Hunger – 2014

  • Published by Hunger (October 30, 2014)
  • Words by Jordan Rossi
  • Photos by Rankin
  • Fashion by Lee Trigg
  • Source: HungerTV
  • Galleries: Photosession

Trick Or Treat: Hannah Murray

Hannah Murray got her first break as the neurotic, anorexic Cassie Ainsworth in Skins. But unlike some of her peers from the show, she didn’t propel herself into acting full-time; instead she concentrated on a degree in English Literature from Queens’ College, Cambridge, before easing back into the business with a handful of feature-length films.

Skins obviously made a big impression on her though, and in 2013 she reprised the role of Cassie for Skins Redux, the final saga in the now cult hit. Since then Hannah has landed a part in Game of Thrones, the most successful HBO show ever, as Gilly, a fierce young mother standing her ground in a man’s world. And as we find out, Hannah is all for a bit of girl power.

HUNGER: WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU JOINED GAME OF THRONES?
Hannah Murray: I knew the show was doing really well and I knew a lot of people who loved it, but I actually hadn’t seen it when I got cast. So I watched the first series and that was really exciting. It was weird being on set for the first time. People turned up in costume.

WHAT HAS BEEN MORE INTENSE? THE FAN REACTION FOR SKINS OR GAME OF THRONES?
Skins was much more intense. I think it’s because people watch it at a young age and it’s very emotional for them. I get people who really confuse me with the character. With Game of Thrones people are more aware that it’s a fantasy world, but the en masse reaction at the Game of Thrones premiere in New York was more intense than anything I’ve experienced in any other job or will probably ever experience.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FEMALE NUDITY IN GAME OF THRONES? DOES IT BOTHER YOU AT ALL?
The way they use nudity is actually very clever. There’s a scene in series four that I love, where [Daenerys] gets that guy to undress for her and you don’t see her naked at all. It means so much more that we’ve seen her in these incredibly humiliating and vulnerable situations and now she’s this queen. The show has incredible roles for women, some of the best female characters in television history.

TWO OF THE THREE LEADS IN SKINS REDUX ARE FEMALE. SINCE YOU STARTED ACTING, HAVE YOU SEEN A GROWTH IN FEMALE LEAD CHARACTERS?
Since I’ve become an actor I’ve been more aware of it. There are some really great female-driven shows. Girls is incredible, and there are incredible female roles in Mad Men, Homeland and Game of Thrones. I also just started watching The Honourable Woman, which is amazing. It’s still a conversation that everyone is having, which suggests that it’s probably not enough yet. There used to be this idea that you couldn’t have a female lead, that women couldn’t open a film and that you couldn’t have a female-led comedy. Every time people have broken those supposed rules everyone seems to have responded really well. I hope that it keeps going because I want to play those roles.

YOU’D BEEN SEPARATED FROM CASSIE FOR A LONG TIME. WHY DID YOU RETURN FOR SKINS REDUX?
The most exciting challenge was to figure out how to play the character five years on. I knew how much I’d changed as a person, so she was going to have changed quite a lot, but she’s still got to be the same person. It was a really rare and unusual thing to get to do. Also, it’s two hours of drama that’s completely character-driven and you don’t get that on television very much. It felt like an opportunity to do something quite exciting and I was able to be involved with the script from quite an early stage. It felt like a very personal project.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW FILM, GOD HELP THE GIRL?
It’s a musical written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, the frontman of Belle & Sebastian. It’s really joyful and charming and fun, but it also has some serious, beautiful things to say about depression, faith and creativity. There’s singing and dancing and canoeing, and a small dog. Making it was one of the happiest times of my life.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF LITERATURE?
My favourite novel, well it’s kind of a novella, is Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger.

WHY THAT NOVELLA?
I read it when I was really ill. I finished it and then I read it again straight away. I felt that there was this whole new world to discover. It was obscure enough to feel like my own thing. I knew lots of people who had read The Catcher in the Rye, but not a lot of people who had read Franny and Zooey.

TRICK OR TREAT?
Treat. I don’t want to play a trick on someone!