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If you build a Comic-Con, they will come — "they" being a loose term encompassing cosplayers
, celebrities, and artists of all shapes, sizes, and talents. While we enjoyed geeking out over the assorted trailers and scoops the annual pop culture fest delivered this weekend, not much brought us more joy than Entertainment Weekly
's Women Who Kick Ass
panel. The blessed event brought together six of Hollywood's most multi-faceted TV heroines for a night of inspiring anecdotes and practical words of wisdom. Ahead, check out our favorite lessons from Orphan Black
's Tatiana Maslany
, Game of Thrones
' Natalie Dormer
and Maisie Williams
, Sleepy Hollow
's Nicole Beharie
, American Horror Story'
s Sarah Paulson
, and Sons of Anarchy
's Katey Sagal
. Chase your fears.
“As soon as I have fears or doubts, it’s like that’s where you have to go,” Maslany said, addressing the challenges of portraying multiple clones including transgender Tony. “Because then all the surprising stuff comes out of there, and you don’t know what you’re capable of."Own your space.
“A lot of different men will come on as day players or guest parts, and I recognize that there’s a certain strength that I have now, or a certain command that I have being one of the leads on the show that I hadn’t had before," Beharie shared. "Just owning that space and not being expected, as a woman, to shrink, or curtsy, or any of those sort of things.”Don't try to categorize others — or yourself.
"Male writers, and I say this with all love and respect, often want to make a woman either the angel or the whore — make her the witch, or put her on the pedestal," Dormer said. "When people ask me about Margaery, I say they’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be practical and politically savvy and not be a good person. You can be a good human being and just be shrewd.” Make your life about your life.
"Make career choices about your life; don’t be too afraid to take time out and let a family pass you by. 'I’m so afraid it’s gonna go away at any given moment' that you think you can’t stop," Paulson said. “Stop to do what? Have a life? Have a baby? Meet someone? I mean, what?”Use the weapons you have.
Dormer's musings on the many ways to wield power: “I think we’d all go for the dragons if we were given the choice. But that’s the secret of the writing, that’s why [Game of Thrones
is] such a compelling show — because it shows how different people are given different weapons, physically and metaphorically, and how they use them.”A little rebelliousness never hurt anybody.
“All hell broke loose” on the Game of Thrones
set when Williams got her nose pierced, but the 17-year-old actress didn't seem to mind. Her body, her rules — sorry for the extra work, makeup artists!
Romance is nice and all, but it's not the only endgame out there.
Sure, it's a lesson we all know, but it might be lost on the 'shipper contingent. While Beharie knows legions of fans want her Sleepy Hollow
character to get it on with Ichabod, she personally would like to keep the relationship professional and platonic. She's got a lot on her plate, after all!Stop playing around.
Back at drama school, Dormer felt like something was missing from her genteel stage-fencing classes. She decided to take matters into her own hands by signing up for real fencing classes.
Be your bad-ass self — within the limits of the law, please.
Williams on Arya's precocious violence: “She’s a 12-year-old girl living in this world, and we all like to brush that aside, that she actually just put a sword through someone’s throat. And like, hey, that’s such a kick-ass moment, but you can’t live your life like that and be okay in the head forever. That’s not the way it works.”Embrace your inner superhero.
When asked what superhero they'd choose to be, the Women Who Kick Ass had pretty sweet answers ready to go. Williams chose Spider-Man (for his agility), Maslany chose Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(for the accent), Beharie chose The Hulk (for the helpful rage),
Paulson chose Wolverine (for the similar grooming habits), Dormer chose Batman (for his brain), and Sagal chose Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(who's not really a traditional superhero, but we're not going to argue with Sagal).So we're all going to go forth and kick more (figurative) ass, right? Right. Let us know who your favorite inspiring TV woman is in the comments!