Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams has criticised the film and television industry for prematurely pushing young women into sexualized roles.
The 20-year-old actress best-known for playing Arya Stark on the hit HBO fantasy series told Sunday Times Style: "I have been really lucky, in that I play characters who aren't necessarily the eye candy.
"It's hard for young actresses who still feel like scrappy teenagers but are sort of forced to play characters who are a lot more mature, because, you know, 'young sexy woman' really sells in Hollywood."
Williams was cast to play the role of Arya at the age of 12 and admitted that being cast at such a young age and being a child actress has its disadvantages. She said: "At 12, I was fearless and didn't care, so I really enjoyed it.
"But then, as each season passed, the pressure built and it became a little destructive. Everyone goes through that dip in confidence. That also came with puberty. It all fizzled out a bit, and I lost my confidence, and now I'm slowly starting to get it back again."
Another downside to making GOT which Williams reflected on was its loneliness. "I look back and I think I wasn't really very happy because I didn't have many friends," she said. "I had left school and I was working a lot and it was a strange time. I remember in maybe season two or three, other cast members coming up to me and saying, 'Your life is going to change,' and to me, that wasn't exciting. I was, like, 'I don't want it to change. I quite enjoy my life.'"