In an interview with GQ UK, Williams revealed that she “resented” her iconic “GoT” character during her teen years.
“I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming,” Williams said. “And then I also resented my body because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated.”
Williams was cast in the hit HBO series when she was 12 years old in 2009. In contrast to her sister Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Williams’ Arya rejected the social norms for womanhood and opted instead to learn how to fight, eventually going undercover as a boy to escape persecution.
Williams previously told “60 Minutes” in 2019 she had to wear a “strap to reverse puberty” when Arya pretended to be male. “I was about 15 years old — like, I kind of just want a boyfriend, honestly,” Williams said at the time. “I don’t want to wear this.”
Now, as she told GQ, Williams admitted that though she does think fondly of the show, she’s not exactly fiending to return to “Game of Thrones” any time soon.
“I don’t think it’s healthy [to miss it], because I loved it,” Williams said of the series, which concluded after 10 years in 2019. “I look at it so fondly, and I look at it with such pride. But why would I want to make myself feel sad about the greatest thing that ever happened to me? I don’t want to associate that with feelings of pain.”
She added, “I’m not saying [a revival] would never happen, but I’m also not saying it in this interview so that everyone goes, ‘The spinoff! It’s coming!’ Because it’s not. It has to be the right time and the right people. It has to be right in the context of all the other spinoffs and the universe of ‘Game of Thrones.’ It has to be the right time for me.”
Williams instead is focused on expressing herself more through the roles she selects post-“Thrones.”
“I quickly realized that it was more linked to the shame of being in one good thing and never doing anything again, rather than actually asking myself the question: What do you want to do now?” Williams opened up.
And she is fully embracing her femininity in the upcoming FX for Hulu series “Pistols,” directed by Danny Boyle. The Sex Pistols origin story is set in 1970s London, where Williams plays punk model Jordan (i.e. Pamela Rooke). The role requires nudity, and Williams admitted she was hesitant to audition, “just because of everything that happens in the industry and all the horror stories I’ve heard…I want to be in this show because I’m the best person to do this, not because I’m the only girl who’ll take her top off.”
She said that director Boyle told her that “Jordan was a political statement” who worked to “turn the male gaze in on itself in an overtly sexual way that made other people feel ashamed.”
“If I take my top off, I want to make other people feel uncomfortable,” Williams added. “I never needed to feel any type of way. Jordan was never confrontational. She just knew what was what, and if things weren’t right, she’d say.”
“Pistols” premieres May 31 on Hulu.