Gwendoline Christie was inspired by Princess Leia.

The 39-year-old actress joined the 'Star Wars' franchise as villain Captain Phasma in 'The Force Awakens' back in 2015 and will reprise her role as the First Order stormtrooper commander this December in the eighth instalment 'The Last Jedi'.

When she was growing up, Gwendoline admits the character Leia - who was played by the late Carrie Fisher - "stayed" with her as she didn't fit in with the "homogenised view" of women on presented on screen in the 1980s.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Christie said: "I watched TV and film obsessively from such a young age but [Leia] really stayed with me through my formative years. She doesn't care what people think and isn't prepared to be told what to do ... That was really instrumental to me as someone who didn't feel like I fit in that homogenised view of what a woman is supposed to be and there was inspiration there."

'The Last Jedi' marks Fisher's last outing as the iconic character after the actress tragically died last December at the age of 60.

Recently, Christie revealed she was overwhelmed with shyness when she joined the franchise and came face-to-face with her idol.

She said: "Princess Leia spoke to me ... she felt different, she was smart and she was strong. When I meet someone I admire like that, I keep myself as far away as possible from the person, you know, don't bother them, eyes to the floor - I am overcome with shyness."

But Christie found Fisher to be an "incredibly warm" person and was able to relax more around her.

She added: "Everyone around her felt electrified by her wit and humanity. She was so open about her struggles with mental illness. The sheer force of personality is ravishing."

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