Thrones' casts fan favorite Brienne". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Martin, George R.R. (7 July 2011). "The Maid of Tarth". Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (12 April 2012). "'Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie: 'I'm similar to Brienne'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Shen Rastogi, Nina (16 April 2012). "Game of Thrones Recap: How Do You Sleep?". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Shen Rastogi, Nina (8 April 2012). "TV's best show about women". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' Adds 'Game of Thrones' Actress Gwendoline Christie". The Hollywood Reporter. 4 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Feeney, Nolan (June 2, 2014). "Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie Join New Star Wars Film Cast". Time. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 

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