Maisie Williams has opened up about the ‘relentless’ lengths she went to for her ‘all-consuming’ role as Resistance heroine Catherine Dior in Apple TV+’s upcoming drama The New Look.
The actress, 22, who packed up her ‘whole life and moved to Paris’ for the part, detailed the gruelling lengths she went to to get into character including ‘eating very little’ and waking up at 4am after just three hours’ sleep.
The Game Of Thrones star also opened up about suffering from ‘sleep paralysis’ while filming due to ‘feeling restricted’.
The 10-episode historical drama series is inspired by true events and centres on fashion designers Christian Dior and Coco Chanel as they navigate the horrors of World War II and launch modern fashion.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Maisie said: ‘It was a long job, and it was amazing; my whole life moved to Paris. It was hard work, but it was such an honour to do this part, and it became all-consuming.
‘It was very relentless. The process of doing take after take, it really breaks down your character in a way.
‘It’s not for everyone, but for me, I like to get lost in a role, and keep on pushing until we complete a scene.’
The actress revealed the strict regime she followed to realistically portray Catherine Dior’s emaciated appearance when she returned to Paris after WWII.
Maisie continued: ‘I was eating very little, meditating all the time, burning candles and incense in my apartment. I had to be up at 4am to start sweating.
‘The night before, at about 7 or 8pm I was allowed to have something salty and dehydrating – some smoked salmon and a tiny glass of wine.
‘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.
‘I wouldn’t be able to sleep through the night at this point. I kept waking up and feeling like a marble inside a bottle, rattling around…’
Maisie went on to admit she suffered from nightmares during filming and was having ‘horrible visions of men in uniform’.
Maisie stars in the upcoming drama The New Look which is set for release on February 14.
The 10-episode historical series from Todd A. Kessler stars Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior, Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel and Game Of Thrones star Maisie as Resistance heroine Catherine Dior.
Inspired by true events and filmed exclusively in Paris, the series centres on fashion designers Christian Dior, Coco Chanel as they navigate the horrors of World War II and launch modern fashion.
It will also star John Malkovich as French couturier Lucien Lelong and Emily Mortimer as socialite and close associate of Coco Chanel Elsa Lombardi.
The first look images Maisie was almost unrecognisable in her up-close shot as Mendelsohn’s on-screen sister, Catherine Dior.
Set against the World War II Nazi occupation of Paris, the drama focuses on the pivotal moment in the twentieth century when the French city led the world back to life through its fashion icon Christian Dior.
As Dior rises to prominence with his ground-breaking, iconic imprint of beauty and influence, Chanel’s reign as the world’s most famous fashion designer is put into jeopardy.
The interwoven saga follows the surprising stories of Dior’s contemporaries and rivals from Chanel to Pierre Balmain, Cristóbal Balenciaga and more.
It also provides a view into the atelier, designs and clothing created by Christian Dior through collaboration with the House of Dior.
The soundtrack for series is produced by Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff, and features covers of popular early to mid-twentieth century songs performed by artists including Bleachers, Florence Welch, Lana Del Rey, Matty Healy (The 1975), Beabadoobee, Nick Cave, Perfume Genius and more.
Maisie’s character Catherine Dior, the sister of Christian Dior, was a crucial figure of the French Resistance.
She arrested and tortured by the Gestapo in 1944 and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp before her escape near Dresden in 1945.
As Christian’s sister, she became the inspiration behind his famed fragrance Miss Dior.
The March issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from February 8.