Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams has said she was “battling” to meet perceptions of traditional beauty before she cut her hair into a mullet and bleached her eyebrows.
The British actress, 25, best known for playing Arya Stark in the hit show, said she had got “lost” in external expectations of what is attractive.
Williams will next be seen playing punk model Pamela “Jordan” Rooke in Danny Boyle’s new Disney+ TV series Pistol, and said that since the end of Game Of Thrones she has been seeking roles that “connect with all sides of my personality”.
She told digital magazine Porter: “Arya was written as hot-headed and I catch myself in roles jumping straight to being accusatory or angry or upset.
“I’ve felt myself kind of melting away from that, because that isn’t the reality of a lot of people.
“But it was Arya’s reality, and maybe mine, so I do find myself jumping there as if it were my place of comfort… I’d love to leave the crying and screaming for a while.”
Williams said she has also changed her approach to her own appearance, adding: “For the longest time, I was battling with wanting to look traditionally like what people picture as beautiful and I was getting really lost in that.
“Then, I cut my hair into a mullet and said, ‘Well, I’m not going to even try any more and I’m just gonna do something which I think really suits me and is still very different to everything I’ve been doing but feels right.’
“I was never getting the ‘Oh my gosh, she looks so beautiful’ (comments) before, but certainly afterwards I was getting ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’”
Of her permanently bleached brows, she said: “When you’re known for something that feels disconnected to where you would like to go, every single public appearance is an opportunity to take a step closer to that destination.”
Williams lives with boyfriend Reuben Selby in rural West Sussex, where she says she goes largely unnoticed, apart from a few double takes, adding: “It’s hard to know what people are looking at though.
“Sometimes we will be in a shop and we’re like, ‘Are people looking at us because they recognise us or is it because we look weird?’”
She said life in the countryside suits her, telling the magazine: “I have just never felt better. What I’ve learned about myself is that I gain a lot more when I am alone, and it’s much harder to do that when you’re out on the scene.
“It’s hard to really let go and there is a tendency to give into pressures while living in that world.”