It was the talk of the internet last night, as one off drama Cyberbully appeared on screens. Grazia chatted exclusively with its star, Maisie Williams about trolls, teens and thrones.
Maisie Williams is on a mission. Not satisfied with becoming a mini feminist icon with her first ever role – the swordfighting Arya Stark in Game Of Thrones – the 17-year-old has been tipped as one of the faces to watch in 2015. Propelled to historical fantasy stardom at the tender age of 14, Maisie’s life of grey battles and gory familial power-play has been far removed from the mundanities of most school-going teens – not a surprise, considering she hit the headlines when she dropped out of school to pursue her TV career full-time before taking her GCSEs.
While her qualifications may have taken a hit, her castability certainly hasn’t – she has two big films in the making this year: The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, alongside Jessica Biel, and a rumoured lead in big-budget video-game movie remake* The Last Of Us*, which would confirm her as Hollywood teen royalty in a heartbeat. But, for now, she’s found her way back to normality with an intense drama set solely inside one girl’s bedroom, where she takes on the shady side of the internet in Channel 4’s Cyberbully.
With a social media following of nearly 1.5 million between her Twitter and Instagram accounts, Maisie knows about the perils of social media for teenagers – and with the recent spate of celebrity hackings, she is on even higher alert than usual. ‘I don’t have iCloud,’ she admits. ‘I think the photos are such a small part of that, but such a big part of what’s going on in the world right now.’
So how does she cope with social media harassment? ‘I get trolled just as much as anyone. I try not to take the internet too seriously.’ That’s not to say she thinks the web is all dark corners of malevolent hackers. ‘The internet’s been branded this place of hate, but there’s so much more to it,’ she says, citing ID-less site Reddit as the best model, where ‘upvoting’ and ‘downvoting’ means you can eradicate trolls.
So how does she think her Game Of Thrones character would react to being hacked? ‘I don’t think Arya would have the best approach. She’d be finding out their IP addresses and paying them a little visit.’