Gwendoline Christie Joins 'Star Wars: Episode VII': 5 Things to Know About the Actress

The "Game of Thrones" actress is already on her second career, familiar with the "Dr. Who"-esque science-fantasy scene and attached to another major franchise.
Gwendoline Christie   |   Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
The "Game of Thrones" actress is already on her second career, familiar with the "Dr. Who"-esque science-fantasy scene and attached to another major franchise.

The latest additions to the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII include Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie, it was announced Monday.

While most movie maniacs are already familiar with the Oscar-winning actress of 12 Years a Slave, many may not be as acquainted with Christie -- yet. While no one knows her exact age -- not even her! -- The Hollywood Reporter offers a rundown of the actress, including her background and what's to come for the new recruit of the J.J. Abrams-helmed installment.

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1. She broods as Brienne on Game of Thrones. Of the many, many characters in the hit HBO fantasy drama, Christie kicks butt -- literally -- as Brienne of Tarth. "Brienne has always been quite a solitary figure," she previously told THR of her warrior character, who never ceases to shine in scenes of combat. The actress took on a heavy workout regime to get fit for the relatively androgynous role, and took on lessons in sword-fighting and horse-riding ahead of her season two debut. Her name even was tossed around with show fans via social media before she even found out about the Game of Thrones character.

2. She's already familiar with the science-fantasy scene. Before joining George R. R. Martin's medieval universe, Christie lived in the science-fastasy scene of Wizards vs. Aliens, the BBC series (which aired on the Hub Network in the U.S.) featuring Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott as an alien-fighting duo. She played Lexi, a smart princess who gets involved with Haran's Tom Clarke. The teen series -- written by Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford, who is credited with re-invigorating Doctor Who for a new generation -- has been renewed for a third season, it was announced in March.

3. She's already on her second career. Christie may have begun pursuing acting as a teen, but her previous career has only helped her with her current one. "I was a semi-professional gymnast as a child -- I did rhythmic gymnastics, but I sustained an injury and strained all the muscles in my spine," the drama school grad has told Access Hollywood. "When that happened, and I was told that I wouldn’t be able to dance again at that level, I decided… I’d become an actress instead." Christie also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Great Expectations and Pravada, as well in Cymbeline at the Barbican.

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4. She's 6'3" -- and loving it. Christie clocks in at 6'3" -- a measurement that previously led her to become the focus of a photo series by photographer Polly Borland. "My parents treated my height as a wonderful thing to be celebrated, but also normal. I love being tall as you literally look at life from a different perspective: it's easier to breeze through life's turmoils; there's more room to breathe," she told The Independent in 2008 of the series that includes nudes. "I don't think my height comes across too much in the pictures; I sort of fell in love with her for that ... Because my body is so large I wanted to completely come to terms with it and Polly gave me that opportunity."

5. She's headed for The Hunger Games. Christie nabbed the role of Commander Lyme in Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, replacing Lily Rabe, who was originally cast in the role but dropped out due to a Shakespeare in the Park scheduling conflict. Lyme is a previous Hunger Games District 2 victor and one of the leaders of District 13, the district in the futuristic Panem that is rebelling against the government.

What do you think of Christie's latest role? What character do you think she'll play in the upcoming episode of Star Wars? Sound off in the comments below!

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee