Maisie Williams revealed the mentally and physically taxing transformation she underwent to play Christian Dior’s younger sister in a new TV series.
The “Game of Thrones” alum, who shaved her head and lost 25 pounds to portray Catherine Dior in “The New Look,” said in a new interview that she had such bad nightmares it was “almost like sleep paralysis.”
“I was eating very little, meditating all the time, burning candles and incense in my apartment,” she told Harper’s Bazaar UK in an interview published Tuesday.
While a team of medical professionals supervised her significant weight loss, Williams, 26, explained that most of the reduction occurred when she sweated out fluids right before filming.
“I had to be up at 4 a.m. to start sweating. The night before, at about 7 or 8 p.m. I was allowed to have something salty and dehydrating — some smoked salmon and a tiny glass of wine,” she recalled.
“Then I had a boiling-hot bath with lots of salts in it. And I sort of levitated to bed and slept for maybe three hours, and woke up and had a handful of nuts.”
The Emmy nominee said the process of transforming into an emaciated Catherine took such a toll on her body that she couldn’t sleep through the night.
“I kept waking up and feeling like a marble inside a bottle, rattling around,” she said, noting that her nightmares often related to the character she was portraying, who was a WWII French resistance fighter.
“There was a lot of feeling restricted, almost like sleep paralysis, dreams of being trapped and attacked, and horrible visions of men in uniform,” she went on.
“Every day of filming was a reminder that we were portraying a story of the horrors that humans are capable of inflicting on one another, but also the magic and the hope and the love.”
The 10-part Apple TV+ series, which is based on the book “Miss Dior: A Story of Courage and Couture,” centers on fashion designers Coco Chanel and Christian Dior as they navigate World War ll.
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It also tells the little-known story of Catherine, who was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo in 1944 after joining the Resistance.
She was sent to a German concentration camp before her eventual release in 1945.
Elsewhere in the interview, Williams compared the transformation to her experience embodying Arya Stark in “Game of Thrones.”
She explained that her star-making role in the HBO medieval drama required her to “build different muscles,” but this part “took over what I’m eating and how I’m moving and sleeping and thinking.”