The head-turning Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie is a towering 6ft 3in tall and admits she often felt she couldn't relate to women on the big screen because of her Amazonian frame, but is now relishing the opportunity to play a tough, fierce warrior in the medieval fantasy drama.
She said: "It's really vitally important to me the way women are portrayed. As someone who has always felt at times pretty genderless because of my size, it interests me to challenge ideas of prejudice and femininity, and what it is to be a woman."
The towering actress reveals that she had numerous setbacks in her career before landing a prized role as Brienne of Tarth in the hit show, adding: "I found it so frustrating, particularly at the beginning, because I would be told, 'Sorry love, you're too tall.' At one stage I was like, 'I'll give this another six months and if this persists, 'I'll become a nun.' "
For her role as warrior Brienne, Gwendoline trained how to fight with swords and ride horses and says it's "empowering" to know she can "break a man's nose with my elbow."
In an interview with Stylist magazine, she added: "I trained in combat, sword fighting, horse riding ... It's empowering knowing that I can a break man's nose with my elbow.
"I do all my own stunts and come away with bruises and scratches. After one scene I was absolutely covered in bruises all down one leg and up one arm. But it's worth it. It's quite fun. I enjoy knocking around with the boys."