Keisha Castle-Hughes Talks About Moving On From ‘Game Of Thrones’

Photograph by Ryan Hunter Photo; hair and makeup by Arron Barry; wardrobe by Devon Nuszer.

And why it’s cool to play a bitch

This past week has a been an interesting one for Keisha Castle-Hughes, as her three-season run on Game of Thrones came to a violent end when her character, Obara Sand, was viciously impaled with her own spear by the dastardly Euron Greyjoy. Castle-Hughes said it was “bittersweet” for her, as the role was quite demanding—both physically and mentally.

“Obara is not the most sane person to live with,” Castle-Hughes says. “I remember when I went back this last season, it was like living in that space with someone who's that dead set on one mode, which is kill and be angry—it’s a lot to carry. So there was a sense of relief when I got to the end.”

The 27-year-old actress is grateful, though, for having been a part of such a special show—one of the most well-received all over the world—and how it has afforded her opportunities that she might not otherwise have had.

“It’s not like every day you get to... we shot in the Alcázar in Seville, and they shut it down for us for three days,” she explains. “So it was one of those really dreamy experiences.”

Castle-Hughes is proud that Game of Thrones has “finally” put several women in powerful positions, including the way her fictional female-led family worked collaboratively with other strong women like Yara Greyjoy and Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons.

“Most of these women are political figures. They’re lone wolves, they act on their own,” she says. “And so I really loved the contribution that the Sand Snakes were able to offer. As women, we were able to work together and protect each other. Of course, they had their sibling kind of nonsense, but when push comes to shove, you can say whatever you want to your siblings, but god forbid, anyone else says that. That was their case especially.”

Castle-Hughes won’t be missing from television long, though. She’s appearing in the Discovery Channel’s star-studded Manhunt: Unabomber anthology series, premiering today, August 1, as FBI Agent Tabby Milgrim, a composite character based on several women who were working alongside agent Jim Fitzgerald (Sam Worthington) in tracking down the real identity of the man behind the mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others between 1978 and 1995.

“What I was attracted to, first and foremost, was that Andrew Sodroski, our writer—it was very clear in really early drafts—had a very strong image of who Tabby Milgrim is as a person, and she's very much her own person,” Castle-Hughes says. “He’d thought about who she was and how she behaved and how she thought. Because in this narrative, in a world of a bunch of agents… often you read this kind of material, and it just feels like there eight male characters written and they had to add a female and they changed the name. And it didn’t feel like that. It felt like Tabby—she didn’t belong in that space, which I was excited about.”

Castle-Hughes says she enjoyed playing a woman in a largely male-dominated field in the early ‘90s and employing a kind of “masculinity” of her own.

“It takes such a specific person to graduate from Quantico. Like, in terms of your level of attendance and your physicality, and that narrows down even more so for females,” she says. “You had to learn how to kind of kick it with the guys. I think that was the nice thing… she can definitely hold her own with the guys, but it’s not in a way where she loses or takes away from her femininity.”

Maintaining Milgrim’s “femininity” was important to Castle-Hughes, who spoke with director Greg Yaitanes about making sure her character had a distinctive duality.

“We see this need to take women’s femininity away in order to make them strong a lot onscreen, which I don’t think is necessary because I know a lot of very sexy women who are really, really strong,” Castle-Hughes says. “So it was like finding that balance for us, which I do think we’ve achieved, which I’m happy about.”

Next up, the Oscar-nominated actress is returning to the big screen for the PTSD-themed drama Thank You For Your Service. Castle-Hughes stars alongside Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, and fellow Kiwi Beulah Koale as Alea, a character who is based on a real woman who helped her American Samoan husband, Solo, recover from the horrors of the Iraq war after he returns home to his family from the army.

“They got married when they were really young,” Castle-Hughes says. “And all these women, this is the thing—they get married when they’re 20, and their husbands go away, and they come back as different people than who the women fell in love with. And the men are really angry and have a lot of issues going on, but they’ve been, like, stripped down and deconstructed as people to not deal with that stuff—to not even acknowledge it as a real problem. Alea was just this incredible pillar of strength who carried Solo through—they had a family, and that became paramount in him getting well."

But Castle-Hughes is careful to say that the role of wife and mom is not one she’s looking to play over and over again.

“When you’re [an actor] in your early 20s and late teens, there’s a very strong story thread of women coming into their sexuality onscreen. And then all of a sudden, they get transitioned into being a mom. There doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of stuff in between," Castle-Hughes says. "So I definitely make it my personal mission to seek out roles that somehow are fleshed-out people that we see in the world—women that I know, women that I want to be, women that actually exist versus these kind of sketched character versions of them.”

Castle-Hughes has been lucky in that she’s been able to find parts that don’t fall into that one-note category. Last year, she played lesbian sound engineer Donna in Showtime’s short-lived, music-themed series, Roadies, alongside co-stars like Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, and Imogen Poots, a cast she referred to as a “really dreamy group of people.”

“There were such close parallels to myself and Donna,” Castle-Hughes explains, “but I think it was because the environment we were in, and lot of us were close and really good friends, and so it’s easy to take more from yourself when you’re hanging out with your friends every day and having a laugh.”

The lighter subject matter helped, something Castle-Hughes is looking to employ in her next few comedy-focused projects after a few years of heavy material. But no matter what work she’s doing, many of her projects seem to be variations on a theme, one that her friend and former Roadies castmate Colson Baker pointed out to her; one Obara Sand and Tabby Milgrim surely fall into.

“[He] says that he thinks the common thread in all the characters I play is they’re all different versions of a bitch,” Castle-Hughes says with a laugh. “He’s like, 'Hold on—I’ve seen this. You’re just telling people to screw themselves in different ways in different accents.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, I’ll take it. I’m all about it. It’s not a bad thing at all.’”

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.