British actress Natalie Dormer, best known for her roles as Anne Boleyn on Showtime's hit drama "The Tudors" and Margaery Tyrell on the award-winning HBO series "Game of Thrones," received the Discovery Award at the Savannah Film Festival Tuesday night.
Dormer arrived for the festival on opening night and has been in town since Saturday.
She says she has spent her time in town being a tourist more than a movie watcher at the film festival.
"I took a historical carriage tour," Dormer says. "I toured a historical home that is now a museum. I know all about the yellow fever now," she laughs.
She says she also took a tour of the Savannah College of Art and Design and spent some time at the SCAD Museum of Art.
"It's really impressive," she adds.
Dormer stays busy these days with "Mockingjay: Parts 1 and 2," the third and fourth installments in the "Hunger Games" series, which is filming near Atlanta. Dormer will star as Cressida, a resident director from the Capitol who joined the rebellion in District 13. Her co-star Wes Chatham, who is from Georgia, told her she had to come to Savannah.
"I was told to go to Tybee Island because it's beautiful, which is what I did yesterday," Dormer says. She points to her legs covered in red spots and explains that she now knows about sand gnats.
"I was bitten to death by the creepy crawlies of Tybee Island!"
She also said she's enjoyed the local cuisine and dined at Mrs. Wilkes and the Olde Pink House.
"I haven't stopped eating since I got here. I'm amazed I fit this dress."
And in case you wanted to get the latest scoop on the super-secret filming of the final two "Hunger Games" films, you'll just have to wait for the movies to come out.
"I've got a good catalog of stuff I'm not allowed to talk to you about," she says. "I'm never really able to talk about 'Game of Thrones,' same with 'Elementary' when there was the twist with Moriarty, so I can answer wide-sweeping questions, but nothing else."
Dormer says it isn't a problem for her to stay silent and she's never been tricked into spilling a spoiler.
"Increasingly the industry is like that. They don't want actors to say anything. They don't want things to leak. And in the modern world of social media they are scared of things leaking via Twitter or Instagram because they don't want audiences getting information before the event.
"I'd love to talk to you about all the twists and turns of 'Game of Thrones' this season," she says.
What if we don't want to hear the spoilers?
"And that's the other thing, journalists don't want to know," she says. "When the Red Wedding happened (on 'Game of Thrones') I constantly had journalists come up to me and tell me 'I don't want to know, I haven't seen the episode yet.' "
But one question she says she gets a lot and can answer is: Why are you with that dreadful Joffrey Baratheon (the bratty king Dormer's character Margaery Tyrell is supposed to marry on "Game of Thrones")?
"Because I'm an actor and it's in the script," she says. She laughs.
"I suppose it's a compliment that people take it so seriously and believe so firmly in it. Who am I to criticize that? It's what makes our fan base so incredible."
But she says trying to change the public's perception about who she portrays on screen and who she is in real life is a constant obstacle for her.
"As an actor, (your character) can be so far removed from what your personality is like," she says. "People say Natalie Dormer always plays the royal girl or the aristocracy girl. ... In real life that couldn't be further from the truth of my personality.
"Actors get put in boxes â€¦ sometimes as an actor you scramble to get out of that - constantly, actually.
"I would love to do some comedy. I'm waiting for someone to pick up the phone and say 'Nat, you want to do some comedy?' I would love to do everything you've never see me do because I've never done it."
She says she wants to do a tough physical action movie and she wants to do a romantic comedy.
"I want to do something fun that challenges me."
Dormer says she loves the challenges of acting and has always been driven to be in theater. She studied drama at the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
And Dormer says her time with the SCAD students reminds her of her time in college.
"Sitting in the master class today took me right back to drama school," she says. "And I was very moved by their enthusiasm and their concern. They feel anxious and I remember that anxiety. I want to just reassure them and say, 'Guys, don't take it all so seriously.' It's going to be OK. It's a hard business. It's incredibly competitive."
She says a lot of artists worry too much about making the right or wrong decisions and they need to focus on their path and realize there is no right or wrong.
While she says she focused on being a stage actor in college, she is beginning to see the chance to branch out to other areas of the industry.
"When I see actors I love and respect diversify themselves - start to write, start to produce, start to direct - I think it's very healthy.
"I hope in the future I can broaden my horizons like that because the industry is tough and unless you are proactive then you can wait a lifetime for a particular role or script to come your way.
"As an actor you're always kind of waiting for the phone to ring. Musicians can write a song on their own. A fine arts student can sit and create in their back room. Sure there might not be any money in it, but they can.
"As a professional actor you really are waiting for the phone to ring - waiting for someone to allow you to interact with your contemporaries at your same level so you can cathartically release what it is you do."
But it seems after the highly anticipated release of director Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" on Nov. 15 where Dormer will be seen opposite Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Cameron Diaz, she won't have to wait long for the phone to ring.
Aside from her roles on "The Tudors" and "Game of Thrones," Dormer is also known for her role as Irene Adler on CBS's Sherlock Holmes rendition "Elementary." Dormer's other film credits include Marvel's "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011), "City of Life" (2009), "Flawless" (2007) and "Casanova" (2005). She also stars opposite Chris Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde in director Ron Howard's "Rush," (2013).