Game Of Thrones Q&A: Ellie Kendrick Talks Playing 'Ultimate Tomboy' Meera Reed
Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed in 'Game of Thrones' Season 3 -- Helen Sloan/HBO
She may be petite, but "Game of Thrones" Season 3 character Meera Reed, played by British actress Ellie Kendrick, is a strong, fierce female.
In her introductory scene earlier this season (Episode 302), after Osha held a spear to Jojen Reed's back (he had just addressed Bran Stark), Meera shocked the wildling by coming up behind her and holding a knife to her throat. "My sister carries the weapons," Jojen said, hinting at their atypical relationship where she's the brawn and he's the brains.
And on Sunday night, Ellie's Meera character was showing off more of her unexpected skills, skinning rabbits with Osha, in a moment not for the squeamish.
"She's the ultimate tomboy," Ellie said of Meera, in a new interview with AccessHollywood.com .
Ellie, who is currently performing at London's Royal Court in "The Low Road," has chosen diverse roles in her career, including playing a school girl opposite Carrie Mulligan in 2009's "An Education," Juliet in "Shakespeare's Globe: Romeo & Juliet," and Anne Frank in the miniseries, "The Diary of Anne Frank," and she told Access about her latest challenge -- playing the unconventional Meera in the HBO series.
AccessHollywood.com: You've done a lot of projects set in the real world -- fictional characters sometimes -- but set in reality. What made you want to do a fantasy show?
Ellie Kendrick: I was really attracted to doing 'Game of Thrones' because I thought the character of Meera was absolutely amazing. I've never really had the chance to do something so kind of out there. Like we had to learn how to use a bow and arrow and how to skin rabbits and I was sort of striding around playing this kind of mad scout, and I'd never got the chance to use any of that kind of stuff in any of the more naturalistic, real world stuff that I'd done.
Access: Did the job description, so to speak, read, 'must be good with a spear'?
Ellie: (Laughs) Perhaps it should have done to give me a bit of warning. But no, I didn't get anything through. I didn't even know we were going to be skinning rabbits, which is a skill that I had to learn. I don't know how much you know about it, but out there, they've got kind of like camps in Ireland where people can teach you how to horse ride or how to shoot a bow and arrow or how to do sword fighting. It's kind of like master classes. You can just say, 'Oh I need one of these for my character,' and they'll sort of set you up, So, I found myself in this kind of weird tent with this guy -- lovely man, looked like Merlin -- who used to shoot longbow for Ireland and he was teaching me how to use a bow and arrow. It was fantastic.
Access: George R.R. Martin writes some very strong female characters. When you learned about yours -- she has a brother who doesn't fight, she's the fighter -- did your heart leap a little?
Ellie: Oh, absolutely. I've always been a bit of a tomboy and I've always loved strong female characters and I absolutely loved the idea of playing Meera because she's so cool. She's the ultimate tomboy and I love the fact that she's got this really cool brother who's totally happy about the fact that she carries the weapons and she does all the defending, even though, as you will have seen from the program, I am about 5' 2" and incredibly weak in real life. But yeah, it was a lot of fun to be able to play a character like that. ... [It] is absolutely fantastic, my kind of dream role.