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March 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT

Maisie Williams is preparing to march into battle. The 17-year-old Game of Thrones star is readying to walk the red carpet at the show’s fifth season premiere in San Francisco tonight, and she firmly has a game plan. “I like shocking people just because, like, I can wear a dress too,” says the actress known for playing the lethal fan-favorite tomgirl Arya Stark on the show. “Not even for people to go, ‘Oh she’s grown up,’ but to show people that I’m actually a girl. I’m just so scruffy on the show.” 

The red carpet, she notes, “gets a bit intense.” The cast is often either asked the same questions they’ve heard dozens — if not hundreds — of times before (“Who do you think will end up on the Iron Throne?” is the most common, with “Which other character would you want to play?” the runner-up). Or they are asked questions about upcoming storylines they naturally cannot reveal.

Williams tends to carry or wear something specific that’s attention getting that reporters can ask her about. “It’s helpful to have a handbag that’s a bit crazy, or shoes that have kiwis on them or something, because it distracts.” Expect her to have one such un-missable item during her visit to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night. 

The Monday premiere screening at the War Memorial Opera House comes about a week after the HBO drama’s season 5 world premiere in London, which drew rave reviews for the show’s first new episode of the season, which airs April 12. One benefit of occasions like this, Williams adds, is that it’s one of few times the mammoth cast who often shoot in different locations actually gets the meet — and one of the rare moments they’re all looking their best. 

“For the other cast members to see them come down stairs and it’s like: Everybody looks so good!” Williams says. “There’s [Gwendoline Christie] with her six-inch heels on, Sophie [Turner] giving everyone hair envy. For once, no one’s wearing armor.”

At least, not the type you can see.

HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s novels.
type
TV Show
seasons
7
Genre
run date
04/17/11
Network
Available For Streaming On
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