By Eliana Dockterman
November 30, 2015

Gwendoline Christie, who plays the villainous Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, didn’t wait to get a call about casting in the storied franchise. The Game of Thrones star decided to take matters into her own hands. Here’s a lightly edited transcript from a conversation about how she got the coveted part:

“I heard that they were going to make a new Star Wars film, and I was like a dog with a bone. I would not let it rest. And my agent at the time was saying, ‘Okay, what about you doing this, you’ve got a meeting for this.’ And I’d say, ‘Oh great! I want to be in Star Wars.’ And then they’d say, ‘Okay what about this?’ And I’d say, ‘I want to be in Star Wars.’ And then it got to the stage where every possible email I was sent I would respond, ‘Thank you very much. I want to be in Star Wars.’ Until finally I think I’d really worn some people down, and I believe a call was made to the casting director.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec. 18.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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