John Bradley on the “Downside” of Game of Thrones, and Maisie Williams Uses Her Fame For Good


Working on the sets of Game of Thrones isn’t always sunshine and daisies. Just ask John Bradley whose character, Samwell Tarly has been put through the ringer several times over. While he was kept in the North over the first 5 seasons, Bradley was given the opportunity to travel southward and experience other locations in seasons 6 and 7. From the wayward rockings of a moving boat, to the brooding mansion of House Tarly on Horn Hill, to the stony enclaves of the Citadel in Oldtown, dealing with all sorts of wastes and excrement, Bradley’s weathered it all. In an interview with Shortlist, published in Digital Spy, Bradley admits that while he loves being part of the GoT community, there’s more to filming these scenes than meets the eye.

“There are some really beautiful costumes on Game of Thrones. Mine isn’t one of them. When the show’s over, I’m going to ceremonially burn that cloak.”

Ouch, John – don’t do that! At least drape it on the floor like the IKEA rug we know it to be. Bradley also has a few gripes about the weather he’s had to face throughout filming:

“I remember huddling with Kit Harington and a couple of other actors in Belfast in season 1, swearing I couldn’t think of anywhere I could go where I’d be colder or more exposed to the elements. A few days later, an email with ‘ICELAND’ at the top popped into my inbox and I realized I’d spoken too soon”

Meanwhile, as each season aired, we, the fans, were busy enjoying the very best that HBO has to offer, as GoT became our latest watercooler show. Seemingly there’s no shortage of people with whom to talk Thrones, and this list has only grown exponentially throughout the years. Bradly can’t catch a break, it seems:

“The way people talk about the show, it always makes me feel like I’ve missed out. I love those big TV moments, those parts of Breaking Bad and The Wire that leave you speechless.”

It’s not all bad, though. I can say he made one fan truly happy when yours truly ran into him in London in 2015 (something of a hobby of mine), so that’s gotta count for something:

That time I 'chose wisely' on which street to turn down

That time I ‘chose wisely’ on which street to turn down

In a separate interview, Maisie Williams talks growing up Arya Stark, her transition into adulthood on the set of GoT, and the time she’s spent championing causes about which she is passionate. Her upcoming film New Mutants, which recently wrapped shooting gave her the opportunity to sit down while in Boston for a chat with Highsnobiety Magazine:

“It’s nice to be a part of this sort of new wave of characters being written and actresses coming into fame that don’t really stick to the norm. I believe that my generation is one of the most accepting generations that there is, and I sort of see that reflected in film.”

Maisie Williams Red Nose Day 2

We all know her as Arya Stark, but it’s great that Williams sees herself as a pioneer of young women’s portrayals in the media. It’s not exactly new information that women are frequently overly sexualized or written directly under the male gaze, so latching onto the part of Arya was something deeply personal for her:

“It’s made it okay to see little girls not just in dresses, and it’s okay for little girls to look like little boys, and it’s not quite so shocking and awful anymore.”

As someone who has always argued that the X-Men movies are the best comic book franchise out there, I get more and more excited for New Mutants each day! First we got Sophie Turner (Sansa) as Jean Grey, and now Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane…Who’s next, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) as Charles Xavier?

Williams continues to talk about her charity work, and how she’s been influenced by Lena Headey (Cersei), one of her many mentors. Through Headey’s work for Plan International, Williams was invited to experience the challenges of the IRC (International Rescue Committee) during the refugee crisis in Greece. When she’s not busy saving the world, however, Williams is busy trying to give young artists new opportunities. She recently formed Daisy Chain Productions, a production company with her partner Dom Santry:

“I want to give other people the opportunity to make incredible things. There are so many members of my generation that have all the talent and just no platform.”

It’s amazing to see how dedicated Williams is to helping not just young artists, but also the betterment of humanity the world over. I recommend giving the rest of the interview a read-through, as she’s always a gem. Would that I were able to conclude with a photo of me and Maisie Williams; alas we’ve not yet met – One day, though. One day!


20 responses

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    1. Is there anything to Maisie having flown into Belfast in Northern Ireland in the early hours of Friday morning and then gone on to a place called Ballyena?

      Would it be GoT related?

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    2. AryaArya,

      Is there anything to Maisie having flown into Belfast in Northern Ireland in the early hours of Friday morning and then gone on to a place called Ballyena?

      If she went to Ballymena, that’s about a 20 minute drive from Moneyglass, the Winterfell set locale. Here’s hoping she’s not going to two other County Antrim GoT locations: The cave in which Melissandre gave birth (if you can call it that) to the shadow baby and the canal which she jumped into during the Waif chase in Braavos. I don’t want Arya near either of those places!

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    3. keltia,

      Here’s hoping it wasn’t the dark hedges, either… I don’t want her on the Kingsroad! Just visited Northern Ireland last week. What a beautiful place. I spent sunrise at the dark hedges before anyone else arrived- but dang the crowds were crazy. Loads of GoT site seekers. Very happy I rented a car and did it with a friend, versus one of those tours (no offense to anyone who has taken an official tour- just ain’t my thing).

      Anyways, lovely place. Everyone should go there.

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    4. Loved the Maisie article. I have always been amazed by the acting skills of the young cast since day one, and thrilled by how well they are all turning out as young adults. Maisie in particular has grown so much. Look forward to watching her career as a director, producer, actor, whatever she chooses to do. There is no l imit to what she can be.

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    5. Sister Kisser:

      Here’s hoping it wasn’t the dark hedges, either… I don’t want her on the Kingsroad!Just visited Northern Ireland last week.What a beautiful place.I spent sunrise at the dark hedges before anyone else arrived- but dang the crowds were crazy.Loads of GoT site seekers.Very happy I rented a car and did it with a friend, versus one of those tours (no offense to anyone who has taken an official tour- just ain’t my thing).

      Anyways, lovely place.Everyone should go there.

      Definitely a lovely place. I just visited a couple weeks ago. It was raining off and on when I went to the dark hedges, and there was a double rainbow. When I first got there, there was only one other car parked there, with a few people. By the time I left, there were several buses full of people.

      I also visited the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Fortunately I didn’t encounter Euron Greyjoy on the rope bridge!

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    6. Ser Shiz of Renia:

      M.Williams dressed in white with an Owl. Thats obviously luciferian…….. poor stupid girl.

      I know you are joking but have you any idea where this trend of seeing illuminati signs and “transgender” people everywhere started? Maisie is going to blot her copy book with the nutty brigade by wearing cat type clothes too, I think. I know some folk think the “okay” sign looks like 666 but the problem I have is that in biblical times would not the number have been written in roman or greek numerals?

      Now I don’t know much about the history of the theatre/films but I do know that there were females who dressed as men to go onstage as long ago as the time of Victorian music-halls; there was one called Vesta Tilley and there was a show in the early “noughties” with Rachel Stirling (Diana Rigg’s real-life daughter) playing the part of such a music-hall character (the Maggy the Frog actress was in it too but I can’t remember the name of the show). So Arya Stark, feisty young character that she is, was not the first character to veer away from the traditional “girly-girl” persona. Though myself I don’t think there is anything wrong with a “girly-girl” character.

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    7. Dame of Mercia,

      There ‘cat type clothes ‘ you refer to (I presume you mean the one above) was for Red Nose Day charity this year and I think the programme you are referring to is ‘Tipping the Velvet ‘.

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    8. Carole H,

      I think you are right Carole H, re: ‘Tipping the Velvet’. I avoid Red Nose Day and Children in Need and programmes of that ilk, though they are for good causes and if someone rattled a tin under my nose collecting for such charitiesI’d probably put something in.

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    9. John Bradley will show up for Season 8 and be told that he is getting a new costume…then they’ll bring out Jorah’s yellow shirt. D’oh!

      I’m not sure that I had half the energy Maisie has when I was 20, wow. I appreciate it when younger people can have mentors (and Lena, yet!) And remember her tour with Lena and Liam. I think it’s a unique benefit when a person’s fame can help get attention to a worthy cause.

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    10. Casso,

      Hey Casso! Apologies for the delayed reply. Been traveling and offline quite a bit. Very cool you were there in Ulster as well, what an amazing country. One of my best friends growing up lives in London, with his wife who was born in raised in Balleymoney- roughly ten miles from the dark hedges. I made them get up for sunrise there- nobody around when we got there, but started to get a bit busy within a half hour or so. We planned our self guided trip to run opposite the tour buses, we crossed paths with the hordes around ballintoy harbor- aka Pyke. Amusing how many loons walking around with cloaks and swords and seriously/ a whole posse 20 deep in full Greyjoy regalia. Definitely glad to have done our own thing. Giants causeway is s special place, as was the area around carrick a rede (so bummed the bridge was closed by afternoon due to high winds).
      Where are you eyeing for your next GoT tour?
      Cheers, fellow traveler.

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    11. To David Rosenblatt:

      Thank you for your great article about Maisie Williams. And the magazine photo shoot. And the links.

      I got hooked on GoT because of Arya in S1E1. It’s so refreshing to see Maisie Williams grow up to be such a socially responsible, vivacious, and level-headed young woman

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