Maisie Williams, 23, has become a national treasure after her portrayal of Arya Stark in HBO‘s hit fantasy series Game Of Thrones. But with playing a character, who arguably goes onto be one of the most important of all, comes a “real fear” of not being able to play any other part, a feeling many other actors may have also shared.
Playing an iconic character is such a pleasure, but it also comes with a real fear of never being able to play anything else ever again
Maisie made her professional acting debut at 14-years-old when she joined the cast as one of Ned Stark’s (played by Sean Bean) six children, and over the next eight years the show became a big part of her life.
Her portrayal of tomboyish, headstrong and feisty Arya won her an EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress and Best Young Actor, and the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.
It’s been a little over a year since the fantasy series finished, but throughout the long-running stint she also had a recurring role in Doctor Who in 2015, appeared in 2012s The Secret of Crickley Hall and in a selection of independent films such as Heatstroke 2012 and Gold 2013.
Now Game of Thrones is all done and dusted (a controversial topic we’ll save for a later conversation), she has more projects in the works as fans crave her talent on their screens.
Maisie Williams opens up on ‘real fear’ after finishing Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams feared Arya Stark’s character would impact her other roles
Despite having appeared in over 15 other dramas and films alongside GOT, in a recent interview she confessed to feeling “fearful” that Arya may affect how viewers see her in other things.
She will debut as the lead in 2020s Two Weeks To Live, which focuses on how tearaway Kim Stokes adapts to life in the real world after running away from her survivalist mother Tina, played by Sian Clifford – best known for playing Claire in the hit series Fleabag.
The “wickedly funny” comedy drama is set to air on Sky next month but Maisie spoke about how she and Sian worried portraying pivotal roles could impact their future.
“We’re both at a point in our careers now where people want us to keep doing that,” she said.
Maisie Williams stars in Sky’s Two Weeks to Live
Maisie Williams said portraying an iconic character was a ‘pleasure’
“Plus, even with Tina and Claire [Clifford’s characters in Two Weeks to Live and Fleabag], the cold anger of the two of them could be perceived as quite similar. And with myself and the cold-blooded killer thing – there’s a similarity here Arya to my character Kim.
“So we chatted a lot about what else there is we want to do.”
She said she “found comfort” in the fact she wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
“Playing an iconic character is such a pleasure. But it also comes with a real fear of never being able to play anything else ever again,” she admitted to Radio Times.
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On her new role, she noted that she knew she would be playing to a different audience.
“It’s pretty wickedly funny, and I’m a bit of a sucker for things like that,” she said.
“And I knew that would mean a different kind of audience would watch it. Also, doing something set in the present day is a lot more relaxing.
“You have zips and buttons on your clothes, so you can get dressed in five minutes instead of an hour! So, logistically it was a really refreshing piece,” she laughed, as her GOT costume closet wasn’t so modernised to say the least.
And with so much in the works for her busy future as one of the best known young actresses Britain has to offer, she revealed she has “finally shaken off” the Game Of Thrones thrill.
“I got so much joy out of the final season, and from the show in general,” she said, recalling her time on set over the last eight years.
“I was really keen to make the most of every second of the final year, because I didn’t want to regret anything, or feel like I’d missed out on anything.
She added: “For that reason, when we finished, I was really ready to say goodbye. By the end I was just happy that it was done.”
Maisie Williams’ full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.