“Best Young Actress” is a pretty bold statement to make, but I’m prepared to back it up. For those who don’t know her, Maisie Williams, 19, is a British actress best known for her role as Arya Stark in HBO’S Game of Thrones. Other than Thrones, she has appeared in a number of indie films, Doctor Who and has just joined the X-Men family as well.
Maisie’s talent as an actress has not gone unnoticed. She’s won a handful of awards and was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2016 at such a young age. The reason I believe Maisie is so wonderful, however, goes beyond her acting abilities. It’s the dedication to her craft as well as her humanitarian and environmental activism that makes her stand out in the crowd.
— Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) March 9, 2017
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Arya Stark is known to be left-handed. At the beginning of the adapted television series. Maisie, who is right-handed and was in no way expected to adopt this trait, chose to play the role of Arya left-handed to stay true to the character. This meant learning to fight with a sword with her left hand. Then, at the end of the first season, she had all of her hair cut off for the sake of the role. This may seem like no big deal, but Lena Headey who plays Cersei Lannister in the show wore a cropped wig instead of shedding her locks.
Maisie is still only a teenager and already chooses to go beyond what is expected for actresses with twenty years of experience up their belts. She knows that the film industry is competitive and she is more than willing to raise the bar and show she’s committed.
Acting is not the only thing Maisie is committed to; she uses her platform for the betterment of society and the earth. Among many campaigns and projects, she has worked with the #LikeAGirl campaign, advocating for gender equality, the Small Steps Project that supports impoverished children around the world and Mencap, a charity that works with people with learning disabilities. She, among other Thrones co-stars, has also worked with the International Rescue Committee that aids refugees, as well as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Most recently, Maisie has campaigned for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.
— Dolphin Project (@Dolphin_Project) December 5, 2016
Maisie recognises the importance of protecting our earth and all of its inhabitants. She is an avid global ambassador for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project campaign. Maisie also supports Greenpeace and advocates for the adoption of rescue pets.
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I firmly believe that Maisie does not get enough credit for what she does – but maybe that’s because she doesn’t ask for it. In all of Maisie’s activism, she never draws the attention to herself, only to the cause. So many other young actors seem to bask in their fame and never give in return. There are so many celebrities, young and old, with millions of dollars that seem only concerned with enhancing their already extravagant lives.
Plenty of celebrities support a charity here and there, but Maisie seems to be constantly using her platform for good. For me, she is more than just the Best Young actress. Maisie Williams is a rarity, an inspiration and someone I look up to and strive to be like every day.