Maisie Williams On Being In Her Own Skin… And The Beauty Of Being An Overachiever
Sep 8, 2020
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For eight years, the British actress was one of television’s most beloved swordwielding, baddie-slaying teenage anti-heroines. Her next big act: mutant, producer, a champion for up-and-coming creatives, and possibly the next most powerful woman in entertainment and the arts. Here, an exclusive close-up.

Even among superheroes, the X-Men have long been a metaphor for growing up, fighting oppression and finding one’s own space within a society that hates and fears them. Perhaps you’ll find that those themes sound too familiar for comfort in 2020, given everything that’s been going on in the year so far.

The same themes are amplified in the upcoming (and long delayed) instalment in the X-Men series, The New Mutants, released in cinemas recently. The film is a horror-tinged spin-off from that universe focusing on a younger set of superheroes-in-training.

Among them: Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane, a teenage mutant with lycanthropic powers who – in a nutshell – was raised in an ultra-religious setting. (Her father was a reverend, strict to the point of abusive to correct any perceived “sins” so much so that he led an angry mob to hunt her down when her powers began to manifest.)

And few are as befitting to give depth to this complex and troubled character as the inimitable Maisie Williams, aka the British actress who – throughout her teenhood – won the world over playing anti-heroine Arya Stark in the HBO epic that was Game of Thrones (GOT).

“Rahne is a stark contrast to the characters I have played before. She is sensitive, she is fragile and nervous, she is uncomfortable in her own skin, and the opportunity to play someone with a physicality like that was something that I didn’t want to miss out on,” says Williams, now 23, in an e-mail interview ahead of our exclusive photo shoot. “When I was a teenager, I used to feel very uncomfortable in my own skin and I know Rahne feels that way.”

It’s no secret that Williams has struggled with bullying, especially when she had returned to school after filming a couple of seasons of GOT. Never mind that her much-loved character was a young noble-turned-deadly assassin, all to right heinous wrongs, Robin Hood-style. These days though, she’s doing the fighting on her own terms.

As is the case with many of the creatives of her generation, she has her fingers in many pies. She’s also a film producer and start-up founder, most notably for Daisie, an app she helped establish in 2017. Officially made public last year, it’s meant to be a platform that emphasises transparency to make it easier for up-and-coming creatives of different mediums (fashion, art, photography, film, music and more) to cross-pollinate and showcase their work.

“WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, I USED TO FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AND I KNOW RAHNE FEELS THAT WAY.” – MAISIE WILLIAMS

While she’s keeping her plans for it on the down-low, it’s hard to ignore how an endeavour like it feels particularly relevant at a time when multiple cultural movements are emerging to question and rebalance traditional power dynamics.

Read the manifesto on the app’s website that talks about how industry gatekeepers “hold all the power and select only those whom they deem talented enough to advance to the next level… It’s a divisive and alienating way to maintain the status quo and we stand with many others demanding radical transformation”.

“As an actor you have freedom, but with certain boundaries. At the end of the day, you’re still saying someone else’s words,” says Williams. “That’s why I’m so drawn to producing. I would love to create a show or film or anything from the ground up. That way you have full creative control of the set, costumes, words, lighting; you can orchestrate everything.”

It’s often said that actors struggle with being typecast as their most iconic characters, but one gets the sense that Williams – with her take-charge ethos and genre-spanning projects – is doing just fine post GOT. Aside from The New Mutants, her next television role comes in the British dark comedy Two Weeks to Live, scheduled to launch this autumn. In it, she plays Kim Noakes, a young woman who decides to re-enter real life after years of isolation and survivalist techniques she’s had to endure, imposed by her paranoid mother.

Her projects outside of film are likewise demonstrative of her zeal. Of late, she’s been something of a fashion darling, stealing the spotlight at Fashion Week where she’s a front-row regular at brands like Thom Browne and – for Fall/Winter 2020 – Givenchy. Even more recently, she was made one of five young ambassadors of Cartier’s Pasha de Cartier timepiece for achieving success due to her “differences, creativity, connection, multidisciplinary talents, and generosity”.

The most beguiling part about this pint-sized mogul-in-the-making (fun fact: her production company is called PintSized Pictures) however might just be that she doesn’t seem overly obsessed with all that acclaim. “That’s the beauty of being an overachiever,” she says. “Even if the acting ended tomorrow, there are so many things in life I want to pursue. I’ve always wanted to make dolls – maybe out of clay? And then I can make tiny clothes for them.”

Photography Rob Kulisek, Styling Lisa Jarvis Photography Assistants Alban Diaz & Jamie Finnegan Videography Amanda Louise Macchia Styling Assistant Nina Abdelfettah Hair Hei Tai Cheung Makeup Aurelia Liansberg/Wise & Talented, using Dior, Marc Jacobs & Absolution Cosmetics Manicure Sylvie Vacca Casting & Production Tasha Tongpreecha Production Manager Kate Kudinova

Maisie Williams on fashion, fame and surviving Game of Thrones
Sep 6, 2020
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Williams is embracing a bright future post Game of Thrones – and the chance to explore her distinctive take on fashion

About 15 minutes into my interview with Maisie Williams, she jumps up from her seat to close the blinds. “Wait, there’s a woman taking a picture,” she says, arching a substantial eyebrow. A fan has pressed a camera against the kitchen window at the house that the 23-year-old is renting for the summer in Paris’s first arrondissement. I think it’s worrying. She says it’s normal. Within a minute, she’s ready to resume our discussion. “I’m OK, we’re all good. What were we saying?”

We were talking, coincidentally, about the many ways in which starring in the television phenomenon Game of Thrones has changed her life. About the fame, and the fact that everyone from David Cameron to Madonna has watched Williams grow up on screen, and can recognise her as Arya Stark, the Needle-wielding heroine of Westeros. And we were discussing the rich list of new projects – from a Marvel Universe film, to an ambassadorship for Cartier’s new Pasha de Cartier watch – that Williams has managed to land since the show finished last year.

 

Chenille romper, £590, Emporio Armani. Gold earrings, £1,580, gold and diamond necklace, £3,450, and gold, onyx, emerald and diamond ring, £32,300, all Cartier

“For me now it’s all about variety,” she says, acknowledging that after a role as defining as Arya, she could have easily been typecast for life. “I want to work on things that feel different, exciting and fresh. I don’t want to do the same thing over and over again, because there are so many different opportunities in film-making. I want to experience them all.” Her predicament: how do you move on from the role of a lifetime, if the role of a lifetime came at the very beginning of your life?

As such the shows and films in which you will see Williams this autumn couldn’t be more diverse. Before lockdown (which she spent holed up making audition self-tapes and watching Normal People along with three housemates in London), she had completed The Owners, a horror film about a home invasion co-starring Rita Tushingham, as well as the upcoming Sky comedy series Two Weeks To Live, with Fleabag’s Sian Clifford. Additionally, The New Mutants, which Williams filmed back in 2017, is finally out, representing her first venture into the comic-book world.

“The New Mutants, for me, was all about the character,” she explains. “I got to play a timid girl who is very different from everyone else that I usually get asked to play. Two Weeks To Live is tonally very different; it’s a dark comedy, and I’d never been on a comedy set before. Then The Owners is a psychological thriller set in the 1990s in the UK, so all the outfits and my hair are bonkers.”

 

Satin dress, £970, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. Gold and diamond necklace, £5,350, Cartier

 

Williams had taken on some small parts during her time on Game of Thrones (a Doctor Who gig here, a few short films there) and emerged from the show at 22, with almost a decade of experience under her belt. But after an eight-year stint as Arya, she was nervous about auditioning again. She realised that she needed to put herself out there, rather than wait and see what would come to her.

“It is almost harder because I had never been told no,” she says. “The second thing that I ever auditioned for was Game of Thrones, and that launched my career. There’s always competition, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve done, you will always lose out on roles. The industry is built upon rejection. I’m definitely learning that now – how to overcome the rejection and not see it as a personal thing. But learning to be told no is really difficult as someone who’s an established actor. No one’s got time for you when you’re like, ‘Oh I didn’t get the part in this thing.’ They’re like, ‘You just came off the most successful TV show of the decade, can you hang on a minute?'”

Williams grew up in Bristol, the youngest of four siblings, and was raised mainly by her mother after her parents divorced. Performing, she says, was all she ever wanted to do, as long as she could swallow the nerves. “I was such an attention seeker, I just always wanted to goof around with my family and make them laugh,” she remembers. “When I first started doing auditions, I went on the train from Bristol up to London, and when it stopped at Reading I would cry. I would cry until we got to Paddington, and then I’d be fine. The pressure was so much, I’d cry and think, ‘I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to go in.’ Then I’d do the audition and have the best time ever.”

The finale of Game of Thrones was watched by more than 19 million people – all of whom are undoubtedly grateful that Williams did pluck up the courage to enter that casting room. Her character transformed over the course of the show from 11-year-old tomboy princess of Winterfell, to faceless god, to Night King-slaying saviour of the Seven Kingdoms, gathering more fans with every show. Williams filmed 59 episodes, won an Emmy and toured the world with the cast.

“At the beginning, when I was young, I found it so exciting when people would stop me in the street,” she explains of the effect the fame has had on her. “I was so excited to just be famous. But the years go by and it gets less and less exciting. Then you start to feel like you’re selling more of your private life and you don’t have ownership over anything and people want to exploit that. I was very lucky that I had so many people protecting me, and I have such a great support network of people.”

Williams says that if she hadn’t had her mother chaperoning on set, and true friends in the cast -particularly Sophie Turner, who played her on-screen sister, Sansa Stark, and was herself only 14 when filming began – she would have struggled with life in the spotlight. “I struggled anyway, really, we all did,” she admits. “But what was so wonderful was that we had so many actors on the show who had been acting for a long time. They gave incredible advice and let me rant on about, ‘Oh, I feel my words were misinterpreted in this interview.’ I was surrounded by people who could tell me, ‘It just happens, you have to let it go, it’s not a big deal.’ That made it all a lot easier.”

Co-star Kit Harington, who played Williams’s older half-brother, Jon Snow, on the show is full of praise for how well Williams and Turner handled themselves. When, in June 2018, he married co-star Rose Leslie, who played the alluring wildling Ygritte, his on-screen sisters were there. “They are like my surrogate younger siblings,” he says. “I found myself [recently] talking to Maisie with great adoration and love and care, but with a tone to my voice that was not right, and it made me realise she is not the kid I remember, she is very much an adult. I love that woman.”

Williams says that while she’s happy to have moved on, grown up and found new beginnings, she savoured every last moment of the Game of Thrones experience. “I was really careful in the final season to not take it for granted,” she recalls. “Even on the cold, ridiculous nights – I remember being hung from these ropes in an entirely leather outfit in the rain and then it started snowing… you’ve just got to laugh, haven’t you?”

Since leaving the show, Williams says, she’s also been able to crystallise and enjoy her sense of personal style more. Where once she couldn’t change her appearance too drastically, now she is relishing the opportunity to switch hair colours and make-up looks regularly. Often she coordinates with her 23-year-old boyfriend, the Contact model agency co-founder Reuben Selby, and the couple might be pictured on the front row at Paris Fashion Week with matching candyfloss-pink hair, or sweeps of red eyeshadow, or in his ‘n’ hers bouclé suits.

While staying in Paris, the pair attended Jacquemus’s show in a barley field, wearing beige linen suits and face masks. She arrives on our shoot in Saint-Denis wearing cycling shorts and one of Christopher Kane’s ‘More Joy’ baseball caps, before whirling through looks by Emporio Armani and Dior.

Something she likes about the Pasha de Cartier watch that she endorses (and duly strokes on her wrist throughout the interview) is that “it’s never been specifically gendered,” she says.

“And I would say that my style is very much like that. I have a lot of influence from when I was growing up with my brothers and the way that they would dress. We’re all becoming more accustomed to the fluidity of clothing and identity, and I really try to carry that with me as much as I can.”

Williams joins actors Rami Malek, Troye Sivan, Willow Smith and Jackson Wang in the advertising campaign for Cartier. She says that she feels like ‘a kid in a candy store’, and she can’t believe her luck that fashion ambassadorships can be a bonus role for actors these days. She’s always loved clothes, but learning about her style and what she actually likes, she says, came via many rounds of red-carpet appearances as a teenager. Looking at each year’s series premiere for Game of Thrones, you can track her style evolution via minidresses with tights and boots (2013), through a phase of full, ladylike skirts (2016) to where she has settled now.

“I was always curious but I didn’t know how to represent myself,” she explains. “I was very fearful of being judged and I was too scared to express myself. I have learnt to embrace who I am and have my own opinions and style myself the way that makes me feel good and proud. Growing up, it’s anyway hard to experiment for fear of being judged, but also being in the public eye made it that much more terrifying. I’m still learning now, but really in the last 18 months I think my style has become more refined.”

Another creative outlet that Williams is ‘still figuring out’ is social media. She has switched her approach in recent weeks, she says, to stop herself from becoming a ‘performative activist’.

“When I was a teenager, social media was exciting and new and you could invent yourself online,” she explains. “I wanted to share everything like my friends did. Then obviously I got a much larger following, so there was pressure to not say anything stupid.”

At about the age of 14, she found it harder to cope with the noise online from fans and critics. “I went through a time when I found it difficult to listen to people’s opinions of me constantly,” she continues. “When you are 14, people still want you to be a kid, but you’re also trying to be a grown-up. And you don’t know which one you’re supposed to be and you’re stuck in your body. That was a difficult time.

“I became really outspoken, but it was only because I was very insecure. I learnt to just speak about things I felt really passionate about and didn’t get involved in every single political issue, but now I’ve come to the point where I think there’s all this performative activism, where it’s like it only counts if you can post about it. Isn’t it better that I’m just learning and being a better person, rather than talking about it on social media?”

Williams’s self-awareness is one of her endearing qualities – Nina Gold, the casting director on Game of Thrones, described her as an ‘old soul’ when she met her, at 12. Ask most 23-year-olds what’s next for them and they might shrug and say ‘dunno’. Williams gives the shrug, but rattles off a very specific list of goals – from starring in a film that allows her to experience the full critics’ festival circuit (she’s never been to Cannes, and feels she’s attended other festivals ‘only as a fan’), to working with more female directors, to producing something of her own that is a commercial success. You don’t have to be a Three-Eyed Raven to know she’s going to achieve them all.

“I do have a bit of a plan for the first time,” she grins, her huge hazel eyes opening up. “Through my whole career I haven’t set any goals, and it’s been fine, but recently I’ve been like, ‘OK, let’s try and manipulate this situation we’re in and nail down some things I want to do.’ It’s been really helpful, even from a mental health perspective, feeling like there’s some sort of direction. I’m not just floating through the world and waiting to see. Now I’ve got an idea.”

Maisie Williams: ‘When I was 12 people were like, Ooh, are you gonna get a drug habit and ruin your life?’
Sep 4, 2020
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The 23-year-old New Mutants star talks to Craig McLean about making revenge comedy ‘Two Weeks to Live’, why she wouldn’t jump to watch ‘Game of Thrones’, and why women have to create their own stories to escape tokenism

Maisie Williams zooms into view, all Eighties club-kid fashion, heavily kohl’d eyes and shaggy, bleached blonde hair. It’s a bold look, one she probably couldn’t rock while filming eight seasons of Game of Thrones – that eye-popping ’do wouldn’t exactly fit with Arya Stark’s stealthy revenge mission – but it’s of a piece with the chic open-plan kitchen from which she’s speaking.

This, it turns out, is chez Williams, but not in the way we might expect.

“I’m in Paris, and learning French, which is going… well!” she says, falteringly, laughing. This isn’t preparation for a production, she clarifies, “but I’d love to do a French-speaking film. It’s just for me, for now, but with the intention one day of making a movie. We came here three, four weeks ago – my boyfriend is working remotely like most people, so we thought it’d be a good opportunity because we love it here so much.” Spoken like a true, globe-trotting young acting A-lister who “isn’t really in love with any city that I’ve been to. I’m really happy just moving around and I have a wonderful job which allows me to do that.”

We’re not here to discuss the 23-year-old’s return to the world of fantasy little more than a year since that fan-frustrating final season of Game of Thrones. At the time of talking, the cinema release of would-be blockbuster superhero movie The New Mutants – in which Williams plays a mutant who can turn into a wolf (handy) – is still up in the air. Equally, she shot the film three years ago and it’s had a tortuous post-production process, so it’s probably as far in her rear-view mirror as all the hoo-hah about who really should have won the Iron Throne.

Plus, it was another alternative universe-set story. As the Bristol-born actor says, somewhat tellingly, “I’ve worked on a lot of different projects in a lot of different mediums – but I don’t know that I’ve worked on something that I would jump to watch!” she adds with another laugh. “They’ve been very commercially successful, but I don’t really watch that sort of thing that often. So I’m looking to work with someone who I can just feel my most creative with.”

Which probably explains her first proper post-GoT project. Two Weeks to Live is a zingy comedy series/revenge drama, the violence set in motion by a practical joke gone wrong concerning a fake apocalypse (way funnier, not to mention credible, than it sounds, honest).

Williams plays a young woman, Kim, who’s grown up in the remote Scottish Highlands with her mum Tina (Fleabag’s Sian Clifford). But when life off the grid and killing deer for dinner starts to lose its lustre, Kim heads out into the real world, pursued by her mum. With what it seems is characteristic no-BS playfulness, she admits it was the right thing at the right time for someone who started on GoT when she was 13.

“It probably wasn’t the most challenging thing that I’ve done. But I guess that’s also why it was great timing, because I’d just come off 10 years of HELL!” Williams hoots, leaning her face into her laptop. “No, 10 years of joy!” The six-part show was, clearly, a blast to make. She and Clifford, who has just won the Female Performance in a Comedy Bafta for Fleabag, clicked instantly, bonding over their shared experience of playing fan-favourite characters and the challenge of moving on from those.

“When you watch us onscreen, you can just tell we’re having a lot of fun. That’s an infectious thing for the audience. That’s what’s it’s all about, right? Moving the audience and them being able to feel what you’re giving, and I think this show really does that. And for me, it’s different to anything I’ve done before.”

This explains why she hasn’t use her global GoT fame to springboard into Hollywood blockbusters, as her Westeros bestie Sophie Turner has done with the X-Men franchise. “There are so many parts of the industry that I’ve never really experienced. And I didn’t want to price myself out of that, or run away from the opportunity to work on something like this.

“I’m sure every single person who was on Game of Thrones has been asked: what are you gonna do now?” she wonders in her relaxed, slangy speaking voice. “There’s always the accusation, or query, as to whether you’re going to do anything that was that successful again. But what we did on Game of Thrones was unprecedented, and if you try and do something like that again, you’re only gonna fail. Because that sort of thing only comes around once. A big box office smash viewed by millions and millions of people around the world – it’s never gonna top that. So that’s just not a fulfilling thing to go after.”

Two Weeks To Live, then, was a smart pivot, one that enabled her to flex comedy muscles while also show off her old fighting and stunt skills. “This was a really intense shoot, three, four shots per scene, and snappy and quick. You miss out on opportunities like this if you’re just trying to go for status.”

Williams clearly has a calm, cool head for her business, and for herself, and always has – I met her on the Northern Irish set of GoT when she was 14 and she was as unflustered and down-to-earth as they come, even as Thrones mania was exploding around the world. As she advanced through her teenage years, she navigated child superstardom with apparent ease, even as she was becoming one of the best-paid teenage actors in the world – by the final season, she and Turner were reportedly earning £158,000 per episode. But there were no tales of excess or indulgence, no paparazzi shots of drunken stumbles outside nightclubs.

Her mum, she says, deserves much of the credit for shepherding her through onrushing fame, but at the same she time herself was “always so aware” of the possible pitfalls.

“Even when I was 12, people were like: ‘Ooh, are you gonna get a drug habit and ruin your life?’ That is the problem, I guess: the fact that you’re doing interviews when you’re 12 and no one’s ever addressing why that’s a really difficult and dangerous thing for you to do. Everybody wants you to have an opinion on something when you don’t know who you are yet.

“So I was really quick to understand that: these people aren’t my friends. People just want to go where the money and drama is. And I wanted to really protect myself.” So she had to “grow up really fast” while also recognising that that “can also mess you up. It’s a minefield [and] it’s a challenge every single day.”

As for her next professional steps, she’s looking… and looking. One area of firm interest is women-led projects. “Women telling female stories [is] really important, I think, if you want to create something that really does speak to women and that is really emotionally in tune, and powerful. We’re going through this phase of hiring women as, like, a token – they’re always onscreen, but they’re never behind the camera. There’s just a real mismatch there, because how can you expect a male director to know what it’s like to be a woman?”

She mentions The Falling, a critically acclaimed indie by Carol Morley that she made when she was 15. “I’m so proud of that, and I would love to do something in that vein. That’s a movie I would have watched if I wasn’t in it. Everyone sees me as, you know, 16, which is cool. But I mentally don’t feel like a 16-year-old, and it would be nice for me to play a woman who is as complex as I am.”

Female writers and directors with a possibly French-language project in need of a star who’ll bring talent, smarts and budget? You know who to call.

Two Weeks to Live starts on Sky One on Wednesday 2 September

Maisie Williams shares her hopes for season 2 of ‘Two Weeks to Live’
Sep 4, 2020
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Interviews / News & Updates / Press / Two Weeks To Live

“First of all, she’d have to be introduced to Elvis Presley…”

Maisie Williams has opened up about her hopes for a second season of Two Weeks To Live.

The Game of Thrones star, returning to TV for the first time since the HBO show ended, recently told NME what she would like to see for her character Kim if the series were to return.

“I think that her little mind would be completely blown by so many things,” Williams said. “I’d love to see her experiencing tribute acts. They’re so weird and we don’t think they are.

“First of all, she’d have to be introduced to Elvis Presley or whoever and then she’d have to understand that he’s dead and this person is just acting like him. It just makes no sense. Or I’d love to see her looking at doll’s houses.”

Williams continued: “The fact that we keep houses in our houses that are full of really tiny things?” she says. “People actually put in wiring and plumbing and shit like that, it’s just so extra. Kim really does call everything out, like, ‘Why do we do this? It’s so strange.’”

In a five-star review of Two Weeks To Live, NME said: “One of 2020’s best new shows, Two Weeks To Live leans into the witty humour of classic British comedies like Hot Fuzz and Brassic.

“There’s attitude and the story rolls along with a real swagger, but it never does the expected or takes itself too seriously. Season one’s final episode leaves the door wide open for a second series and lays to rest the ghost of Arya Stark.”

Maisie Williams on ‘The Owners’ and the Original Night King Ending on ‘Games of Thrones’
Sep 4, 2020
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2020-The New Mutants / 2020-The Owners / Interviews / News & Updates / Press
The actor talks going indie for her first post-‘Thrones’ role and the secret Kit Harington was told during season three of the HBO hit.
After devoting a decade of her life to HBO’s global phenomenon, Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams is going indie. In her first post-Thrones role, Williams plays Mary in Julius Berg’s The Owners, which explores a botched home burglary involving a group of friends and an older couple who practice medicine from the aforementioned manor. William’s character gets caught up in her boyfriend’s (Ian Kenny) muddled plan, and has to deal with the unexpected fallout.Coming off of the biggest television production of all time, Williams jumped at the chance to go back to basics via the horror-thriller, as her indie ambitions were inspired by a couple of familiar faces.

“I Feel Myself Coming Back To The Surface”: Maisie Williams On Her Cathartic Quarantine
Sep 4, 2020
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Interviews / Maisie Williams / News & Updates / Press / Two Weeks To Live

“I Feel Myself Coming Back To The Surface”: Maisie Williams On Her Cathartic Quarantine

Maisie Williams returns to our screen this week in revenge comedy Two Weeks To Live as Kim, who leaves her overbearing mother (Fleabag’s Sian Clifford) behind to avenge her dead father’s killer. Along the way, our heroine encounters obstacles that allow Williams to utilise her Game Of Thrones-era combat skills once again – albeit with Needle swapped out for rather more 2020 ammunition.

“The original storyline was that a virus broke out and the world was going to end,” Maisie told Miss Vogue, having dialled into a call from her current base in Paris. ”I had to do ADR [dubbing] from my bedroom, because there actually was a virus going on, so we changed it to a nuclear war. The storyline we had chosen became real — it was our reality and not just a story.”

Williams delights in the fact that Two Weeks To Live has a young female lead at its heart, but is still keen to see even more opportunities for women both in front of and behind the camera. “There are such wonderful characters written for women at the moment, and I’ve been lucky enough to play some of them, but there are still a lot of interesting stories to be told. We need to find great female teams to be able to tell them.”

Playing Kim gave the actor an opportunity to get her teeth into a comedy role for the first time. “I first read the script about four years ago when it was a film, and thought it had real potential. If something can make you laugh, then the chances are it will make other people laugh, too,” she explained. This isn’t to say that nailing comic timing was without its challenges. “Comedy is terrifying and intimidating to do,” said Maisie. “Even if I could do this show again I would do so many things differently, and I’ve learned so much for the next comedy role that I do. I always see things that I would want to do differently. I think watching yourself is painful!”

While seeing Maisie do full-blown funny will be a new experience for fans, other elements of her role in Two Weeks To Live are more familiar. Aside from being more than capable of holding their own in a fight, further comparisons can be drawn between Kim and Arya Stark. They’re both headstrong and tomboyish, and both offer a different version of the young female experience than those we’re used to seeing on screen.

Maisie appears to have no qualms about the dearth of damsels in distress on her CV. “I don’t usually get to read [for roles] like that, because aesthetics-wise, I don’t really look [like] the stereotype of a damsel in distress, which is also all made up and all in our own heads anyway. I just think that people don’t see me that way, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen myself that way either.” According to Maisie, her body of work reflects a feeling she’s had since she was a child. “I have always felt very different to the girls and women I grew up around, and a lot of that comes out in my art. I think that I do wear that with me everywhere I go. I do feel different, but that’s something that I embrace.”

It’s all part of an ongoing journey towards acceptance for Maisie, who says she has recently begun to rediscover the confidence she lost during her teenage years. “I got really lost and I didn’t know what to do, and would second guess everything about myself. I really feel myself coming back to the surface again, and I think this lockdown has helped that. I feel very different from the girl who went into quarantine, and I feel so much more confident.”

Her advice to other young women who have experienced similar struggles? “No one else is as cool as you are, and trying to be like anyone else is going to cause you a lot of pain. I think that people just need to let go of the expectations in their head – expectations of other people but also of themselves – and learn to exist in this world as they are, and learn to be better to themselves and other people.”

Maisie’s cathartic quarantine also coincided with her settling into a new city: she moved to Paris just before the lockdown was introduced. “I’ve been learning French which is something I’ve always wanted to do, so that’s been really enjoyable. I’ve also just been reading a lot and drinking tea. I didn’t have anything to complain about, and I know it hasn’t been that way for everyone,” she told us. “I’ve been trying to be happy with what is happening today – even if that is just being stuck in your house – and being grateful for everything that I have. I can definitely relate to that feeling of wanting tomorrow to come, and wanting things to be better or different or more – or whatever it might be. I can see why Kim escaped her mother’s clutches and went after a more exciting life.”

Two Weeks To Live will air tonight on Sky One and is available to stream in full.