Andor's Faye Marsay Didn't Feel As Much Pressure On Game Of Thrones As She Did With Star Wars [Exclusive]

Spoilers ahead through episode 9 of "Andor."

In this week's episode of "Andor," we got some new information about Aldhani Rebel leader Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay). When we first met this no-nonsense woman as Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) joined her mission, it seemed like living simply in the mountains was something she'd done her entire life. As it turns out, that was completely wrong. We got our first clue when her partner Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu) said Vel could use the identity of a rich girl running away from home as a cover. Vel told her that was cold, but it was also true. Vel is actually Senator Mon Mothma's (Genevieve O'Reilly) cousin and wealthy as well. There is certainly more than one way to serve the Rebellion. 

/Film's own Ethan Anderton recently interviewed Faye Marsay about her role in "Andor" and spoke to her about another incredibly popular show she was on and how it compared to this one in terms of the pressure it put on her. If Marsay looks familiar to you, it might be because she played the role of the Waif in "Game of Thrones." The Waif wasn't exactly kind to Arya (Maisie Williams) when she was training in the House of Black and White. The "Game of Thrones" franchise hasn't been around quite as long as "Star Wars" has, and even being terrible to a fan-favorite character didn't put as much pressure on Marsay as "Andor" did. 

' ... you just kind of concentrate on what you're being asked to do'

Asked if she felt more pressure joining "Game of Thrones" right when it was at the height of its popularity or a new "Star Wars" series, Marsay says:

"With 'Game of Thrones,' I don't know what it was about that, I just remained cool, because it was something that was so much bigger than me. What I was being asked to do was the thing that I like doing. 

"If you minimize your role down, and you don't worry about all the other sort of noise around it, you just kind of concentrate on what you're being asked to do, which is quite... It's not simple, but what my job is, is to say somebody else's words convincingly and create a character that means something to the script, to the way the writer wrote it, and to the people who are watching it.

She certainly did that. The Waif was a complex character seen through a web of deception in "Game of Thrones," and all the scenes took place in a different location than the rest of the series. It would likely have been easier to separate yourself from everything if the only major character you're really working with is Arya. Plus, though the books by George R.R. Martin that the series is based on had been out for a long time, it was still a show that only began in 2011. "Star Wars" is a very different story, with the first film coming out in 1977, and so many offerings in the franchise since.

'I probably felt more pressure'

Marsay does say that there was more pressure with "Andor" because she has a lead role. She explains:

"If you take all the noise out of it, I found 'Game of Thrones' a much easier job than one would think. Given that, at the time, it was just blowing up, and given the storyline I had with the character, with Maisie [Williams], who was the most loved character pretty much on the show at that point, and I acted horrible to [her]. So that was hard. 

"But I think I probably felt more pressure starting a new huge mammoth 'Star Wars' TV thing in which that I was going to be one of the sort of main-ish roles."

No one who is mean to Arya Stark ends up with audiences singing their praises, but Marsay's work as Vel in "Andor" is pretty powerful. She's more sympathetic each time we see her, even if we don't always agree with her choices. She was introduced as a difficult character who didn't bend very easily, but over the subsequent episodes, we've seen her vulnerability, her love for Cinta, her difficulties with where she comes from, and her relationship with Mon Mothma. We've also seen her question some of the methods the Rebellion uses, something this show is good at making audiences do as well. 

"Andor" is currently streaming on Disney+ through episode 9.