Gwendoline Christie was ''very starstruck'' by the late Carrie Fisher.

The 39-year-old actress had admired the actress - who died last December - and her portrayal of iconic 'Star Wars' character Princess Leia since she was a child so she was overwhelmed with shyness when she joined the franchise for 'The Force Awakens' as Captain Phasma and came face-to-face with her idol.

She told Sunday Life magazine: ''Princess Leia spoke to me ... she felt different, she was smart and she was strong.

''When I meet someone I admire like that, I keep myself as far away as possible from the person, you know, don't bother them, eyes to the floor - I am overcome with shyness.''

But Gwendoline found Carrie an ''incredibly warm'' person and was able to relax more around her.

She added: ''Everyone around her felt electrified by her wit and humanity. She was so open about her struggles with mental illness. The sheer force of personality is ravishing.''

The 'Game of Thrones' star recently admitted she felt ''unbelievable joy'' when she landed her 'Star Wars' role because she had wanted to be a part of the franchise for so long.

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.' ''