The amusing "Catherine Called Birdy" (now available on Prime Video), a coming-of-age story set in mediaeval England, gives the young actress, who made her name on HBO's "Game of Thrones" as the little but mighty Lyanna Mormont, the opportunity to demonstrate her comedic skills.
Based on the 1994 novel by Karen Cushman, the movie follows 14-year-old Birdy (Ramsey) as she tries to fend off suitors after learning that her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott), intends to wed her off in exchange for cash and land. The film, directed by Lena Dunham (HBO's "Girls," which is famed for her sharp one-liners and glittering pop tunes), deals honestly with issues like menstruation, sexuality, and loss.
Ramsey claims that while having a very contemporary attitude, it is historically correct. "(Medieval stories) are frequently portrayed as being quite depressing. But I believe what sets this apart is the abundance of colour, vitality, and life. It's a novel approach."
Ramsey, 19, talks to USA TODAY about "Birdy" and what it was like to co-star with Pedro Pascal in the upcoming HBO post-apocalyptic drama "The Last of Us," which is based on the well-known video game.
How is Birdy different from any other character you have read about or seen before?
She is simply this vibrant, wild teen. Instead of having a particular skill set or romance, she is just messy and living, and I enjoy that. It was a tale about an adolescent going through the typical teenage experiences. No matter the era you're in, whether it's 1290 or 2022, being a teenager is still essentially the same, but with new constraints.
You took this more than a year before Roe v. Wade, which allowed states to restrict or outlaw abortion, was reversed. Does the movie's impact change as time passes?
Undoubtedly, and regrettably, it shouldn't be something for which we still need to protest. It is an inherent human right. Without realising it, Birdy is demonstrating in favour of physical independence. She doesn't see it as a political issue or something she needs to support; rather, she sees it as a natural human instinct to want to be in charge of your body and your life. It's disappointing that it continues to impact audiences harder than it used to, but it also demonstrates that society hasn't advanced as much as we might have thought. It serves as a crucial reminder to continue the battle for the fundamental rights that everyone is due.
At the conclusion of the book, Birdy is forced to wed an elderly, wealthy man she refers to as "Shaggy Beard," before he passes away and she is paired with his son. But in the film, Birdy's father (Paul Kaye) challenges Shaggy Beard to a battle so she can remain at home and continue to be a child for a little while longer. Why was that a crucial modification to make?
I know Lena really valued having that happier conclusion, and I thought it was fantastic. It implied that her struggle wasn't in vain. She avoids it for the time being, but it doesn't necessarily imply that another suitor won't appear. She is having a lovely moment with her father as well. Due to their similarities and frequent conflicts, they don't have many opportunity to express their love and appreciation for one another. It's good for her to witness her father do something that was incredibly uncommon back then: decide to keep his daughter for a little while longer. That was enlarged from the book, which I appreciate. She gains the ability to embrace her limitations and find freedom.
"Game of Thrones" concluded more than three years ago. Do admirers still approach you to chat about Lyanna?
It has somewhat slowed down. Many people ask me what I thought of the finale, which is a contentious issue that I find difficult to respond to. I always start by asking, "What do you think of the ending?" before moving on. In the North, they simply adore the King.
Do you currently have "House of the Dragon" on?
I watched the first three episodes, but I haven't really had a chance to watch it since I left on this "Birdy" press tour and haven't had much time at home. Even though I need to catch up, I enjoy it. I find it to be quite cool.
I'm eagerly anticipating "The Last of Us." Have you ever played the game before joining up?
In fact, I was urged not to. They questioned me after my initial audition, "Have you played it?" They advised me to "keep it that way" after I responded "nope." (Laughs.) To get a feel for it, I did watch some of the gameplay on YouTube. But I'm so eager for it to be released since it had such a significant role in my life. I had a year of shooting, which is a lot of time when you've only been alive for 19. At the conclusion, Pedro sent me a brief card in which he observed that it was "strange that something so significant and life-changing should occur so early in your life and so late in mine." It struck me as a pretty beautiful observation, and I was having the time of my life.
Making the show undoubtedly inspired some stimulating discussions about how to survive in a post-apocalyptic society. Do you employ any tactics?
I have no plans for surviving. My best friend and I would probably just fall into a hole I had dug for ourselves and cry.
Yes, I would undoubtedly be among the first to pass away. I lack talent.
I mean, somebody has to pass away first. It may very well be us.