Exclusive Interview - Maisie Williams speaks about what it's like to play Arya Stark on HBO's 'Game of Thrones'

Sunday, 13 April 2014 - 9:45am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna Web Team
  • Maisie-Williams-as-Arya-Stark Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

Maisie Williams is a 16-year-old British actress who has won a number of awards and critical acclaim for her debut role as the youngest Stark girl, Arya, one of the main characters of HBO’s cult TV show ‘Game of Thrones’.

Arya Stark is one of the last remaining members of the North's first family, and since the first season, her character has been developing rapidly into the independent, head strong, and fiercely loyal girl we will see in this season. Maisie Willaims speaks exclusively to dna about her experience as a cast member, her relationship with the other characters, especially Sandor ‘the Hound’ Clegane, and what to expect from Arya in Season 4.

How did you land the role of Arya Stark and how did it feel? 

I’m just so grateful that I got the opportunity to work with these people because I came in to this not having a clue what I was doing. It’s been so nice to have such fantastic influences on set there with me and to be sat opposite these fantastic actors and just to feed off of them.

Has your character affected you as a person or as an actor?

This is the thing about ‘Game of Thrones’ – you can never say if a character is good or bad. I feel like Arya is fighting for the good but the Frey guards (one of whom she killed) killed her brother and mother at the Red Wedding because he did not marry a Frey girl. So Robb Stark has done wrong for that to happen and they’ve been told from someone higher that that’s their job to do. So killing that Frey soldier was not necessarily the right thing to do, but she’s doing it for the good of Arya. I do feel like my character is slowly slipping into this almost more selfish side of killing people, that actually it’s more for personal pleasure at times than being the right thing to do. A lot of the time she’s putting herself in danger just to go out of her way to actively murder someone, which is not what the Starks are about. I feel like she’s being heavily influenced by the Hound and his intense brutality. He just tends to get the job done rather than worry about emotions and what is right and wrong. He’s probably not the best influence when you’re 12 years old.


 
How do you think the character development of Arya has been so far?

For the first three seasons she had definite direction, and that was to get home. But she feels like she’s always one step behind the game because whatever she tries to do is torn straight away from her. So I feel like she’s giving up on trying to control anything and instead is just hoping that one day she’ll turn a corner and she’ll fall into the right place.

What do you think season four has in store for Arya?

The first episode is a really strong one for Arya which I’m really pleased about because last year I was in the premier episode and that’s when I think audience members really connected with the character. This time round Arya is a lot more ruthless – she’s learnt a lot from the Hound.

Who is your favourite character or actor from the show? 

When I met Charles Dance he came up to me and was like ‘Hello, my name is Charlie’ and I just sat there. When he’s on set everyone is just silent for him, but he deserves everything – he’s just the most fascinating person to watch and I’m just so privileged to have worked so closely with him. The way that he incorporates props into the scene or how he moves around the space; I learnt so much. And how natural he was in saying this dialogue that is not natural for someone of my age, you know, it’s not a natural way of saying things – it was really helpful just listening to him.

Given the number of fans you have here, is there a chance you will be coming to India soon?

It gets intense – Sophie and I have both had strange things on social media. Nine times out of 10, people are absolutely lovely, but you get the odd person where you’re not quite sure what they mean. But then also there’s this language barrier where someone will type something into Google translate and it translates very, very strangely. The good thing is that people like Arya, and I know that people purely like her for the character, for her heart.

The flagship show is entering its fourth Season, which has already premiered in the Unites States and other countries, and will be telecast for the first time in India on Sunday, April 13, on HBO Defined.  

'Game of Thrones' Season 4 will premier on HBO Defined, at 9.00 pm on Sunday, April 11. 

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