Maisie Williams explains why she auditioned for her role in ‘Pistol’ despite knowing how much nudity was involved

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Nudity in media is always a controversial topic; some actors avoid some roles due to the amount of nudity involved, fearing it will impact their future prospects. In a recent interview, Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams talked about her decision to audition for a part with a large amount of nudity, and how this role reflects on her and her career progression. 

In an article written by GQ that accompanies a photoshoot, Maisie Williams talks about how Game Of Thrones and the ensuing fame have changed her life and acting career. Nowhere is this better seen than with the segment dedicated to the FX miniseries Pistol

According to GQ, Williams’ involvement in the project started in 2020, when Williams’ agent informed her of the show, and told her it was being directed by the legendary Danny Boyle, something that wouldn’t become public knowledge until early 2021

However, things got interesting when Williams found out she would be auditioning for the role of Jordan, a famous figure in the early punk movement who worked in Vivienne Westwood’s infamous boutique, Sex, a cultural epicenter that sold new fashion and fetish wear and became the public face of British punk. It also had an in-house band that would become the Sex Pistols. 

In the interview with GQ, Williams recalls that the show’s casting directors warned her about the show’s large amount of nudity. Williams admits she was hesitant, telling GQ that:

“Just because of everything that happens in the industry and all the horror stories I’ve heard…I want to be in this show because I’m the best person to do this, not because I’m the only girl who’ll take her top off.”

However, after sending a note to the team behind the show, Williams got a response from Danny Boyle, and this note put Williams’ fears to rest. According to her, it made her realize that Jordan’s “entire ethos was turning the male gaze in on itself, and it was overtly sexual in a way that made other people feel ashamed.” Williams follows this by pointing out that “If I take my top off, I want to make other people feel uncomfortable.”

Williams says that for the next meeting, she had a Zoom call with Boyle. She wore: “a sheer KNWLS top with no bra underneath,” and it was this that got her the part. 

The GQ article also features a comment from Boyle, who comments on Williams’ ability to embody Jordan. Boyle says: 

“It was the perfect opportunity for [Williams] to own a big character. She’s a great realistic actor, but Jordan [rejects] the very idea of everyday life. Maisie’s a bit like that herself. In a quieter, sweeter way, there’s a touch of Oscar Wilde about her, leading an awkward, self-conscious nation into being braver about sexuality, sensuality, gender, beauty…”

Pistol will follow Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols’ guitarist, as the band rises to superstardom. However, the show’s production has been entangled in controversy. Johnny Rotten, the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, tried to sue the other members to prevent the group’s music from being used in the show. However, this legal maneuver failed.

The show is scheduled to release on May 31, 2022.