"Game of Thrones" star actress Maisie Williams spoke out about the realities of working in the Hollywood film and television industry, saying that young girls are often over-sexualized, in an interview with the The Sunday Times.
"I have been really lucky, in that I play characters who aren't necessarily the eye candy," Williams said, according to the Rolling Stone. "It's hard for young actresses who still feel like scrappy teenagers but are sort of forced to play characters who are a lot more mature, because, you know, 'young sexy woman' really sells in Hollywood."
Williams, who recently turned 20, admits that she has struggled with her confidence after having immediate success with her role at age 12. "At 12, I was fearless and didn't care, so I really enjoyed it," she explained. "But then, as each season passed, the pressure built and it became a little destructive. Everyone goes through that dip in confidence. That also came with puberty. It all fizzled out a bit, and I lost my confidence, and now I'm slowly starting to get it back again."
She discussed how becoming a major star at such a young age took a toll on her, and took away from a typical life as a teenager. "I look back and I think I wasn't really very happy because I didn't have many friends," Williams explained. "I had left school and I was working a lot and it was a strange time. I remember in maybe season two or three, other cast members coming up to me and saying, 'Your life is going to change,' and to me that wasn't exciting. I was, like, 'I don't want it to change. I quite enjoy my life.'"
Williams said that there is a lot of pressure on women in the industry "to be beautiful and skinny," but added that some of the pressure has subsided as she has aged. "I'm happier now (that) I'm older, playing women who aren't expected to be beautiful," Williams said, according to the New York Daily News. "That pressure has gone for me."