Maisie Williams debuted as Arya Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones at the age of 14. Looking back on that time of her life and how going through puberty on set impacted her self-esteem, the actress in a new interview with GQ UK shared that her personal coming of age journey was fairly different than her character’s, which played a part in how the British star related to her body.
“I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming,” she acknowledged. “And then I also resented my body, because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated,” referencing Stark’s tomboyish appearance.
Williams also shared about resenting Arya, which was described as a “coming-of-age moment.”
“I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming,” Williams said. “And then I also resented my body, because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated.”
Maisie Williams described the moment she was handed a bra on Game of Thrones set as somewhat of a turning point in her career.
She had previously admitted on 60 Minutes that she wore a strap to “reverse” the appearance of “puberty” while Arya was pretending to be a boy. “And then it got to the point where the strap was no longer working. So I was about 15, right, and they gave me, like, this little chubby belly, so it would, like, even out the playing field,” she said. “And then, yeah, I was about 15 years old — like, I kind of just want a boyfriend, honestly. I don’t want to wear this.”
When asked what part of the show she misses the most, Williams went silent and then answered, “Can I say none of it?”
“I don’t think it’s healthy [to miss it], because I loved it,” Williams said. “I look at it so fondly, and I look at it with such pride. But why would I want to make myself feel sad about the greatest thing that ever happened to me? I don’t want to associate that with feelings of pain.”
Following the end of GoT, Williams wasted no time in changing her style, including dyeing her hair pink, which she said to GQ was both personally and professionally motivated.
“I was rejecting a lot of the pieces of me and my image that I’d been so well known for. It was more that I needed to express myself,” she reflected. “I think that sometimes other people need a helping hand to see that you’re a different person, and I don’t resent that.”
“The more I tried to be like, ‘Am I like her? Am I like him?’ the more confused I got,” she added. “Now I just feel like I am doing everything I want to do when I want to do it.”
For those wanting to know if Arya spin-off is possible. Williams puts those rumors to rest: “It has to be the right time.”
“I’m not saying it would never happen, but I’m also not saying it in this interview so that everyone goes [gasp] ‘The spin-off! It’s coming!’ Because it’s not,” she mused. “It has to be the right time and the right people. It has to be right in the context of all the other spin-offs and the universe of Game of Thrones.”