Maisie Williams is an English actress most famous for her role as Arya Stark, one of the principal characters in the HBO produced medieval fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’. Maisie successfully auditioned for the role which would be her first acting job, as a kid. After managing to survive seven seasons in a show which is notorious for killing off characters that are fan-favorites, Maisie is set to appear in the highly anticipated final season of the show, which is arguably one of the most watched and followed television series of all time. Maisie whose character Arya is a rough-and-tumble, knife and sword fighting tomboyish princess, has a huge fan following all over the globe, making her one of the most rooted-for characters in the series. As her character has a lot of fighting scenes, she dances and also trains hard to keep fit in order to cope with her demanding role. Following her success in ‘Game of Thrones’, Maisie has appeared in numerous other film and television roles since then.
Childhood & Early Life
Maisie Williams was born on 15 April 1997 in Bristol, United Kingdom. Her parents divorced when she was a little kid. She was brought up by her single mother, Hillary Frances, (originally Hillary Pitt), a former university course administrator, who is now both her manager and personal assistant. Her mother is also a survivor of breast cancer.
Maisie is the youngest of four children. She has an older sister named Beth and two brothers James and Ted.
She went to Clutton Primary School and Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton. She later attended Bath Dance College to study Performing Arts.
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The role of Arya Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’ was Maisie’s first role in any professional capacity. She began playing this character back in 2011 and was chosen from over 300 actresses across the United Kingdom. Her performance in the first season drew praise from both critics and fans.
She continued her stellar performances into the second season of the show as well. This led to HBO submitting her for consideration in the ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress’ category for the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards. However, she did not receive the nomination.
In 2012, she portrayed Loren Caleigh in the BBC production ‘The Secret of Crickley Hall’ and also appeared in a ‘Funny or Die’ skit titled ‘The Olympic Ticket Scalper’.
Maisie has also appeared in independent films such as ‘Heatstroke’ (2012) and ‘Gold’ (2013) as well as a couple of short films ‘Corvidae’ (2013) and ‘Up on the Roof’ (2013).
She was also slated to play Lorna Thompson in the sci-fi movie ‘We Are Monsters’. The film which was set for a 2014 release was however held back because of funding issues.
In February 2015, she played the lead role in the music video for ‘Oceans’ by British band ‘Seafret’.
On 30 March 2015, it was announced by the BBC that it had roped Maisie in to be a guest star in two episodes of their hit sci-fi series ‘Doctor Who’ entitled ‘The Girl Who Died’ and ‘The Woman Who Lived’. She reprised her character in the first episode titled ‘Face the Raven’ as well as the third episode ‘Hell Bent’ of the three-part series finale that season.
Maisie is set to play the character of ‘Wolfsbane’ in a spinoff of the ‘X-Men’ franchise titled ‘New Mutants’, said to be released in 2019.
Awards & Achievements
In 2012, she won the Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress and Best Young Actor for 'Game of Thrones'
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In 2013, she won the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actress
In 2014, she won the EWwy Award in the category - 'Best Supporting Actress, Drama' for 'Game of Thrones'
In January 2015, she was awarded a ‘Shooting Stars Award’ at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, for appearing in the docu-drama ‘Cyberbully’. In the same year, she won a couple of awards for 'Game of Thrones'. These include: Empire Hero Award and Saturn Award in the category - Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Television Series.
In 2016, for her performance in the film 'The Falling', she won the London Film Critics' Circle Award and Evening Standard British Film Award.
Personal Life & Legacy
Although she is generally secretive about her personal life, Maisie revealed on Instagram that she is dating Ollie Jackson. The pair met in school and have been dating since 2015.
Maisie’s parents named her after one of the characters in the comic strip ‘The Perishers’.
She almost missed her audition for ‘Game of Thrones’ as she was desperate to go on a school field trip to a local pig farm on the same day as the audition.
Although Maisie is right-handed in real life, she plays her character Arya as left-handed because she wanted to portray her role as close to the George R.R Martin's novels as possible.
She describes her first love as dancing and is proficient in several styles such as tap, ballet, pointe, musical theatre, street and freestyle.