Gwendoline Christie Biography

(Best Known for Her Iconic Role of ‘Brienne of Tarth’ in the series ‘Game of Thrones’)

Birthday: October 28, 1978 (Scorpio)

Born In: Worthing, United Kingdom

English actor Gwendoline Christie is best known to global audiences for her iconic role of Brienne of Tarth in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. The Primetime Emmy-nominated actor has also played the first leading female villain of the Star Wars franchise, Captain Phasma, in both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While she was initially trained in gymnastics, she switched to films after sustaining a spine injury. Her eye-catching height of 6’3” made it difficult for her to get leading female roles in films, but she later proved her mettle on stage, on TV, and in films. A well-known model, too, she had walked for many major designers and brands, such as Miu Miu and Vivienne Westwood. She has performed in several plays, including productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is also known for her gripping performance as Principal Larissa Weems in the record-breaking Netflix series Wednesday.

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Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In October

Age: 45 Years, 45 Year Old Females

Partner: Giles Deacon (2013–)

Born Country: England

Quotes By Gwendoline Christie Actresses

Height: 6'3" (190 cm)

Notable Alumni: Drama Centre London

More Facts

education: Drama Centre London

Childhood, Early Life & Education

Gwendoline Christie was born on October 28, 1978, in Worthing, West Sussex, England. She has two half-brothers. While her father worked in sales and marketing, her mother was a homemaker.

While growing up in the Small Dole village of England’s South Downs, she was trained in gymnastics, with a focus on rhythmic gymnastics. However, a spinal injury at age 11 ended her gymnastics dreams and she focused on acting instead.

Christie, who is now 6'3" tall, reached her full adult height by age 14. Although doctors suggested growth inhibitors for her unusual height, she rejected them.

She initially attended Henfield Primary School and then joined Warden Park Secondary School. She later claimed her height made it difficult for her to fit in.

By 2002, she had begun working in a Brighton-based boutique. In 2005, Christie graduated from the Kings Cross-based acting school Drama Centre London.

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Career

It is believed Gwendoline Christie’s unusual height prevented her from getting female lead roles in films. However, her height inspired Australian photographer Polly Borland to click her for a series of photographs, titled Bunny, from 2002 to 2008.

Christie’s debut on-screen project was the 2007 short film The Time Surgeon. Her first TV credit was as the Operator on the BBC program The Seven Ages of Britain. One of her first stage roles was that of Mrs. Hubble in the 2005 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Great Expectations.

She also played the Queen in Shakespeare's Cymbeline in 2007. She made her mainstream feature film debut with a supporting role in the 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The same year, she was seen in the Theatre Royal Haymarket production of Breakfast at Tiffany's, playing Mag Wildwood. In 2010, she appeared in the play Doctor Faustus, playing Lucifer.

In July 2011, Gwendoline Christie was cast as Brienne of Tarth, a warrior, in the second season of HBO's iconic fantasy series Game of Thrones (2012). This was the role that made her a household name.

For the role of Brienne, Christie trained hard to get the right physical look, chopped off her long hair, and read all available novels on her to understand her character. Christie also took sword-fighting and horse-riding lessons and attended sessions in kickboxing, running, and kundalini yoga.

When she found out that HBO had not suggested her name for a Primetime Emmy Award nomination (for Brienne in Game of Thrones), she did it herself and obtained a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category. Her role also got her nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television (2013 and 2019), the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2019), and the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (along with the rest of the cast, in 2013-2015, 2017, and 2019). She received an Empire Hero Award (with the cast) for the same series, in 2015.

From 2012 to 2013, she was seen as Lexi in the sci-fi series Wizards vs Aliens. In 2015, Christie appeared in sci-fi film Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, as the stormtroopers’ leader Captain Phasma. She thus scripted history as the first leading female villain of the Star Wars franchise. The role was originally meant to be male but was changed into female after Christie fit the part. The same year, she also appeared in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

After Christie attended the red carpet for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, dressed in a deconstructed Oscar de la Renta gown by Peter Copping, she also bagged a lot of modeling projects and established herself as a renowned model. She has walked for top designers and brands such as Miu Miu and Vivienne Westwood and has walked the red carpet in clothes designed by Iris van Herpen and Rick Owens.

In 2017, Gwendoline Christie was seen with Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Moss in season 2 of the Jane Campion-directed Sundance show Top of the Lake: China Girl, which received rave reviews. The same year, Christie returned as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi.

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In 2018, Christie appeared in the movies The Women of Marwen and In Fabric, with the latter premiering at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. In the summer of 2019, she appeared as Titania in a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, staged at London’s Bridge Theatre.

She was also seen in Gabriela Cowperthwaite's The Friend, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. In January 2020, Christie was seen in the movie adaptation of Charles Dickens's The Personal History of David Copperfield.

Christie also appeared as Lucifer in the hit Netflix series The Sandman (2022), based on Neil Gaiman's DC Comics series. She was then seen in Peter Strickland's Flux Gourmet (2022).

However, her most iconic role from her latest works has been that of Principal Larissa Weems in the Tim Burton’s record-breaking Netflix series Wednesday (2022), alongside Jenna Ortega. Christie’s character in the series is the headmistress of Nevermore Academy, the school of “outcasts” that Wednesday attends.

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Personal Life

Gwendoline Christie once revealed that she was often bullied as a child because of her unusual height. At 6’3” (190 cm), she is one of those rare female actors, in the league of Sigourney Weaver and Uma Thurman, who have been successful despite being over 6 feet tall.

In early 2013, she reportedly began a relationship with British fashion designer Giles Deacon, who owns the Giles Deacon group. Apart from acting in productions of the Star Wars franchise and Game of Thrones, she has also read all the recently released books of G.R.R. Martin’s Songs of Ice and Fire series that inspired Game of Thrones. She has also been a life-long Star Wars fan.

A huge fan of Madonna, too, Christie was invited by Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary to attend the last leg of the singer’s 2016 Rebel Heart Tour in Sydney, when Christie was herself filming in Australia. Christie attended the gig and was also invited to perform on stage, beside her idol.

Gwendoline Christie Movies

1. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy)

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy)

3. Our Friend (2021)

  (Drama)

4. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

  (Mystery, Fantasy, Adventure)

5. The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020)

  (Comedy, Drama)

6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)

  (Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller)

7. In Fabric (2018)

  (Horror)

8. The Zero Theorem (2013)

  (Fantasy, Comedy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Drama)

9. The Women of Marwen (2018)

  (Drama, Biography)

10. The Darkest Minds (2018)

  (Thriller, Sci-Fi)

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