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Gwendoline Christie Fought Bullies Her Entire Life - The Gloves Are Off Now That She Is A Star
Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline Christie Fought Bullies Her Entire Life - The Gloves Are Off Now That She Is A Star

Gwendoline Christie, also known as Principal Weems on the Netflix hit series Wednesday, was once told shed never make it on the big screen.

A Netflix hit series has surely satisfied supernatural fans in search of their dose of grim humour.

Wednesday, a spin-off of the 1964 television series The Addams Family, features some oddly familiar characters. Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, the disembodied hand known as ’Thing’ are enough to spark nostalgia.

While Halloween is dead and gone, it seems some Netflix users are in the mood to resurface their inner gothic. The show has done remarkably well since its Nov. 23 premiere. Ranked as the #1 tv show on Netflix with 341.2 million hours viewed, the series takes the top spot in 83 counties. To put things into perspective, Stranger Things Season 4 is the only show that comes close to reaching this feat.

It isn’t just Wednesday, played by Jenna Ortega that is a show favourite. Gwendoline Christie also known as Principal Weems and head of Nevermore Academy, is receiving quite the praise.

Who Is Gwendoline Christie And Where Have We Seen Her Before

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English actress Gwendoline Christie played Brienne of Tarth in the HBO-series Game of Thrones. She is also known for roles in The Sandman and Star Wars.

Since then, her career has excelled leading to a lead role in Wednesday where she plays the poised and professional shapeshifter and Principal Weems.

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Her time is spent ensuring Nevermore Academy’s reputation isn’t tainted. The school is full of sirens, werewolves, vampires and gorgons but to Principal Weems Nevermore is a sanctuary.

Her looming presence is captivating to say the least. While her pristine appearance is one to admire, it is her height that is truly breathtaking. It is important to note that while today Christie’s height makes her character, this was not always the case.

Gwendoline Christie Was Told She’d Never Make It As An Actress

In a 2015 interview with Vogue, Christie recalls finding beauty in her uniqueness.

"At 12, I was 5'7". At 14, I was 6'1". Then I grew another couple of inches after that when I was around 18. I’m now 6'3" and a quarter. Either I’m still growing or my posture has improved,” she said.

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While attending a drama school, Christie’s professors told her finding work would be challenging. The limitations that others put on her did not tarnish her drive to succeed as an actress. With a slight bone to pick, Christie looked up to Orlando’s Tilda Swinton. The two had similar characteristics of blonde hair, pale skin, pale eyelashes and a cryptic presence.

"I remember thinking, Here’s someone not a million miles away from me in a film version of a book I deeply admire, and I thought maybe it is possible. Things like that genuinely give you the confidence to go ahead,” she said.

Body shamed, bullied and told to let her dreams go, Christie did the exact opposite. Her determination led to a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series in 2019 for her role in Game Of Thrones.

Feeling Beautiful On Screen For The First Time Ever

Gwendoline Christie and Jenna Ortega BTS Wednesday
Gwendoline Christie and Jenna Ortega

As far as casting in Hollywood goes, people tend to get lumped into a category and have to scratch and claw to find their way out. Christie’s role as Principal Weems in Wednesday is a turning point in her career, trading in the metal armour for red lips and pencil skirts.

RELATED: Hugh Jackman Stands Up for 10-Year-Old Bullying Victim, Sends Her Powerful Words of Encouragement

For the first time in her career, Christie said she “felt beautiful on screen.” With hair and makeup done to perfection, the actress told Entertainment Weekly that she finally felt celebrated.

"Never once did I feel like there was something to hide or something to be ashamed of. She made me feel incredible,” she said.

How Principal Weems In Wednesday Came To Be

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Christie was given creative freedom to mold her character into what defined Principal Weems. She leaned towards a Hitchcock-style Heroin that was in charge of her own fate. Unfazed by the horrors unravelling in her own school, Principal Weems remained confident, assertive and graceful.

RELATED: Demi Lovato: Stand Up Against Bullying

It’s tough to deny that the strongest characters are usually made up of actors and actresses that are allowed to run wild with their own creative freedom.

"I cannot express my extreme gratitude more heartily to Tim and Colleen and our hair and makeup team. Colleen Atwood is rightfully a legend, and what she does is close to witchcraft in terms of transformation. It is an honor of my life to work with Colleen and to work with Tim,” she added.

Setting An Example For Young Women In The Film Industry

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Despite her growing fame, Christie is not one to forget the challenges of breaking into the film industry. Yes, she showed naysayers that perseverance surpasses all.

“I think, because my body seems to draw such extreme responses from people, that, well… it’s fight or flight, isn’t it? Sink or swim,” she said in a 2019 interview with GQ Style.

RELATED: Eminem’s Life Story: From Bullied Dropout to Hip Hop Knockout

As a feminist and anti-bullying activist, Christie has proven that women can flourish in the film industry despite not meeting conventional societal standards.

“You either exist in a state of shame about not fitting into society or you embrace what you have.”

Is the film and tv industry in the midst of a shift? Perhaps. We have witnessed more inclusivity, diversity and an undeniable effort to eliminate former conventional norms. With Christie being cast as Principal Weems, this is an indicator that beauty standards are shifting. Hopefully this trend is one that continues to grow.


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