Interview with Maisie Williams
By Hear Me Roar on in Press.

Maisie Williams

We are proud to present another Winter-is-Coming.net exclusive – an interview with Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones.

Maisie is an actor and a dancer who comes from the vicinity of Bath in the south-west of England and is going to turn 14 just a couple of days before the premiere. Already early on, with weeks and months to go until the big day, Maisie became a fan favourite in her portrayal of Ned Stark’s youngest daughter. The combination of her cheerful attitude, serious approach to the role, and disarming cuteness (which I swear she should need a special dispensation for under the Geneva convention) makes this utterly unsurprising.

The interview was conducted over the last week, with the kind help of Maisie’s mum Hilary, who acted as a go-between, and also provided some additional photos with permissions from those portrayed. Hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Hear Me Roar: Hello Maisie, thank you for taking your time for this interview.

Most, if not all, fans of Game of Thrones think you will make a great Arya based on what we have seen so far. You met some of the fans in Belfast last year; I hope they made a nice impression.

Maisie Williams: Yes they did, that was a great experience, I remember walking into Easons in Belfast and seeing all the people queued up around the shop, we had no idea there would be so many. Everyone was so nice, and it was all really surreal. The increased attention is all good but as it’s mainly on the internet I can dip in and out. I am pleased that generally the fans like me as Arya but I know it may not always be like that.

HmR: Have you chosen to follow fan reactions online and elsewhere?

MW: We often have a look at WiC, George’s blog and the Facebook page and I did start to twitter but found it difficult to keep up so I’m sorry if you have twittered me and I have not responded! It gets a bit much sometimes.

HmR: What do your parents and friends think about it?

MW: My family are really pleased for me and so are my friends. They find all the photos from the internet and YouTube clips and put them on Facebook to try and embarrass me (unfortunately, it works!).

HmR: How did you get into acting, and how did you learn about this casting opportunity?

MW: I have always been in school plays and enjoyed drama but always really thought of myself as a dancer. I did not have the opportunity to start dancing lessons until I was ten when I started at Susan Hill’s School of Dance. After I had been there a while Sue suggested I attend a talent show in Paris. I came away from this with an agent and an audition with Pippa Hall, a children’s casting director, for Nanny McPhee 2. During the audition process, I met Eros Vlahos (who plays Lommy Greenhands)! I didn’t get the part but did get down to the final two. At the time I was really disappointed but I now realise that I did well to get that far.

My agent Louise Johnston then put me up for an audition for Arya. I have to say that at first I wasn’t too keen, I was still thinking about Nanny McPhee 2. But all auditions are good experience so I went along and after the first audition in London I knew I wanted to be Arya!

HmR: Could you describe the audition process for us?

MW: I had three auditions in total. The first audition was in London at the end of June, it was very quick, recorded on video with lots of others all auditioning for Arya, Sansa or Bran. I was thrilled when after a few days I got a call back. The second audition was much longer, I had to do the same scene (a Kingsroad scene not used in the actual series) about 5 times with three different girls auditioning for Sansa. One of whom was Sophie Turner!!! We immediately got on well and both wanted each other and ourselves to get the parts so that we could meet again! I also did an Arya and Gendry scene from book two. The final audition was a screen test with David Benioff and Nina Gold at the beginning of August. I really enjoyed it and I thought it went quite well. Afterwards, David spoke to my mum and asked her if she had read the books, which she had … well, the first one anyway. I think he wanted to make sure she knew what her daughter was auditioning for! We were supposed to be going on holiday to Scotland the day before the audition. The rest of my family were already there so mum and I spent the rest of the day in London then took a coach to Glasgow overnight and arrived early the next morning.

HmR: How did you learn that you had been chosen for the role?

MW: We were packing up to go home from the holiday in Scotland a few days after the final screen test when Louise, my agent, called and asked to speak to me! I knew there was good news when Louise asked to speak to me before she spoke to my mum; bad news comes from Mum, good news from Louise! I was so excited I couldn’t believe it … then a few days later we found out that Sophie was playing Sansa … I WAS SO EXCITED! It was a dream come true! It took a while to sink in but it was the best thing ever!

HmR: The story of your insisting on using your left hand in sword fighting is well-known, and much appreciated as an example of how devoted you are to portraying Arya as she is in the books. How did you go about learning about your character?

MW: My mum and step dad had read the first book by this time and filled me in on Arya’s character including the fact that she is left handed. It’s not that they wouldn’t let me read the books, I just don’t have time to read much and when I do, it has to be school stuff mainly. They would read me parts that showed Arya’s character. I started practicing with my left hand before we started filming because I wanted to get it right but was not able to use my left hand all of the time because of camera angles so Arya is now a little ambidextrous!

HmR: How long have you been dancing for? Did you feel that your dancing experience helped a lot with sword fight training for your ‘water dancing’ lessons with Miltos Yerolemou?

MW: I have been dancing for 4 years now; I do Musical Theatre, Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Street and Freestyle as well as gymnastics and trampolining.

Yes, it was just like choreographing a dance, it took time and practice to get it right but working with Miltos was great and we really had fun. Miltos is very good at stage fighting he liked to put in some ideas and suggestions as to what he thought ‘Syrio’ would do.

HmR: What would you say are Arya’s most important traits?

MW: She’s feisty, a bit of a rebel, a tomboy, she is also quite brave and quick thinking, she wants to be listened too but sees everything very black and white … bit like me really!

HmR: What notes did you get from the directors on what Arya should be like?

MW: They would say how they thought the scene would go but were also happy for me to say how I thought Arya would react to things. They also emphasised about Arya having to grow up really quickly in the first series.

HmR: How was it to film with dogs standing in for the direwolves? Did you get along well with Nymeria?

MW: Nymeria was played by two dogs Saxon and Indi. Saxon was the acting dog and Indi was the stunt dog, they were great to work with very well trained and very big! Saxon was really easy to work with and quite calm but Indi was a little more boisterous. Working with animals always takes twice as long, though, they needed far more takes than me!

HmR: How much of Arya’s storyline beyond the first book are you familiar with?

MW: I know the outline of what happens to Arya in all the books and can’t wait to see what is in store for her in the new books.

HmR: What are you looking forward to filming most, if further series of the show are commissioned?

MW: I am looking forward to being with the Hound … I like Rory, and really want to work with him. I’m also looking forward to the Weasel soup! Harrenhal, going on the run, receiving the coin … all of it really!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilot filming - Chillin' out with Sophie, Alfie, and Isaac at Castle Ward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HmR: You have become good friends with the rest of the actors playing the Stark children. Do you recognize in them any part of the characters they play when you hang out in real life as well?

MW: A little, Isaac likes to climb anything and everything and Sophie is very sophisticated and likes to take charge, but none the less a great friend! But she is definitely not an air head!

HmR: Are there other people you have grown close with during the whole experience?

MW: Julie Austin, the on-set acting coach has become a real friend! It was great to have her around … she is real fun and completely mad but that never stopped her!!! We met George, Parris and Ty [Franck, George’s assistant] a few times and that was great, they are all so lovely as are David & Dan. Kit, Richard and Alfie are always good fun, and Jamie S[ives] was really nice too, we made up a cool secret handshake and everything! The crew were amazing, they all work so hard.

HmR: Would you care to share any funny moments that happened during filming?

MW: The cat catching was funny. In one take, I kept catching it … it wouldn’t run away, it was just a pro! Some of the directors were American, they would say how they wanted me to say a line in their American accents and sometimes it would be really tricky because they had said it to me so many times that I would copy the accent by mistake! That was always funny and quite embarrassing!

HmR: Did you have any difficulty managing the filming of Game of Thrones and travelling to Malta for it on the one hand, and school and other activities on the other?

MW: One downside was keeping up with school work and dancing, if we are lucky enough to get a second series there are some things we may try to do differently next time to make it better, like maybe basing ourselves in Belfast so we don’t have so much travelling and I would get more tutor time.

HmR: What are some of the interests you have, what do you like doing?

MW: I like textiles and arts and crafts. I’m constantly shopping for new trends and looks and I hope to do more clothes making in the future!

HmR: What are your plans and goals in the near future, and maybe later in life?

MW: There are a couple of acting things going on at the moment but nothing definite yet. My aims at the moment are to get through school, knuckle down and get good grades then maybe go to a stage school for 6th form then move to London because I want to be in the centre of things and I love London! Then, who knows?!

HmR: When do you gather you will be allowed to watch the whole of Game of Thrones?

MW: On 18th April! I was at the whole cast read through for all 10 episodes so I know what to expect – it is acting after all!

HmR: Thank you for all the answers, we are very glad to have been able to talk to you.

MW: Thank you for asking me to do this interview, it was great fun!!! :)



98 Comments

  1. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Awesome interview! Maisie is the best. Her first scene with Syrio is one of the highlights of the first 6 episodes for me. Love the pic of her and the others playing cards on set!

  2. Fran
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    gotta love Maisie

  3. Herr Fick
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    She’s just cool. A most fitting Arya!

    “[I]t is acting after all!”

    Well, her parents seem to be cool, too. ;)

  4. Kristen Weaver
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Could she be any lovelier! I hope we get more seasons, as I would love to see her eat a certain worm from a skull :-)

  5. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I love Maisie :)

  6. Risto
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Wow, I was under the impression she was like 11. Anyway, from what we’ve seen so far pretty much everybody seem to agree she’s perfect as Arya. Can’t wait to see her with Syrio!

  7. Hollyoak
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Great that she mentioned the coin.

    Valar morghulis.

    So awesome that this scene is at the top of her list.

  8. Starkgirl
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Wow! I was shocked to read that she’s 14. She definitely can easily pass as the younger Arya. In a year or so she should be old enough to do a read through of the books herself. I hope she’ll get a chance to though obviously she’s very busy.

  9. Joohnson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Go Maisie! Can’t wait to see what she does with my favourite character. I believe, from what we have seen, that she’ll do a great job.

    Hmm, Hear me Roar interviews Arya, Fire and Blood interviews Sophie, now for Winter is Coming’s interview with Isaac?:-)

  10. Opally
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Jackie MacPherson:
    I love Maisie

    what Jackie said! Maisie has a good head on her shoulders. I hope that having legions of adoring fans doesn’t spoil her.

  11. Zack
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to being with the Hound … I like Rory, and really want to work with him. I’m also looking forward to the Weasel soup! Harrenhal, going on the run, receiving the coin … all of it really!

    Me too, Maisie! lol. Weasel soup is gonna be epic.

    I’m also happy to learn that she’s as old as she is, too; it all but eliminates my concerns of putting the actress in the midst of such dark material.

    Great job with the interview, HmR! Can’t wait to see what else you have planned!

  12. mimi
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    What a sharp little gal. Hope her future fame doesn’t mess up her life like so many other young actors. And she’ll be famous, betcha!!! Man, look at those gorgeous eyes……with a twinkle of joy in them. You go gurl!

  13. Joohnson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Joohnson:

    Hmm, Hear me Roar interviews Arya, Fire and Blood interviews Sophie, now for Winter is Coming’s interview with Isaac?:-)

    Edit: Maisie.

  14. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Joohnson,

    Haha, a cool and telling mistake.

  15. scribba
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    What a charming young lady. The snippets we’ve seen of her Arya have been extraordinary – the raised eyebrows while at her needlework, the wry smile at Syrio, arriving late to greet the King wearing a helm… Arya is, I think, the character you become the most emotionally vested in and Maisie seems to be hitting all the right notes. I hope she’s having the time of her life playing this part. Here’s to many more years of cheering her on.

  16. Siobhan Mooney
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Brilliant interview. Maisie seems perfect for the role, as always.

    I didn’t realise Maisie’s age either! Sophie’s so tall that there seems to be a much bigger age gap between the two than there really is. It does help to explain how they get on so well and are such good friends, though (I had wondered about that, because a big age gap between two children can make it difficult for them to get into a really equal friendship, compared with a big/little sister/brother situation).

  17. Rose
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think it’s just adorable how BFFs Sophie and Maisie are.

  18. Elaine
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Before even reading the interview, I had to comment on that first picture: she has the most beautiful eyes! Every time I compare a picture of her to how she looks on the show, I’m amazed by the transformation. The fact that she is so chameleon-like–beautiful girl one moment, slightly plain-looking tomboy the next–shows what perfect casting this is.

    here’s hoping we get to season 7, so we can see Maisie play beautiful-grown-up-ninja Arya!

    If Arya had been miscast, that would have ruined the show for me. Thank the old gods they found Maisie!

  19. Mr. Frey
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I have a question.

    Maisie is going to be growing up onscreen. While I think everybody is fine with the characters being aged up, if this show lasts three or more seasons, the stories will need to be change to reflect the characters new ages.

    For example, by season two it may be harder for Masie to pass as “Arry.” And if we get to season three, she’ll be 16 or 17. How will that change her story? It will make her travels with the Dog read completely differently.

    If there is a year between each season, the authors will need to write a year or two into the stories where none exists or ignore the fact that Bran, Arya, and others are aging fast. It may look ridiculous by season three to see Hodor carrying a teenaged Bran on his back.

    Any ideas how the authors could deal with older characters and an expanded timeline without upsetting the storylines? And what should they do with the Walts of the show?

  20. Blackfish Blues
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    This is so fun. What a nice young lady! I love her enthusiasm and her bonding with the cast (Sophie, but also McCann and Sives!) The pic with them playing cards is histerical. How lucky we are to have such brilliant young people playing our favourite characters!

  21. Luke-WarmHands
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  22. drinksTeaInTheMornin
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Great interview HmR, but i’ve kind of expected some weird questions like FaB’s interview.

  23. Lina
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Maisie just continues to impress me each time I read/hear/see something new from her. She has a fantastic grip on her character. “She’s feisty, a bit of a rebel, a tomboy, she is also quite brave and quick thinking, she wants to be listened too but sees everything very black and white … bit like me really!” We usually hear Arya described as a tomboy or a rebel, but the bit about seeing things black and white is really good insight.

    I like textiles and arts and crafts. I’m constantly shopping for new trends and looks and I hope to do more clothes making in the future!” This is awesome! I love her spirit! We generally talk about Maisie in relation to Arya, and this hobby is so…anti-Arya in a way. It’s nice to be exposed to Maisie’s personality outside the context of GoT. I wonder if she hangs around the costume department in spare time or if, in a few years, we’ll see her in the front row at London Fashion Week? ;)

    I don’t think I can say enough good things about Maisie. She’s adorable, talented and engaging. I love watching her interviews because she says very mature things but still seems like a normal kid. She seems to me to be a natural for the role, but she’s also demonstrated how much hard work she’s put in as well. We are so, so lucky to have her! I have no doubts she will be amazing, and I maintain that she will be one of the best actors in the series. Her scene in the 15 minute preview was the best character intro in there and she didn’t even have any lines! Go Maisie! And thanks for all your hard work!

  24. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    drinksTeaInTheMornin,

    No one can live up to FaBio’s standards, alas. So I didn’t even try :) Each has his own voice.

  25. furrever
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Our little Arya is all grown up! What a mature and delightful young lady Maisie is. And a brilliant piece of casting by HBO. Can’t wait to see her bring Arya to life on the small screen.

  26. Nicole
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Great interview. Maisie is perfection. I loved that she is looking forward to Harrenhall. I can’t wait for Cat of the Canals. :-) “it’s hard to find good boots these days”

  27. Mr. Frey
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’d like to correct something in my previous post — for some reason I refer to the Hound as “the Dog”. Terribly embarrassing. What type of geek am I?

  28. Joohnson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:

    Haha, a cool and telling mistake.

    Hehe, I know.

  29. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Maisie Williams is easily the greatest bit of casting in the series to date, with the *possible* exception of Harry Lloyd as Viserys (who also has impressed the hell out of me in all of the trailers to date).

    If there is one thing that I may regret from watching Game of Thrones, it will be that in the future, I will be unable as a reader to easily envision in my head as I read the books many of the characters as being somebody *other* than as they appear on the show. This seems to be especially the case when it comes to Arya Stark. Arya will always be Maisie Williams’ version of Arya in my head when I read the books in the future.

    In a similar vein, I am told the JK Rowling was so impressed with Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Severus Snape in the early Potter films that she altered her books and her own impressions of the character she created to match Rickman’s portrayal of Snape on screen.

    I expect that same “character lock” effect with Maisie Williams’ Arya will be just as strong as Rickman’s such that at least GRRM will similarly be unable to envision Arya in his head as being somebody other than Maisie Williams’ version of Arya, too.

    At the very least, both the author and reader will all be inspired from the same source at the same time. All of us singing from the same page of the hymn book, as it were.

    I cannot believe the pressure there must have been on this kid throughout the filming of this series — and how much more that will increase in subsequent seasons (assuming there are subsequent seasons, of course). She seems to have handled it pretty well though, all things considered. I expect that speaks as much about the strength of the support of her family as much as it reflects upon the character of Maisie Williams herself.

    Great interview!

  30. Gytha
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Looooove!

    Loved reading her thoughts on Season 2 (weasel soup! the coin! OMG so excited thinking about it) – what an amazing role that will be for a young actress. It’s going to be amazing seeing where these young actors are in 5/10 years.

    All the best to Maisie and remember us when you’re rich and famous – always support the bottom! :D

  31. Regina Thorne
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Awww, the more I see and hear from these kids, the more I love them! Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams both seem so lovely and grounded and I wish them every success in their careers (hopefully including seven seasons of “Game of Thrones.”) I had no idea Sophie and Maisie were the same age, but it’s so cute that they bonded instantly. Aww!

  32. Cat of the Canals
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    This is hands-down my favorite casting! I want her to be my little sister- she sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait to see more of her in coming seasons! *crosses fingers*

  33. purplejilly
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    MW: I am looking forward to being with the Hound … I like Rory, and really want to work with him. I’m also looking forward to the Weasel soup! Harrenhal, going on the run, receiving the coin … all of it really!

    Holy Crap! She does know what she’s in for and she’s looking forward to it! Wow, she has a true ‘Arya’ inner core, I think.

    I’m not too worried about how she looks as she ages up – I think if she is almost 14 and still short, it’s unlikely she is going to grow too much over the next few years – girls tend to hit their max height earlier than boys. And even if she does, what I’ve seen from the Westerosi clothing style, boy clothes are multi-layered and pretty loose, so they should be able to ‘disguise’ her well enough as a boy.

  34. Dom
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A little OT, but oh well –

    HBO has a “Creating the Opening Title Sequence” scheduled for April 18th:

    http://www.hbo.com/#/schedule/on-demand/detail/Game+Of+Thrones%3A+Creating+The+Opening+Title+Sequence/569495

  35. Mike Chair
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    There’s a common saying in the state of Maine used when referencing little lads and ladies like Maisie who are so ridiculously cute and full of energy that it hurts, and you just want to put a bow on them and smile. Author Stephen King used it a couple of times in at least one of his novels — Bag of Bones, I believe. It’s very appropriate for Maisie. It goes like this:

    She’s “as cunnin as a cat a-runnin.”

  36. kerning
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    Maisie Williams is easily the greatest bit of casting in the series to date, with the *possible* exception of Harry Lloyd as Viserys (who also has impressed the hell out of me in all of the trailers to date).

    If there is one thing that I may regret from watching Game of Thrones, it will be that in the future, I will be unable as a reader to easily envision in my head as I read the books many of the characters as being somebody *other* than as they appear on the show.This seems to be especially the case when it comes to Arya Stark. Arya will always be Maisie Williams’ version ofArya in my head when I read the books in the future.

    THIS! :) I know we scored big with heavyweights like Dinklage and Bean, but as we got previews and clips, it’s been my opinion that their greatest find is Maisie. Nothing short of inspired!

  37. Grant Gould
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    She is so great. :) Arya’s always been one of my favorite characters in the series and I think Maisie is perfect casting. I get chills every time we see her onscreen, whether it’s the 14-minute sneak peek or the featurettes. Thanks so much for the awesome interview!

  38. dingo
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Great interview! I really hope that we get to see Maisie’s accidental American-accident deliveries in the show’s outtakes.

  39. Mike Chair
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    New. D&D interview on EW:

    How do you handle the intense fan reactions online to every decision you make?

    DBW: When we do dip in and see what people are saying, it’s been gratifying. There tends to be a snarky negative quality usually to these things, but with this there has been an overwhelming amount of support.
    DB: Because the books are so big and detailed and intelligent, the fans tend to be intelligent.

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/04/05/game-of-thrones-producers-talk-hbo-series/

    *blushing*

  40. Mormegil
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Frey,

    If at 13/14 she can pass for an 11 year old which she clearly does it probably won’t be too much of a problem.

    Quite a bit of time does pass in the novels for example 3 years pass for Arya in the 4 books so far and a few extra months can be added to the TV series here and there if needed.

    One reason I think why Arya’s story in the show includes events from her first chapter from Book 2 is that when we see her again in Season 2 weeks or months could have passed rather than the few seconds it would be if it followed the book exactly.

    Overall I think Rickon or Bran may prove more problematic when it comes to the actors aging too quickly but hopefully it won’t prove too distracting.

  41. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I foresee that after GoT starts airing, there will be an immense increase in the amount of babygirls receiving the name ‘Arya’ or ‘Maisie’! :-)

  42. Lex
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    MAISIE IS AWESOME!

    I’ve said it before, but Arya is probably my favourite character, and I was very anxious about who they’d cast. From our very first photos of Maisie, I had a feeling they got it right. With each subsequent photo, trailer, interview, etc., my confidence in Maisie has gone higher and higher. I know she’ll do justice to my favourite character. Can’t wait to see her in action! It will also be great to follow her future career, which will undoubtedly be a successful one.

    GO MAISIE!

  43. paulgude
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Maisie is incredible and seems perfect so far.

    So, I’ll be waiting until my daughter is fourteen to let her see the show. Fair is fair, after all.

    It’s been mentioned that the kids aging will change some of the scene dynamics. I’d point out that we’ve already run into some aged-up characters changing scene dynamics from the outset. I expect they’re just going to move forward with the actors they have and let the scenes play out as they will.

    Sometimes an actor can bring a certain energy that completely adds new subtext to a scene even with out age changes. As the show goes forward, it’ll just be the show. It’ll still be linked to the books, but the actors and the HBO writers will continue to shape the story in new and interesting ways.

  44. dizzy_34
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    I agree. I think if the show takes a bit longer for events to play out to allow the actors to age appropriately I’d be fine with that. For example having Bran ride the huge elk instead of Hodor once they get north of the wall or have Arya be about 15-16 once she reaches the faceless men would be fine by me.

  45. morbiczer
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    An acting dog and a stunt dog, how funny is that?

  46. The Rabbit
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Great job HmR!

    With every interview with each of these kids I am becoming more aware how we re lucky with casting!

    GO MAISIE!

  47. DH87
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The photo of Maisie in the fur cape and cap is amazing—not only her eyes, but her eyebrows also are so expressive. The adult actors will have to look to their laurels to keep her from stealing any scene in which she appears. The look on her face as her arrow hits the bulls-eye during Bran’s archery practice is fantastic. She is a brilliant choice and I’m thrilled to see my favorite character given her due.

  48. Lex
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    By the way, good interview questions HmR!

  49. WinnietheWoot
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Go Maisie! She’s going to be a very beautiful young woman one day, but I’m sorry, that helm would make Jaime Lannister look silly. I’d say “Oh, she’s so articulate”, but her mum was probably the one who turned thoughts to words for the article. Instead I’ll just say I’ll be terribly disappointed if season two trailers don’t prominently feature Arya’s Valar morghulis. Definitely looking forward to Maisie’s interpretation!

  50. Morlun
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    “Isaac likes to climb anything and everything”

    LOOOOOOOOL

  51. Jesse
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho:
    I foresee that after GoT starts airing, there will be an immense increase in the amount of babygirls receiving the name ‘Arya’ or ‘Maisie’!

    Hehe, I can see that. Our second daughter was already named Arya from the books, while our first was Daenerys. Good things we haven’t had any boys yet. Might be tough using Tyrion. :D

  52. Nick
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  53. sjwenings
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Is this good, bad or mediocre? Hard to say. Probably not particularly good…

    I don’t really think i would have bothered to see a preview of a show i had decided i was gonna check out, unless i was REALLY exited about it, though. To watch 15 minutes of a show, and then just watch it again in two weeks…. Meh.. Kinda regretting i saw the first preview of GOT too, acually.

  54. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings, I think a high number would have been a good sign. But I don’t think a low number is necessarily a bad sign. If that makes sense…

  55. DH87
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings: Is this good, bad or mediocre? Hard to say. Probably not particularly good…

    I’d say it is more a reflection of the anemic ratings being pulled by Mildred Pierce. Most viewers not watching HBO 24/7 tuned in at 9 PM expecting to see MP. (We’ll see what that episode pulled late today.)

  56. Nick
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Surely this is a high number? 2.5% of HBO subscribers tuning in to a preview of a future show. And of course it doesn’t include people who don’t have HBO (yet) who watched online, who will now hopefully sign up since the preview was very well recieved.

  57. Lex
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Personally that sounds fairly high to me. This was just a preview, after all, not a premiere. But I really don’t understand much about ratings. I hate thinking about the fact that we need to get millions and millions of people watching, or else face possible cancellation. Ugh.

    Anyways, I waited 24 hours before watching the preview, but I’m glad I watched it. It was a good taste of what’s to come. And, at 13 minutes, it was actually only 1/5 of the episode.

  58. Avalanche3319
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    This. I would put more stock in the numbers if they had actually had the preview on the schedule. They just listed Mildred Pierce from 9-10:15 so many people probably had no idea there even was a preview.

  59. Maxwell James
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Great interview. She’s going to rock.

    My guess is that the number represents the # of diehard fans with HBO, plus the number of Mildred Pierce viewers who were interested.

    FWIW I’m a diehard fan, with HBO, but I only watched the preview later online.

  60. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    WinnietheWoot: I’d say “Oh, she’s so articulate”, but her mum was probably the one who turned thoughts to words for the article. P>

    She’s been very articulate in her spoken interviews too. Sharp girl, for sure.

  61. Avalanche3319
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Think about it this way, the Borgias premiered with what 1.5 million viewers? We’ve already got half that with a relatively unadvertised 15 minute “sneak peak” two weeks before the show airs.

    Edit: Borgias actually premiered with 1.06 million in its first showing, so we’ve got almost 3/4 of that already.

  62. WinnietheWoot
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Yeah, but how many online?

  63. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Jesse: Hehe, I can see that.Our second daughter was already named Arya from the books, while our first was Daenerys.Good things we haven’t had any boys yet.Might be tough using Tyrion.

    Arya I can completely understand since it is not an uncommon name (and I will seriously consider it myself), but Daenerys? Respect! You are a true fan :-)
    As for a boy, don’t forget about The Mountain That Rides!

  64. dizzy_34
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been of the opinion that this will be one of those shows like True Blood where word of mouth will make it a hit. True Blood’s numbers weren’t through the roof untill season 2 anyways because of DVD sales and what-not.

  65. Chris
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s hard to take much from those numbers.

    On one hand, it was just a 15 minute sneak peak. It wasn’t heavily advertised outside of HBO showing ads to subscribers. It was readily available on the internet for free. People aren’t going to subscribe just to watch that sneak peak, lots will wait until the show is going to start. People who already subscribe that aren’t already fans probably have no problem just waiting 2 weeks to watch the first full episode.

    On the other hand, it’s pretty likely that a large amount of those that viewed it were just waiting for Mildred Pierce. (Which is a really good mini-series, BTW)

    So who knows. Either way, seems pretty encouraging that it was in the ballpark of both Camelot’s and The Borgias’ actual premieres.

  66. Mike Chair
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho: As for a boy, don’t forget about The Mountain That Rides!

    Or “Stallion Who Mounts the World.”

  67. Fire And Blood
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    drinksTeaInTheMornin,

    When Winter brought HmR and I into the fold, it was obvious from the start that we would compliment one another immediately, as we were so different. HmR is quiet, thoughtful, intelligent. Whereas I am also quiet, thoughtful, and even more intelligent. And I can dance. And I play the cymbals, and the triangle. Can he do these things? No. I am clearly great.

    However, the Massive Gaping Holes in my interview with Sophie are evident: I did not ask her how many times she auditioned, and forgot to mention the fact that she got to adopt “Lady.” So there’s that.

    Then again, if my interview had been any longer, Sophie may have turned 24 by the time it ended.

    Anyway, GREAT interview from HmR. Even though I stoutly stand on the side of Team Sansa, my Lemoncakes4Life banner flying proudly in the breeze, it is clear to me that Maisie was a great find. I am extremely happy Nina Gold casting got it right.

    In Nina Gold we trust,

    Always Support the Bottom,

    Valar Morghullis.

    FaB

  68. obsidian
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy with Maisie ! I know we havwn’t seen that much of her so far ,but she just seems so right to me.

    OT and re : Borgias / GoT… I don’t know how the channels they’re on operate in other countries, but though the costumes looked fabulous , and Jeremy Irons seemed very interesting.. the Borgias lost me during the second hour on Sunday night ,partly , if not mainly, due to the commercials. Here in Canada ,it’s on Bravo, and the same handful of commercials were shoved down our throats every few minutes. I just can’t take having the program chopped up into little pieces anymore. I’ll wait and rent the DVD , if I’m still curious by then.

    Mind you , it was never going to be a contest between the two for me..I was always going to be glued to GoT and record The Borgias on a secondary TV for watching later..but I’m not even very interested in doing that, now.

  69. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Her future (besides GoT) will be very fascinating to follow. She hits all the right notes in the interview and had probably the best behind-the-scenes featurette. She’s intelligent, she’s cute as a buton, and she absolutely owns Arya. I hope she gets a nomination for something :)

  70. Larry D Curtis
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Valar morghulis.

    So awesome that this scene is at the top of her list.

    This was my #1 impression from the interview. It may not matter much or at all if the actor really understands the long-term character arc, but as a fan it makes me feel better. I like it.

    If I felt less awkward about being a fan of a 14-year-old girl, I might declare myself a fan.

    I suspect we have here a GOT breakout star. I do hope she doesn’t grow up quicker than her character though and make her unsuitable for the part. On the other hand, it might give MW a better chance for a career / life.

  71. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho: Arya I can completely understand since it is not an uncommon name (and I will seriously consider it myself), but Daenerys? Respect! You are a true fan
    As for a boy, don’t forget about The Mountain That Rides!

    I’m partial to Fat Belwas myself.

  72. pualo
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    She looks so old in these out-of-character pictures, practically an adult. That makes her appearance as Arya all the more amazing.

  73. Nic
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this! She sounds awesome. And I’m really happy with everything I’ve seen of her as Arya so far. I particularly love the bit in the character promo where she’s explaining Arya’s opinion of Sansa – she has an excellent (and very funny) grasp of the dynamics! :-)

  74. Carrie Meathrell
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    The aging of all the kid actors over the course of the series doesn’t really bother me that much — I remember back in the day when everybody was freaking out about the Harry Potter kids, and if they would be “too old” to play the characters once the final movies rolled around. It’s clearly not been a problem for the success of “Deathly Hallows” (in fact, it’s been quite fun to see Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe, et al grow into accomplished actors and good-looking young adults!). I, for one, welcome the chance to see our kids Maisie, Isaac, Sophie, etc. grow up in this series.

    Although yes, I can see how a teenaged Bran hanging off of Hodor would be weird — but Kristian Nairn seems to be a REALLY big guy, and a lot of cute little boy actors don’t grow up to be very big anyway — cf. Daniel Radcliffe (I think he’s only about 5’6″, 5’7″ in real life now, even though he’s about 21?).

  75. Lex
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Larry D. Curtis: If I felt less awkward about being a fan of a 14-year-old girl, I might declare myself a fan.

    Hahah, totally. I keep wanting to squeal “I LOVE MAISIE!” but then I remember I’m a 31 year old man, and I feel ridiculous. :)

  76. Peltast
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Nice interview! Hopefully we get one for Isaac as well?

    She mentions that her mum had read the books… I can honestly say given all the bad things that happen in the book I wouldn’t have let my daughter audition as Arya (or as Sansa, come to think of it).

    That pic of Alfie Allen playing cards with the kids was pretty sweet. Seems like a cool guy, from this and the other interview.

  77. The Smiling Knight
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Nice interview.

    Very happy about mrs Maisie as she seems just perfect as Arya. Especially from bits we have seen in the previews. And as Arya is my favorite character along Daenerys i wouldnt be saying this if i really didnt mean it.

    Seeing how she deeply understands what the character and the story are like and seeing how the Stark kids bonded together is by far the bets thing about this adaptation so far.

    She deserves the Needle completely.

  78. GaR
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    The chairs in the card game photo are all wrong.

    Everyone knows yellow plastic would never have been used in the North of Westeros circa 300 years after the Conquest >_<

  79. Langkard
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a rising star to be. I hope being in Game of Thrones rewards her with recognition and, if she chooses, a long and happy career in acting.

    I wish there was a scene with Arya and Tyrion. My two favorite characters, played by two wonderful actors. That would be wonderful. Who knows? Maybe George R. R. Martin has something like that in a future book. I’d be ecstatic.

  80. Emma
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    “I also did an Arya and Gendry scene from book two.”

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Burgos
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Excellent interview!!

    About actors aging too much for the series… Well, we have to hope Mr. Martin is up to the task of finishing it before HBO catches up (when they do imo not if, since the story only gets more interesting).

  82. Tar Kidho
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Or “Stallion Who Mounts the World.”

    Such a richness of new names created by GRRM, can’t wait till they start popping up in reality! :-)

    Tywin’s Bastard: I’m partial to Fat Belwas myself.

    Er, I know he’s very fat in the books, but it is ‘Strong Belwas’ no? ;-) Doesn’t matter, one could simply call their son ‘Belwas’ and then add the appropriate adjective as he grows up and ages: Baby Belwas, Mischievous Belwas, Teeny Belwas, Strong Belwas, Fat Belwas, Wrinkly Belwas…

  83. Suy
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Maisie rules : )

  84. RobbIsAnIdiot
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Yet another interesting interview. Like with Sophie, I have zero doubts that Maisie will be able to pull off her role. She’s totally got my support.

  85. morbiczer
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The aging of all the kid actors over the course of the series doesn’t really bother me that much — I remember back in the day when everybody was freaking out about the Harry Potter kids, and if they would be “too old” to play the characters once the final movies rolled around.

    Different situation, since all the HP books covered exactly one year (one schoolyear), and there was one movie app. every year.

    For SOIAF it can’t be a problem at the start, since the first book covers about one year, but will come up later to some degree, since especially ASOS is covers only a few months.

  86. Jéssica De Freitas Maciel
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    No problem Lex! I’ll do it for you: I LOVE MAISIE! Such a wonderfull girl =]

  87. Larry D Curtis
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Lex: I remember I’m a 31 year old man, and I feel ridiculous.

    Glad to not be alone Lex. That is it exactly!

  88. Fil
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Can’t… handle… the cuteness…

    Seriously, how do you make such an impression during a minute of screen time during the sneak preview without even having any lines? I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fantastic!

  89. Morty
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Im really looking forward for Game of Thrones to start :) she will do a great job

    Me and a friend made a fansite for her

    http://www.maisiewilliams.com

    We will add alot of info about her and her performance in Game of Thrones :)

  90. Lex
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I hope Maisie has seen that nearly every single reviewer has praised her, by name. Even the mixed-to-negative reviewers loved her! Way to go, Maisie!!!

  91. Areion
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh well I just have comment on this wonderful interview. I’m quite new to the series, only started last Christmas with A Clash of Kings and devoured it over the Holidays because it actually was a gift for my brother… ;)
    Getting to the first chapters of A Feast for Crows now and though I actually didn’t want to watch the series because I feared it could spoil my imagination but I couldn’t resist and what can I say: it has actually enriched my image of Westeros. Especially the cast. Especially Maisie. In my head, Arya now looks like Maisie.
    That’s also happened with Jon, by the way. And if it weren’t for Ms. Clarke’s sligthly irritating dark eyebrows, it would be the case with Daenerys as well. The only sort of weak spot for me is Sean Bean. But he’s a great actor and I understand the show needed someone pulling the plow, publicity-wise, a face and a name for the posters.
    Enough nitpicking – the cast is outstanding!
    And now I’m gonna go read another chapter or four.

  92. Grijnwaald
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank the Gods for Maisie Williams! No one else could have played Arya Stark and do such an amazing job at it.

    Go Maisie!

  93. WildSeed
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Grijnwaald:
    Thank the Gods for Maisie Williams! No one else could have played Arya Stark and do such an amazing job at it.

    Go Maisie!

    I never saw this until now as I was avoiding the site for spoilers. A lovely interview.
    Your post on the list alerted me to this area I have now to enjoy. I believe Maisie
    has great potential and will not remain a less than famous girl for long.

  1. [...] Very endearing stuff here: Winter Is Coming interviews the young actresses Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, who play Arya and Sansa [...]

  2. [...] Interview with Maisie Williams at Winter is Coming Game of Thrones excitement! Little Ms. Williams is too adorable, and I have high hopes for her Arya. [...]

  3. [...] Originally Posted by Wiggum Excellent – more of Arya I can't laud her casting enough. I love her as well. Here's an interivew of her that i just found http://winter-is-coming.net/2011/04/…isie-williams/ [...]

  4. [...] 14 now). Her dancing led to an audition for Nanny McPhee 2, she says in a recent interview with Winter Is Coming.net. She didn’t get the part, but she did find an agent, who steered her to the auditions for [...]


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