Maisie Williams may have spent the better part of her teens in front of the camera thanks to her memorable (not to mention kick-ass) role as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. But as the 20-year-old films the upcoming eighth and final season, she’s starting to look ahead to her next career moves. And what she’s realizing is that in this often-shallow industry, the night is dark and full of terrors.
Williams is certainly known for being candid in her interviews, but now she’s speaking out on the difficulty of securing post-Thrones roles and the typecasting she’s facing as a young woman in Hollywood.
“It’s only now I’m starting to realize the characters that are available to me because of the way I look and the characters that aren’t available to me,” she told the Irish Times. “It’s a very shallow industry. And I don’t look like someone who is cast in roles that are, well, sexualized.”
Sounds like the rose-coloured glasses are off, huh? And this from an actress who hasn’t just starred as a fan-favourite character on one of the world’s biggest TV series, but one who has also been cast in a bunch of upcoming films like Departures alongside Nina Dobrev and the anticipated comic flick The New Mutants.
Of course, this is nothing new – women have always had a harder time in this industry, whether it be through marginalized roles, ageism or receiving lesser salaries than their male counterparts. Thankfully things are starting to change through movements like #MeToo and the sheer amount of amazing TV roles being written for women during the #PeakTV era, but as the old adage goes, “slow and steady.”
There’s hope though. Just look at the stuff Ryan Murphy is doing with actresses like Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, or some of HBO’s female-centric offerings like Big Little Lies and Insecure. If things keep going like this, the climate may just change enough for Williams to sing a different tune a decade from now. And really, why shouldn’t she be able to do that? Especially since she’s proven what she can do with a thought-out, fully realized role.
For now, it seems like she’s keeping an eye on things and being as realistic as possible given the undeniable way things currently are.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely in awe of Hollywood’s leading ladies. I love looking at those jaw-droppingly beautiful women,” she continued in the interview. “But I think it’s sad that you only get to see one type of beautiful on screen.”
You and us both, Maisie. You and us both.