Maisie Williams Shares How She's Finally 'in Control' After 'Searching for Empowerment'

While with Spotify at this year's Cannes Lions Festival, the Game of Thrones alum exclusively told PEOPLE what excites her about her new Frank Film Club podcast

Maisie Williams participates in a Female Quotient Lounge panel
Maisie Williams. Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Spotify

After more than a decade taking direction in front of the camera, Maisie Williams is ready to take control.

The Game of Thrones alum has taken the reins on a new podcast, Frank Film Club with Maisie Williams, and she exclusively chatted with PEOPLE at this week's Cannes Lions Festival about the empowerment she's finding on the project.

"It's been really exciting being in control of the show," said Williams, 25, who took part in the festival's Equality Lounge Female Quotient Lounge Discussion on Monday. "As an actor, you're a small part of someone else's vision. But as the podcast host, you really get to shape the show and highlight the movies and filmmakers that [you] really admire."

The actress shared that she's "been really searching for that, and really searching for the empowerment to capture your own destiny [because] as an actor, you kind of are at the fate of other people's decisions."

"So I think that that's what I really enjoy, just the control and being able to create something for myself," she added about the Spotify-available podcast, in which she discusses films with friends and co-hosts Hannah Marie Williams and Lowri Roberts.

Maisie Williams attends Spotify's intimate evening of music and culture, during Cannes Lions 2022, at Villa Mirazur
Maisie Williams. Antony Jones/Getty Images for Spotify

Williams told PEOPLE that she and her co-hosts crafted their podcast as a way to express their opinions about films, which she says is a "hugely important part of the film industry."

"It's quite overwhelming to form your own opinions about films and the film industry as someone, as a woman, who works in film," the actress explained. "And when you are sort of tasked with watching all of these movies and forming your own opinions, it can be quite scary and intimidating worlds to step into."

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Williams and her co-hosts "all work in film and have every right to take up space in this industry and form our own opinions," she added. In that way, they each "wanted to bring to an audience, because you feel like it's something that not a lot of people speak about."

"So yeah, it's nice to open up the dialogue," she added.

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In light of Monday's discussion, which was hosted by Spotify's Vice President and Global Head of Public Affairs Dustee Jenkins, Williams also emphasized the importance of taking part in female-focused events is so important to her as a young woman.

"I'm always trying to find confidence within myself, and I'm always trying to lift myself and kind of go against the grain of just the systems that we have in place," she said. "And I think what was so inspiring about the fireside chat was just being amongst a lot of other women who really, I feel, I had a lot in common with."

Spotify Vice President, Global Head of Public Affairs Dustee Jenkins and Maisie Williams participate in a Female Quotient Lounge panel at Cannes Lions 2022
Spotify Vice President, Global Head of Public Affairs Dustee Jenkins and Maisie Williams participate in a Female Quotient Lounge panel at Cannes Lions 2022. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Spotify

"So it's always really nice when you're just talking to an audience of people who you feel are just very aligned creatively and just on all of our journeys," she continued, adding that it was also inspiring getting to connect with "artists of all kinds" during the festival.

"I think a lot of creatives across industries have a lot in common, but we don't always get to have those conversations and discuss it," said Williams. "I think for women, it's really important to stick together and to build each other up and to not put barricades in front of one another and ourselves. It's important that Spotify is hosting events like this, and so to be a part of it, it's kind of a no-brainer, really."

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Frank Film Club with Maisie Williams is available to stream on Spotify now.

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