Game of Thrones Star Maisie Williams Calls On Actresses To Resist Stereotypical ‘Hot Piece’ Roles

by Olivia Harrison

If you watch Game of Thrones, you’re surely familiar with the super-badass youngest Stark daughter, Arya. I personally find myself living for Arya’s scenes because she’s just plain spunky. It turns out, however, that the actress who plays Arya, Maisie Williams, is just as cool, clever, and courageous. This became clear after her interview last week with Evening Standard, where she spoke up about being a woman in Hollywood.

On the subject of parts offered to young actresses, Williams said, “There are a lot of roles that come in that are ‘the girlfriend’ or ‘the hot piece’ in a movie or TV series. That’s something I’ve seen first-hand and read all the time. It will say ‘Derek: intelligent, good with kids, funny, really good at this’ and then it will say ‘Sandra: hot in a sort of cute way’ — and that’s all you get. That’s the way your character is described, so going into an audition you are channeling ‘hot’, which isn’t like a person, that’s not who a person is. That’s what I see and that’s what needs to change.” That certainly sounds frustrating and challenging. I know from personal experience, it’s really hard to keep my hotness to a “cute” level.

But in all seriousness, these super sexist character descriptions reflect the traits that women are taught from a young age they should value and work hard to portray above all else.

Williams knows how rare and awesome it is to get to play the role like Arya. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a very great female character from a young age, who is a fantastic role model for girls.” Perhaps this is why she understands how important strong female characters are and why she’s not willing to settle for the simply “hot/cute” characters. She continues, “I just hope that if we stop playing those characters, they’ll stop being written.” It’s pretty amazing that an 18-year-old actress is making such a progressive proclamation. Maybe that’s what it’s going to take: the next generation of actresses calling bullshit on Hollywood sexism.

Images via HBO and reactiongifs


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