Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams turned 18 back in April and she’s grown into quite an outspoken woman who stands up for what she believes in — from talking about how wrong it is to characterize all teenagers as lazy and only interested in taking selfies to the sometimes negative nature of fame.
Now, Williams has set her sights on speaking out about the lack of meaty roles for women in mainstream TV and movies. And she’s calling for action by asking her fellow female actors to refuse, as much as possible, the parts that see women simply existing to further the lead male actor’s storyline.
“I just hope that if [women] stop playing those characters, they’ll stop being written.”
— Indy Arts (@IndyArts) August 21, 2015
Maisie does understand exactly what she’s asking, and that it’s not always possible to turn down roles in this difficult industry.
“It’s a very big thing to say for me, on behalf of all women in the industry.”
But Williams isn’t the only one.
Maggie Gyllenhaal criticized Hollywood for considering her too old, at 37, to be romanced by a 55-year-old man. And Rita Wilson came out with a music video spoofing just how unfair it is that though males dominate more than just the entertainment industry, they don’t “have it all.” Then there were several women who used the forum of an Academy award win to talk about the role of women within the industry.
In an interview with Evening Standard, Maisie Williams laid out the difference between the sexes in the entertainment industry by describing character synopses for a fictional male part versus a fictional female part.
“[The character synopses] 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 channelling ‘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.”
Recognizing that she was very fortunate to get the part of Arya Stark, the extraordinarily motivated young woman who will stop at nothing to avenge her family, on Game of Thrones, Maisie’s very grateful.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play a very great female character, [Arya Stark] from a young age, who is a fantastic role model for girls.”
Due to the success of Game of Thrones and Williams’ talent, she’s also been blessed with more opportunity for better roles. Look for Maisie to appear in a two-episode run on Doctor Who when Season 9 begins in September and of course, she’ll be returning for the sixth season of Game of Thrones, which has already started filming.