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For Gwendoline Christie, Playing Captain Phasma Was An ‘Unbelievable Joy’

star wars

Gwendoline Christie only logged a few minutes of screen time in The Force Awakens, but learning that she would play Captain Phasma brought “unbelievable joy” to the British actress.

“For a long time, I had campaigned to be in the franchise to anyone who would listen,” she said in a recent interview. “It was an ambition motivated by one of my earliest memories, of when, aged six, I was placed in front of the flamboyant space opera. I marveled at this fantasy world in a way I couldn’t yet articulate, with its misfits and droids and a woman who fought the enemy with intelligence, who was funny and refused to be shackled—the inimitable Princess Leia.”

However, rather than simply continue in the tradition of Leia, Christie saw Captain Phasma as an opportunity to play a different kind of female character in the Star Wars universe.

“Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, had asked me if I’d ever Googled ‘female superheroes’ and proceeded to show me the results: a plethora of scantily clad, cartoon-like women and not a whole lot else,” she explained. “When I was taken to the top-secret wardrobe department to see my Captain Phasma costume—a shiny, full-body suit of armour—I was truly electrified.”

Captain Phasma returns to theatres on December 15 in The Last Jedi. To see the character in action, check out the video below.