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Bazaar celebrates women who live by their own rules and are brave enough to take flight. See all of the Daring Women featured in our November 2015 issue here.

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A few years ago, Gwendoline Christie was treading the boards for the Royal Shakespeare Company and playing Mag Wildwood in a West End production of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Now she finds herself at the epicenter of three massive pop-culture movements: Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2. While an actor saying he/she is grateful has become a cliché, Christie really means it. "It means there's a shift in our culture and our way of thinking about how women are perceived," she says. "People want to see a more diverse representation of women than the homogenized ones we've had so far."

Christie, 36, is far from homogeneous. Standing six foot three, she contended for years with the perception that "if you were taller than average, you couldn't act on-screen. But you've got to hang in there because things change." She had a role in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009, then a friend told her "there was something online about me being in an HBO show." Christie researched Game of Thrones's Brienne of Tarth, the loyal-to-a-fault soldier who stars in the series' most riveting battle scenes, and thought, If this remains in audiences' minds, this could work to change the way we view women on television.

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