Gwendoline Christie has wanted to be in 'Star Wars' since she was six years old.

The 39-year-old actress felt ''unbelievable joy'' when she was cast as Captain Phasma in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' because she'd dreamed of being a part of the sci-fi universe after being captivated by the late Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia in the original movies when she was a child.

She said: ''I can remember the precise moment I was cast as Captain Phasma in 'Star Wars'. It was an explosion of unbelievable joy.

''For a long time, I had campaigned to be in the franchise to anyone who would listen,

''It was an ambition motivated by one of my earliest memories, of when, aged six, I was placed in front of the flamboyant space opera.

''I marvelled at this fantasy world in a way I couldm't yet articulate, with its misfits and droids and a woman who fought the enemy with intelligence, who was funny and refused to be shackled - the inimitable Princess Leia.

''I recall thinking even then, 'She isn't like all the other women on TV. She won't be told what to do.' ''

And Gwendoline felt ''truly electrified'' when she saw her costume for the first time because it hadn't been made sexy just because of her gender.

She said: ''When I was taken to the top-secret wardrobe department to see my Captain Phasma costume - a shiny, full-body suit of armour - I was truly electrified.

''Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm, had asked me if I'd ever Googled 'female superheroes' and proceeded to show me the results; a plethora of scantily clad, cartoon-like women and not a whole lot else.

''The concept of a female character in a huge film like 'Star Wars', whose flesh we are denied from the outset, felt fresh and exciting.

''A suit of genderless armour for a female character shouldn't have felt new, but it did.''