Gwendoline Christie

With the incredible popularity of "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011- ), a number of actors became stars and fan favorites from the show. Once Gwendoline Christie came aboard in the role of Brienne of Tarth, her career took off, leading to featured appearances in "The Hunger Games" films as well as the ultimate fanboy franchise, the resurrection of the "Star Wars" universe. Christie was born in 1978 in Worthing, West Sussex, and grew up near South Downs. Christie grew very tall, 6'3, and was going to be a gymnast, but after injuring her back she turned to acting instead. Christie graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005, and was mentored by Simon Callow, a British actor and author who had featured roles in "Amadeus" (1984) and "Shakespeare In Love" (1998). In the British acting tradition, Christie performed in the theater, playing the Queen in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," and as Lucifer in "Doctor Faustus." Then Christie went to the big screen with roles in Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (2009), which featured the last performance of Heath Ledger, and "The Zero Theorem" (2013). Christie was cast as Brienne of Tarth in "Game of Thrones" in July 2011. The character was a cult favorite, and her fans were suggesting online that she would be perfect for the role before she officially came aboard. Christie's first appearance on "Thrones" was on the third episode of season two, which aired on April 15, 2012. As Christie's popularity as an actress grew, she landed the role of Commander Lyme in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One" (2014) and its second half, the last two installments of the popular young adult franchise. This led to Christie landing in another major franchise with a fervent fan following. Riding the crest of her popularity, Christie portrayed a key villain in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015), the long awaited return of the legendary space opera, alongside Lupita N'yongo and Adam Driver.