If you only know Rose Leslie from her ass-kicking role as the ill-fated Ygritte on Game of Thrones, prepare to see a whole lot more of her. The actress is a rising star in Hollywood thanks to stand-out performances in Morgan and Downton Abbey, and people can't get enough of her adorable relationship with former Game of Thrones costar Kit Harington. Get to know the 29-year-old actress with some interesting facts about her below:
- She's a skilled archer. Although Rose only picked up a bow and arrow to train for playing Ygritte, it turns out she's a natural when it comes to archery. The first time she ever tried hitting a target, she ended up splitting a previous arrow she'd shot right down the middle. Remind us not to get on her bad side . . .
- Rose comes from a big family. The actress is the middle child of five siblings (William, 34, Sophia, 32, John, 27, and Portia, 26), and her "middle child syndrome" is likely why she became so spirited. "From a young age, I wanted to differentiate myself from my older siblings," she told UK's The Telegraph. "Certainly part of being from a big family is that you have to shout to make yourself heard. I remember bossing my younger siblings around and making them put on shows and skits with me. There was a lot of Power Rangers."
- She's basically a real-life princess. The actress grew up in Lickleyhead Castle (yes, an actual CASTLE) in the Scottish countryside near Aberdeen. The 30-acre estate is so gorgeous that her parents regularly rent it out for weddings and other events, and it's been in their family for over 500 years. Her father Sebastian's official title is "the Aberdeenshire Chieftain of Clan Leslie," and her mother, Candida, is the great-granddaughter of the 13th Lord Lovat.
- Her voice doesn't sound anything like Ygritte's. Rose told Entertainment Weekly that she used a stronger Northern accent on Game of Thrones because she lost a bit of her own while studying in England at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, which sometimes disappoints fans: "I use a different voice — I put on an accent on the show — so when I say 'You know nothing, Jon Snow' in my own voice, you get a furrowed brow from fans and they're like, 'That doesn't sound like Ygritte.' And then I got to go into [her character's] accent and do it and it's a really long boring process for the fan and I'm sure they walk away wishing they hadn't asked me because it's such a kerfuffle."
- She's fluent in French. When Rose turned 10, the Leslie family uprooted to France for three years because her mother wanted the children to become more cultured and experience different things. They moved to the town of Maisons-Laffitte, which is just outside of Paris, resulting in Rose falling in love with the French language.
- Her bright red hair created a few problems in grade school. "They picked on me but that makes you stronger," she told The Telegraph in June 2016 about her French classmates. "You get teased. I'd never say it was bullying."
- She didn't always want to be an actress. She told Nylon that her original plan was to grow up to be a mermaid, and later joked to CBR about the reason. "I loved The Little Mermaid, and I loved Ariel, I loved Sebastian; my father is called Sebastian. So, I kind of felt I had this affiliation," she said. "[And] I'm a redhead. I certainly can't sing. But yeah, I definitely wanted to be a mermaid." Luckily, after she witnessed Vivien Leigh do her thing in Gone With the Wind, she was inspired to pursue a career in Hollywood.
- She has a very unique and bizarre phobia. After facing down White Walkers with ease, it's hard to imagine Rose is afraid of anything, but she has a strong fear of velvet because of "the sound it makes."