Gwendoline Christie has a lot in common with her Game of Thrones character, Brienne of Tarth: they’re both tall and total badasses. Even so, Gwendoline still struggles with the physical transformation she has to undergo to get into character because of how feminine she is in real life. “I found it hard when I started weight training,” she said in a Facebook Q&A back in March 2013. “I found it hard when I have no makeup on and I had to bulk up a lot to then reduce the body fat to give a leaner physique that actually would be more typical of Brienne of Tarth . . . It’s hard as a woman to start transforming yourself into something more masculine because you feel you’re losing touch of the essence of what you are on this Earth.”

In order to land the role of Brienne, Gwendoline recently told Harper’s Bazaar, she had to abandon her feminine style and transform herself into a totally different person. “I used to have long hair and wear makeup and feminine clothes, so I started wearing unisex sportswear, working on changing the way that I walked and moved.” Just another reason Brienne — er, Gwendoline — is the true hero on Game of Thrones!

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