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Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams says on-screen dad Sean Bean is a big softy

Actress Maisie Williams signs a portrait of herself at Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead with gallery owner Gabrielle de Ploy. Picture: Polly Hancock Actress Maisie Williams signs a portrait of herself at Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead with gallery owner Gabrielle de Ploy. Picture: Polly Hancock

Thursday, May 8, 2014
1:00 PM

Her character is famously known for taking revenge on enemies despite being many years their junior - and now teenage Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams has praised aspiring young photographers for seizing their moment in the spotlight.

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Sean Bean, pictured at the Hampstead Christmas Festival, plays Maisie's on-screen dad Ned Stark in hit series Game of Thrones. Picture: Nigel SuttonSean Bean, pictured at the Hampstead Christmas Festival, plays Maisie's on-screen dad Ned Stark in hit series Game of Thrones. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The 17-year-old actress, who plays Arya Stark in the hit fantasy TV series, was in Hampstead last Thursday to sign photos of herself taken by young aspiring photographers under the guidance of some of the biggest names in photography as part of a youth scheme.

The photos will feature in a charity exhibition at the Zebra One Gallery, in Perrin’s Court, in June to promote the young photographers’ work produced working with the YouYou Mentoring project.

Maisie told the Ham&High: “I was so lucky in that I was given such a fantastic opportunity so young and I understand that it’s not like that for everyone and everyone’s got to start somewhere.

“I looked into the project and realised what a great concept it is.

"He’s a really gentle and chilled out guy, which is nice on set because if you get someone who’s too crazy then it disrupts the atmosphere."

Maisie Williams on fellow Game of Thrones star Sean Bean

“It’s not just simply that a celebrity is in photos, it’s far more than that. It’s you helping other people, who are helping you - and I really love that.”

Maisie is just one of a handful of celebrities - including musician Miles Kane, Olympic rower Pete Reed, Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp and Francis Boulle, of TV reality show Made in Chelsea - who has been photographer for the exhibition for the youth charity, which pairs young people with mentors from the industry they want to work in.

The young photographers who took the snaps got to work with acclaimed snappers Richard Bailey, Harleymoon Kemp and Adam Lawrence for the exhibition, which will run at Zebra One Gallery from June 7 to 22.

Maisie revealed she struggles with her own fame as a main character in one of the world’s biggest TV series.

Maisie praised the young photographers who took pictures of her and other stars. Picture: Polly HancockMaisie praised the young photographers who took pictures of her and other stars. Picture: Polly Hancock

But she added that if it ever gets too much, her back-up plan is to get her own TV chat show.

“I get a bit freaked out,” she said. “It hits you and I think, what would it be like if I didn’t do this? But it’s such a fantastic opportunity and I’m so grateful.

“I always had this weird thing in my head that I would have a talk show and I’d be like Graham Norton. That fascinates me because I know what it’s like being interviewed.

“I’m very desperate for people to know what Maisie’s like because they constantly see Arya, which is fine, she’s fantastic, but I’m not her, and we’re not the same person.”

As Arya, Maisie has worked closely with her on-screen father Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark in the show’s first season.

She said the veteran actor, who lives in Belsize Park, is “a gentle and chilled out guy”.

“He was just so lovely,” said Maisie, who lives in Bath with her mum and three older siblings.

“Being a more experienced actor, he’s allowed to go home and someone else would read the lines with me but he always stayed late.

“He’s a really gentle and chilled out guy, which is nice on set because if you get someone who’s too crazy then it disrupts the atmosphere.”

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