The House of the Dragon star originally turned down Game of Thrones

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Paddy Considine is one of the main actors of Dragon Houseupcoming HBO game of thrones prequel show. He plays King Viserys I Targaryen, who tries to hold his court and kingdom together even as his loved ones head into open warfare with each other. King Viserys has an uphill battle, and Considine drew on personal experience to describe it.

“If anything Viserys was based on my mother, Considine said The Sunday Times. “She was the most powerful woman I knew, for a long time. Until she neglected herself. At the end of her life, my mother was diabetic. I adored my mother. But her illness is become his comfort zone. It was tragic to see this decline and I put that – plus his kindness and love – into Viserys.

Considine is very invested in his character now, but there was a time when he didn’t want to go anywhere near Westeros. When the producers approached him to be sure game of thrones at the time (we don’t know what part he was offered) he flat out turned it down. “[My agent] said, “It’s about the dragons,” recalls Considine. “I went, ‘No thanks.’ I haven’t even read it.”

The Dragon House throw on the joy and pain of riding a dragon

It’s easy to forget now, but there was a time when game of thrones seemed far from a safe and easy thing to dismiss as fantasy nonsense about dragons. After it became a phenomenon, actors like Considine are much more eager to be a part of that world.

And the ironic thing is that Dragon House has way more dragons than game of thrones. On the original series, there were only three dragons in the entire world, and they spent most of the show too small to ride. In Dragon House, there are well over a dozen adult dragons present at the very beginning. That said, Viserys doesn’t really ride one, so maybe that helped convince Considine that this was the show for him.

Daemon, the younger brother of Viserys, however, spends a lot of time atop his ferocious dragon Caraxes. Actor Matt Smith thinks the two are a good fit for each other. “They’re grumpy, belligerent, sort of cross loners,” he said. SlashFilm. “And I think, in many ways, his dragon is one of the only people who really understands him. I think that’s why he gets along with him so well, like people sometimes do with dogs… there’s a weird, almost avatar-like side between them.

That said, apparently Smith didn’t enjoy spending hours on the dragon rigs they set up for the actors. Milly Alcock, who plays Viserys’ daughter, Rhaenyra, agrees. In the show, Rhaenyra rides the dragon Syrax. “I mean, it’s fun,” Alcock said. “But I’m going to work because I want to work with great actors, and I want to work opposite great actors. When you’re alone on a soundstage for 12 hours and you’re on day three, you’re like, ‘ Oh please Give me something else to do But newness is something I will forever hold in my heart.

Emma D’Arcy, who plays Rhaenyra after becoming an adult (there will be a time jump during the season) seems to have enjoyed the process the most. “It was awesome,” D’Arcy said. “Very fun, very playful – it was nice to try to imaginatively animate an inanimate object.”

I think when they were doing game of thrones, everything was manual. So you had this male that was exploited by people then, and now you have animatronics, and then you have something that looks a bit like an iPad, which is hooked up to a miniature version. And the director can manipulate that to program a flight path, which is then replicated on the full-size buck. It’s amazing…and all that was forgotten when I got on it, because suddenly I was on a fairground ride.

We’ll all have plenty of dragon riding action when Dragon House premieres August 21.

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h/t IndieWire


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