Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has said she never expected women who looked like her to be represented.
The actress, who played the powerful knight Brienne, believed the mould of a mainstream female star would never be broken.
Christie said that people who looked like her were absent on screen, and diversity was not taken seriously.
The actress spoke to GQ Style about the life-changing experience of working on Game Of Thrones, and how her starring role made her a mascot for outsiders.
She said: “So many women come up to me and talk about what it means to feel represented outside of the constraints of conventional society.
“In 2011, I didn’t think I would ever see women that looked like me in mainstream entertainment.
“It felt like there was one mould that wouldn’t be broken and diversity was not a part of the conversation. So the fact that Brienne existed? Wow.”
The star said that playing Brienne changed her life, and offered her a deeper insight into how people work, and making her hopeful.
She said: “What occurred was a shift; something spoke to me and allowed me an insight into humanity.
“Thrones, and Brienne, together they gave me a lot of hope, and a lot of experience.”
The full interview can be read in the Autumn/Winter issue of GQ Style.