‘ feisty swordstress Arya Stark, Maisie Williams isn’t typically seen as a damsel in distress — nor should she be — but following the stateside release of her new movie
— originally released in the UK in 2013, but now available in the U.S. on iTunes and VOD — Williams plays Josie, the daughter of Stephen Dorff’s Paul, who finds herself in desperate need of saving after a family trip to Africa goes horribly, violently wrong.
Below, Williams talks to TVLine about the struggles of playing helpless in
‘ Lady Stoneheart exclusion and why she believes Arya is finally “ready to go off on her own” in Season 5.
TVLINE | What attracted you to this role? Josie is sort of the anti-Arya.
I shot this two or three years ago, and when we got the script, I wasn’t in any position to be picking and choosing roles to play. I think people think stuff gets thrown at us all the time, but that’s not the case; there aren’t many roles out there for people my age.
[Josie and Arya] are both completely different characters, and I enjoy doing both. I enjoy
for obvious reasons, but it was also refreshing to work with a different crew on a different set with different cast members.
When Jo encounters the hyena, that was pretty cool. It was really different, something you don’t get to experience on every film set.
TVLINE | I feel like you work with a lot of animals. Any favorites? The horses are the easiest, they don’t get too grumpy. The dogs would probably be second. The hyenas were also good, but there’s always the possibility that they’re going to freak out, because they can’t really be tamed. … Oh, the cat I worked with on
was so badly behaved! It would never do anything it was supposed to do. I was like, “Get your game together, cat. You’re so bad.”
TVLINE | Well, hopefully Arya won’t be dealing with any more cats in Season 5. Do you know what she
I haven’t gotten the scripts yet, so I still don’t know what’s happening. I have a rough outline of what happens in the books, but you never know what they’re going to put into this season versus next season, or what they’re going to scrap altogether. I know a couple of really cool things happen in the books with Arya, and I just had a meeting about about a certain thing that happens to Arya, but I still don’t know
it happens. And that’s what it was like last year; I was learning fight scenes, even though I didn’t know
I’d be fighting them. People think the cast members know all the ins and outs, but we really don’t.
TVLINE | Being a social media pro, I’m sure you’re aware of the Lady Stoneheart outcry. Any thoughts on that?
like it. I’m so sick of going on the internet and seeing all the book readers being snobby, spoiling it for other people, then saying, “Well, it’s not a spoiler. The books have been out for years.” Like, couldn’t you just stop being mad for a second and let other people enjoy the show? They feel they have a claim on the series because they read the books first, and I understand that, but they don’t need to be mean about it. That’s why I liked moments like this, because book readers
they know what’s coming, then we change it and it’s really funny to watch their reactions. They’re always like, “That’s not what happened in the books, so the show’s really bad now.” But really, they just feel insecure because they’re used to knowing what’s coming next.
TVLINE | Do you know what’s coming next, at least for Arya?
I don’t know, honestly. We’re starting to catch up with what’s been written, so I’d love to do something completely new. Again, I’d love to keep making the book readers go, “Wait, is that what’s going to come in the next book? Did they make that up completely?” I love it when we do something really dramatic and shock
. They should throw in more stuff that no one knows about.
TVLINE | As long as it’s not Arya accidentally falling out of a moon door.
TVLINE | Going into Season 5, Arya’s going to be Hound-less for once. Will she be OK on her own?
I think she’s going to be fine. And I think, for the first time ever, she actually believes she’s going to be fine. It’s refreshing to me; this girl’s been pulled left and right by people who’ve been telling her what she’s going to do with her life, and she’s sick of it. She knows this world, she knows who to trust and she’s ready to go off on her own.
fans, what are you hoping to see in Season 5? And for all you book snobs, how did you feel about the lack of Lady Stoneheart in Season 4? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.
Yet another answer that skirts around Lady Stoneheart. Due to the lack of a definitive answer out of the showrunners, I’m really thinking Stoneheart will be included next season
Michelle Fairley getting a season-long arc on ABC’s Resurrection has me less convinced…
people can work on more shows and its a “recuring” character on Resurrection. the whole thing seems weird
It doesn’t skirt around anything. Maisie simply doesn’t know anything. From what I’ve read Stoneheart has been in the books for like 5 pages to effectively do nothing. Unless GRRM has big plans for the character in the next 2 books we won’t be seeing her. It would be very difficult to do the character as its written, and of course the second anything gets changed the complaining will start. So why bother.
5 pages is a huge exaggeration. While she is only in it for a few chapters, she is doing a ton of stuff off screen. She also seemingly plays a big role in the future of Jamie and Brienne’s story line.
You are referring to a lot of speculative things (“doing a ton of stuff off screen” and “seeming plays a big role in the future”). So the show producers and writers would have a lot filling in the blanks on a character that may or may not play a large role in unreleased books. There are way more characters that are more fully realized currently active in the books than Lady Stoneheart for them to focus on without getting into speculative territory.
GRR Martin has told them what happens in the future books, so if Lady Stoneheart doesn’t appear we’ll know she isn’t integral to the future books plot
oh you sweet summer child. What do you know of winter. If you haven’t read the Grand Northern Conspiracy it is hard to understand her importance.
hope you are right. She need to appear. what else was characters like Beric and Thoros for anyway and showing Berics resurrection
Haha, one more reason to love Maisie. That entire answer about snobby book readers makes me so happy. I got Lady Stoneheart ruined for me by people crying about it after the finale. Why people can’t just stop posting spoilers is beyond me.
Because humanity sucks. That’s why I’m a misanthrope.
Original production takes precedent, and is the true cannon for any intellectual property, until the originator of said property definitively states otherwise.
If you don’t like the readers posting spoilers, don’t go on the forums or read the books.
It’s just as easy – hell easier – to keep the book details confined to spoiler labelled threads and forums plus it has the added benefit of being considerate. Your little “original production takes precedent” and “true canon” nonsense is just nerd logic and fails to account for the “try not to be a jerk” rule.
You’re the exactly the kind of douche Maisy was maligning in the interview.
I loved her response. Well stated. People get so bent out of shape when the show even slightly deviates from the book. No where does it say that they are following the books. I wish people would just sit back, shut their damn pie holes and enjoy the show. I think a lot of times people forget that TV is an escape, they get to focused on what they think should happen or what doesn’t make sense.
Oh, stop crying about the spoilers! How do they “spoil” anything for you? One surprise less, boo-freaking-hoo, it’s not like you won’t be able to watch the show anymore, why all the drama? This is something that people have known for years, it’s been such a big deal for some (for others, like me – huge disappointment, I thought we were rid of yet another whiny Stark…), don’t expect them to keep restraining themselves, they want to talk about things like anyone else is able to talk, to express their disappointment freely, not just in spoiler threads. That’s their right. Sucks to have things spoiled, but let’s not make it into some kind of huge problem. How about you start avoiding all kinds of GoT discussions, not expect others to follow your rules.
Eva, you fail to understand that this whole discussion is about people who *deliberately* spoil events of the Song of Fire and Ice saga for those who haven’t read all of the novels. There are many readers who do take precautions not to spoil others. Why should those who haven’t read the books have to avoid ALL GoT forums for fear of being spoiled? No, the solution is for those who have read the books to follow proper online TV/book discussion etiquette.
Actually it’s about masie’s interview and the question is how do you feel about the absence of ls in season 4 and what do you hope too see in season 5 nothing about spoilers that just came up in alot of unpleasant arguments posters were having
Generally I agree, but as a book reader myself I want to point out that it’s only a small group of readers (at least that’s what I hope) who act as such a**holes, so please don’t make it sound like all of us are like that.
BTW: sorry that they ruined that for you.
Seriously? the Lady Stoneheart thing is still “a thing”?… give it a rest people!, her character really didn’t have that much story in the books, I mean, so far that is; she appeared like, twice after that epilogue in the third book, and, other than shock value, I don’t see how much story you could put in the show since she pretty much disappears after that big reveal.
Agreed. It’s like people have to act like they know something. The Lady Stoneheart thing was boring anyway WHO CARES.
she has big stories coming up with Brienne and Jaime and planning a RW of her own
Lady Stoneheart is something the show could have taken and really ran with and made their own though. So I’d say they missed a trick by excluding her. The show takes enough liberties with the source material, so a gnarly-looking water zombie Michelle Fairley embarking on some huge revenge crusade for the Red Wedding and other characters getting involved would have been epic. It could have been the other big thing the season could have focused on besides just the Martells. This last season’s finale was pretty underwhelming as well, so it’s not like people disappointed about Lady Stoneheart are just being whiny brats.
And Maisie came off pretty snotty herself in this interview.
How did she come off snotty? She spoke her mind and called out book spoiling @$$holes for being exactly what they are.
she came off as snotty because she bashed anyone complaining about the exclusion of LSH as ‘just insecure because they don’t know what happens’ – who the hell cares about whether they know what happens or not? people were upset because it’s an EPIC event that they wanted to see happen on the screen, period.
and stop acting like Maisie is some kind of authority figure – she’s an actress that plays Arya well but she’s also a 17 year old girl who’s perfectly capable of having stupid opinions like the one she expressed in this interview
That’s sort of calling the kettle black Edward!
She’s awesome, I love how she calls out annoying people like the above commenter about nonsense.
I really enjoyed the part about the “book readers being snobby”. That is so true. It always amazes me how hysterical some people get if the show deviates even slightly from the books.
If your series is based on a book series, and you don’t feel like you need to follow the books, YOU are the problem, not “snobby” book readers.
She didn’t say that at all! She said that book readers who felt the need to spoil things for non-readers were being snobbish. She said that she liked that the show occasionally did things to surprise book readers. She didn’t say that they don’t need to follow the books. She said certain book readers need to stop spoiling things.
The fact that she has said in a previous interview that she does sword fights with her non-dominant hand in order to match her character from the book goes to show how much she respects the books.
It looks like you’re in the minority. There is definitely value in experiencing both mediums, but being a spoiling jerkhole has no value except from a trolling standpoint. There’s also the thing about, you know, the second thing you’re experiencing being diminished by foreknowledge of the first. And from all accounts I’ve seen, the show is considerably better than the books, so that gives me another reason to not read them.
LOL “From all accounts you have seen”? Which “accounts” are those? It’s really funny that you know the show is better than the books, since you have NOT read them. And it shows. Pretty much everyone who has both read the books and seen the show thinks that the books are MUCH, MUCH better than the show.
Well, there’s Film Crit Hulk who kind of hates the books. And when everyone was talking about the Jaime/Cersei rape scene, I saw a lot of people chiming in that the book version of Cersei yelling stuff like, “Do me harder!” made the books sound like bad erotica. Sure, my judgement is based on the opinions of (many) others, but how many cheesy excerpts do I need to read before I’m allowed to avoid 500+ page books that have however as much of this: “He circled her nipples with his thumbs, pinched them between thumb and forefinger, then began to pull at her, very lightly at first, then more insistently, until her nipples stiffened and began to ache.” I’m no prude, but this is about the 13 year old version of Daenerys and it sounds about as sexy as stale pizza.
Books are always better than the show more detail than you can pack into an hour and the show game of thrones is BASED on the book series not an exact replica every book to movie I have seen/read contain many differences that’s why they say based on
Please. As one of the people who’ve read the books I can fully admit how obnoxious some of these know it all online morons are.
“Based on” has never had to be synonymous with “duplicated from.” nor has it required the source material that anything uses to be used any more than those doing the adaptation choose to. Unfortunately a lot of people conveniently ignore that or are unaware of the difference. I appreciate that those who are familiar with source material for anything, in this case Game Of Thrones, love the idea of seeing the things that they envisioned play out for real, but it isn’t mandatory.
Thank you! I think she said that nonsense just to seem edgy and against the grain. She sounds ridiculous and immature.
Book readers are within their rights to expect characters and events from the novels to appear in the adaptation. We’re also within our rights to questions strange choices like this when the show split book 3 in half and therefore had plenty of time for Lady Stoneheart.
Based on…..not exactly if it said an exact copy of the books that would be different
Don’t know don’t care what Michelle Fairley salary was but not having to pay it was a good reason to drop Lady Stoneheart story line. Not seeing Lady Stoneheart at the end of season 4 was almost as shocking as the red wedding.
Always thought the “Lady Stoneheart” character was a cheap trick to keep a dead character alive anyway. Since it appears she won’t be back, that cleans up the story lines and now we get to try and figure out what happens to Brienne and her squire now that they have escaped the evil clutches of GRRM. Keep changing things, it makes it new for those of us who have read it.
and yet they showed berics resurrection and is not doing Robert Strong. Have you even watched the show because then you definitely missed that.
LS should definitely appear to avenge Starks and hang some Freys. RW should have a consequence just like in the books
I really loved her response about snobby book readers but I have no doubt it will tick many people off. I happen to agree with her though. The show is based on the books. Its not a word for word adaptation. It always amazes me how mad people get when the storyline deviates from the book. I get that certain characters or storylines are loved by book readers and they’re just passionate about them…. but the sense of entitlement from some fans really goes way too far. I’ve read the books and I enjoyed them… but I have no desire to watch a show where I literally know every single thing that’s going to happen. Give me the unexpected anyday.
I have read the books and I am also glad they are, hopefully, leaving out Lady Stoneheart. I don’t mind that the show differs from the books and some story lines are off a bit. That makes it fun/exciting. I also can’t wait until next season to see what may or may not be different as well. So many times when books are made into movies/shows, some people are upset because, obviously, a show/movie just cannot be exactly like the book. Thus, when GoT changes up the story a bit, why complain? Sit back, watch and enjoy. Or, change the channel. But, most important, stop the whining.
you should stop whining. LS need to appear. She is a tragic and cool character and it shows there is a consequence for the RW
Honestly who cares about the Lady Stoneheart storyline. It’s really not all that. As someone who has read the books, I like the show better. The books have to many needless storylines that ultimately go nowhere. I like how the show is streamlining things.
For example, in the book we have hundreds of boring pages of Brienne roaming around talking to this one, that one, etc etc while she looks for Sansa to finally find out from a priest that the hound is ‘at rest’. In the show, Brienne met up with him and had a badass confrontation. Arya leaves him, we don’t see him die (though I believe he’s dead). Same outcome, much more interesting way to get there.
Word is Maisie is in talks to play Ellie, one of the leads in “The Last of Us” film adaptation. Having played the game it’s based on (which is pretty much a cinematic experience already), that role is juicy as all heck and I really hope she gets it.
i think it’s important to see things from everyone’s perspective, and lady stoneheart mattered a lot of some fans. for me she was the embodiment of catelyn stark’s last moments of anger and vindictiveness. i really love female “villains,” as well as characters who seek revenge. other reader’s have pointed out her significance with jaime and brienne’s story line, particularly with a decision brienne is forced to make.. i thought that was a great, albeit apprehensive part to read. and i get it, spoilers are one of the most annoying things, i’ve seen those fans on comment sections spoiling the books for a lot of people, but there are also a lot of fans shouting them down as well. it’s important not to generalize one group of people. i personally am not a huge fan of the show now. i’m the last person who will say “it’s not like the books.” i find that annoying as well. as an adaption you have to make changes, and i usually look forward to those. but it goes farther then simple changes in the story. i was appreciative to the show runners, and still am, for introducing the series to me. but these characters aren’t the same in the book. what i really liked about the show was that this it was unpredictable and there was so much detail and characters you were intrigued by. what i love about the books is the author subverting tropes. and i don’t see that in the show. they don’t take as many risks and try to make characters who have done reprehensible things in the books seem more sympathetic to the audience. or in catelyn’s case the story of the young boy king is written from the mother’s perspective. what a lovely thing the show runners could have done. the mother is hardly given a role in fantasy, unless she’s evil. and what a great trope to subvert, most people have visceral reactions when seeing a well-written, loving relationship between a mother and her children. that would have been so interesting to watch. but we have another boy king story. people love those. but maybe people love these things because they’ve seen them so much, maybe people don’t always know what’s best. and you have to take a chance and show them. i just feel, for a few reasons, this series hasn’t been doing the spirit of these characters justice.
i love the show and the books. but like a few shows i like, i like the characters, i want to know what happens, but they’ve has increasingly become disappointing to me. most importantly, i’ve learned as much as i love game of thrones, i should learn to love things without being too attached to them, as i think i’ve seen a lot of other fans doing. but most importantly let’s be nicer and more understanding to one another. as much as i may agree with the fans who complain about the show, it’s not fun to hear that sort of negativity. and to see people treating one another as objects of derision and getting heated over contentious aspects of the show.
MW’s interviews having been leaving a bad taste in my mouth since before the season started. Her ignorance and disdain for the character she plays and her growing immaturity make me wish that spoof article about her quitting GOT for college were true. She could do with some education and growth. In the meantime, the fans could do with an actress playing Arya who comprehends and likes the role.
i was gutted about no lady stoneheart and i get that at the moment she hasn’t done ‘enough’ to warrant being in the series but the thing is if they don’t put lady stoneheart in the t.v show then that’s a spoiler for book readers that she isn’t going to go on to do anything too prominent…if there is a group that should suffer spoilers it should be non-book readers and by not having her in the show, is a spoiler for book readers in that sense…
Yeah I think you know that’s a pretty thin straw you’re grasping at there. The show spoiling the unwritten books because of the showrunner’s assumed decisions based on their unspecified pre-knowledge??? Really???
Hey, if it makes you feel better I’ve always thought whatever Martin told the show guys about his endgame was 1) very broad strokes and probably only about the major players and 2) subject to change.
The loss of lady Stonehenge is no big deal. Sansa can pick this plotline up it would give real kudos to her character to become the star’s avenging Angel
awful idea. LS need to appear to show there is consequences for RW
I think sansa is a stark and would be very suitable too avenge the red wedding if you don’t agree please explain why I’m pretty confident that they are going too do that atleast on some level too those who disagree with that or any other changes grab that remote I guess
That would be pretty interesting. After everything Sansa has been through, for her to say “f this” and finally let that hate and anger to take over and seek revenge would be awesome. All we’ve seen so far is a meek girl and it was set up in the final episodes to make it look like she will start playing the game. I would like to see her take down Littlefinger.
Snobby book readers who get mad n spoil it for the rest of us is pretty accurate. “they feel like the have a claim on the show because they read the books”. That’s more than accurate. Smh!
Most the people who post spoilers on the internet are not book readers, but wiki readers. As someone who has read the books and loves the T.V. show, why in seven hells would I want to spoil it for other people if I want them to enjoy it?
Many the people that like to spoil are just wiki readers, having never touched the books they don’t always get the details right.
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