The creative minds behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” are so secretive that not even cast members know everything about their characters.
Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan was the first to let Gwendoline Christie know that Captain Phasma, the first female villain in the franchise, was originally concevied of as a man, a secret he managed to learn from “The Force Awakens” co-writer Lawrence Kasdan.
Christie was shocked.
“It’s so interesting, because I’m really uncovering more about this film from people like you than I knew before! Please just tell me everything he said!” she said.
Kasdan told Buchanan that the script was constantly changing, even as costumes were being planned and casting was happening.
After a photo was released from the first table read, the Internet noticed that only one new female was pictured.
Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams were still trying to cast Captain Phasma as the Internet reacted, and that’s what gave them the idea.
“Everything was happening simultaneously,” Kasdan said. “When the idea came up to make Phasma female, it was instantaneous: Everyone just said, ‘Yes. That’s great.'”
Christie was pleased with their reaction.
“I think that’s great of them, don’t you?” she asked. “That there was a discussion about that, and an evolution?”
Captain Phasma’s chrome stormtrooper armour serves its function rather than sexualize the character, something Christie is also proud of.
“I remember when I first saw it, I said, ‘Wow’ — not just because it looks incredible, although come on — but because I thought, ‘This is new.’ I mean, in my own small bubble, this represents the way I think and the way I see things, but it’s not always the way of the world,” she said. “So for that evolved thinking to be in a ‘Star Wars’ movie, I think people love that! People have responded so well to that.”
She said she views Captain Phasma as “progressive” and is proud of films and TV shows that represent men and women in more diverse ways, citing “The Hunger Games” and “Game of Thrones” (in which she plays Brienne of Tarth) as examples.
She added, “It should be everyday, because it is everyday.”
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