'Game of Thrones' star Maisie Williams: 'I was the weird acting kid'

On-set with GoT's Maisie Williams
On-set with GoT's Maisie Williams

    JUST WATCHED

    On-set with GoT's Maisie Williams

MUST WATCH

On-set with GoT's Maisie Williams 07:46

(CNN)Maisie Williams is perhaps best known around the world as kick-ass teenage heroine Arya Stark, from the hit TV show "Game of Thrones."

But before the swords and direwolves, 18-year-old Williams was not always so assured.
"For a long time I thought 'I'm just a weird acting kid,'" says Williams.
    "At school, kids didn't audition for things -- and I had a job at 12. But now I've met so many other people and I've realized that's very normal, everyone felt that weird segregation at some point."
    After her huge success in "Games of Thrones," Williams is now taking her talents to the big screen. Last year she starred in supernatural drama "The Falling," in which a mysterious epidemic of fainting takes over the pupils at an English girls' school.
    "The transition from Game of Thrones where I'm a small piece in a big puzzle, to something where you're taking the lead was very nerve-wracking," says Williams.
    "The role I play in 'The Falling,' Lydia, was a character that I wanted to show other people that I could do. I had to leave it at home, the nerves of carrying the film, and actually prove to people that I have more confidence in it," she added.
    Maisie Williams as Lydia in The Falling (2014)
    The film led to her nomination as one of 10 "European Shooting Stars" -- young actors chosen from across the continent and honored at Berlin Film Festival for their talent and future potential.
    Following in the footsteps of actors Carey Mulligan, Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Alicia Vikander, Williams received her award from Hollywood star Natalie Portman.
    Between Berlin and promotional duties for Season Five of "Game of Thrones," Maisie was given another opportunity to prove her cinematic credentials with a film called "The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea," directed by Will Purple and starring Jason Sedakis and Jessica Biel.
    Maisie Williams poses with fellow actresses chosen as Shooting Stars at the  65th Berlinale International Film Festival in February 2015.  (L- R) Maisie Williams, Abbey Hoes, Natalia de Molina, Aiste Dirziute, Emmi Parviainen and Hera Hilmar.
    Co-star Biel described Williams as a "sparkling" talent set to make it big in the film industry in the coming years.
    "Maisie is one to watch because you literally cannot take your eyes off her," added Biel. "She is enigmatic, charismatic, deeply emotional and able to share all of those abilities, plus many more, and put them on the screen in a way that is so raw and authentic.
    "From an actor's point of view, you're jealous of how easily she is able to do that and envious of that ability."
    Indeed, both of Maisie's films made an impression in Cannes. Buyers were given a sneak preview of "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," while "The Falling" was snapped up for U.S. distribution following positive reviews on its UK release.
    "I've been told by directors that I should direct because what I find so interesting is not just the acting, but just watching when I'm on set," said Williams. "A lot of the time between takes I like to sit on set with my warm coat just watching what's going on and ask directors why they've lit it this way and why they're using that lens.
    "One day if I find a project I'm passionate about and feel like I could do a good job on, I would love to direct it."