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29th Nov 2022

Gwendoline Christie says her new Wednesday role is first time she’s felt ‘beautiful on screen’

Steve Hopkins

Christie plays the principal at the school Wednesday attends

Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has said her role in the new The Addams Family drama is the first time she’s felt “beautiful on screen”.

The Netflix series, that dropped on the streaming service last week, centres around Wednesday Addams as she attends Nevermore Academy, where Christie is the principal, Larissa Weems.

There Wednesday, played by Jenna Ortega, tries to master her psychic abilities, thwart a killing speed and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago.

Director Tim Burton reportedly game Christie the artistic freedom to help mould her character as she wished.

She told Entertainment Weekly (EW): “He said, ‘You can do whatever you like with the character, feel free to make it whatever you want and we’ll keep talking about it.’

“And that was an unbelievable opportunity from this great cinematic master.”

Christie worked with Burton and costume designer Colleen Atwood to create the character, and this collaboration culminated in a career first for the 44-year-old: “The first time I’ve ever felt beautiful on screen.”

“I cannot express my extreme gratitude more heartily to Tim and Colleen and our hair and makeup team,” she told EW.

“Colleen Atwood is rightfully a legend, and what she does is close to witchcraft in terms of transformation. It is an honour of my life to work with Colleen and to work with Tim.”

The Star Wars actor said Atwood is “supremely talented” and “hugely experienced.

“That experience cannot be underlined enough because she is able to look at your body and emphasise different elements, emphasise your strong points,” Christie explained.

“The way she made me feel was my body felt celebrated and beautiful. Never once did I feel like there was something to hide or something to be ashamed of. She made me feel incredible.”

Beyond making Christie feel beautiful, Atwood was also “enormously collaborative and wanted to know what I thought”.

Initially that made the actor nervous, but “she welcomed them and she loved them”.

Indeed, it seems the trio were in harmony when it came to their vision for Larissa.

Christie explained to EW that she kept thinking of her character as being someone who was an “outcast, who went to a school for outcasts, that was always second best and was always in Morticia’s [Catherine Zeta-Jones] shadow”.

“What kept coming to me was this idea of this Hitchcock-style heroin, this screen siren, that maybe that young woman would look to our mystic portal, the cinema, to be an incarnation of her fantasies. And weirdly, Tim had exactly the same idea and so did Colleen Atwood.”

The eight-part series is currently the top show on Netflix in the UK.

Read the full Entertainment Weekly interview here.

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