Pistol revolves around the rise of the Sex Pistols and the punk movement in the 1970s, and there were two women who played very important roles in solidifying this game-changing era. Talulah Riley and Maisie Williams star as Vivienne Westwood and Jordan (a.k.a. Pamela Rooke) in the new FX series. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the actresses about the collaboration between the fashion designer and her muse.
“I think Jordan was very expressive. She was dressing in ways that were kind of very new and exciting and interesting at the time, which is how these two forces were kind of drawn together,” Maisie told HollywoodLife during a recent press junket. “I think, in a way, Jordan became almost like a spokesperson for Vivienne’s movement before the Pistols. The Pistols then kind of really solidified the music behind it and the messaging. But for a long time, Jordan I think just physically embodied everything that Vivienne wanted to create, and was a moving canvas. The two of them collaborated together and had a relationship up [her death].”
In the 1970s, Vivienne ran a boutique on King’s Road called SEX. “I was unaware of Vivienne Westwood’s involvement in the punk movement before I did the show. I didn’t know that she created the aesthetic of punk, so the safety pins and the anarchy symbol. She actually designed the anarchy symbol. That was her doing,” Talulah said.
Talulah noted that Jordan was a “huge draw” to Vivienne’s shop. “Everyone wanted to go to SEX to just ogle Jordan basically. She was sort of the supermodel of the day, right, and that very kind of niche movement,” Talulah added.
For 8 seasons, Maisie played Arya Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones. After growing up on the show, Maisie relished the role of Jordan and embracing uncharted territory in her career.
“I felt like I could be someone completely brand-new, and everything that I had learned about myself or my body or my insecurities, I just felt it all kind of melt away,” Maisie told HollywoodLife. “I could build someone completely brand-new. That was really exciting, and I think it’s something that I want to try and take with me for other characters that I play.”
Maisie found Jordan’s style had impacted her own. “The power that her dress has was something that I’d never really played with before or been the person to experience that,” she noted. Through playing Jordan, Maisie “really learned the power of fashion and how we represent ourselves and how that influences the journey that we’re on.”
The 6-episode limited series also explores the intersection of fashion and music. Amidst the punk movement, fashion was evolving along with music. Talulah pointed out that both fashion and music at the time “were making all the noise they possibly could and just screaming their feelings.” Pistol premieres May 31 on Hulu.