Game of Thrones: Features

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Interviews

Season 4 Interview: Maisie Williams & Rory McCann

Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with a number of the actors involved in Game of Thrones, to talk about the journey so far, and perhaps to draw out a few hints about what’s to come. First up in this interview series—leading up to and into the next season—I had the pleasure to talk with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane), the latter of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of interviewing before. We have a chance to talk the joys of Vine, the pleasures of Iceland, and how their characters get along as season 4 commences.

Interview

Maisie, many people have mentioned you as a very impressive actress. Do you have any method you use, or have you just picked things up since you started the show?

Maisie: When all this started and I was cast as Arya, it was sort of because I “was” Arya and that kind of thing. When you’re that age, you’re not really acting, I guess, so you try to find someone who is similar to the role. Since then, I’ve worked with some fantastic actors and actresses, and I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve watched and learned how people make it more natural. At the beginning, I wasn’t too worried about what I was doing, and I try to keep to that because it worked then, and I hope it works now.

How does it feel not to get to act with Sophie?

Maisie: I still see Sophie all the time when we’re filming. We crossover a lot this season, actually, as we were filming at the same time a lot of the time. It was really great to see her at the hotel and things. I was in New York recently and she was shooting a film there, and we both went to a fashion show together. We still do loads of great things. She’s doing fantastically, and we get on so well. It’s great to also have that escape of hanging out together, because most of the scenes we do on the show are really, really intense so it’s nice to just go home and make stupid vine videos and things like that.
Season 3 Interview: Bryan Cogman

It’s always a pleasure to interview writer and story editor Bryan Cogman, who has so far written an episode of each season, including what are amounting to two of our personal favorites of the series: “What is Dead May Never Die” and his season three episode, “Kissed by Fire”.

Below, I talk with Bryan about the episode, the introduction of new characters, his proudest moments, and much more. It’s a lengthy one but, we hope, a good one. Enjoy!

Interview

All right, thanks so much for taking the time, first off!

“Of course.”

Now, often episodes seem to have their titles decided at the last minute—George’s episode went through a couple of different names before it was settled. Was “Kissed by Fire” always the title you preferred for your episode?

“Yeah, this one found its title earlier than my previous two.  I think I hit upon it as we were shooting the Beric/Hound duel.  While it’s not always easy or possible to have one unifying theme in an episode, I realized this one most certainly had a unifying element or image, if you will. Of course there’s the line of dialogue it came from, but you have the fiery sword, the fire imagery in the Selyse scenes, the wildfire and “burn them all” of Jaime’s monologue, etc…”
“And it’s always fun to give the episode titles that excite or are familiar to the fan base—I’ve done with all my episodes so far. I think Season Three has a lot of those.”
Season 3 Interview: Rose Leslie

Continuing our interview series, next up is actress Rose Leslie, who had a memorable turn as Ygritte last season.

In this interview, she gives some hints about things to come, discusses just how often Kit Harington smiles, and much more. I note one place where she laughs… but truth be told, she laughs often and was clearly enjoying herself immensely at being involved in a project like Game of Thrones.

Interview

What can you tell us about season 3?

“I think it’s going to be very exciting. There’s lots of twists and turns this season. We’ll see our characters tested and pushed to the extremes.”

Why is Ygritte interested in Jon Snow? What piques her interest?

“She’s never come across someone like Jon Snow in her life. He’s not so rough and ready in the way that the wildling men are. And the fact that he takes himself so seriously means that she enjoys aggravating and teasing him the way she does.”
Season 3 Interview: Iain Glen

Continuing our series of interviews, this time it’s Iain Glen on board. Playing Jorah Mormont, he may be rather (a lot) different from the character in the novels, but the dignity and gravity he brings to his performance is a terrific counter-point to Daenerys Targaryen’s youthful energy and determination. In the below interview, we touch on topics such as his luck in filming locations, his views on the violence in the show, and just how Jorah feels about Daenerys.

Interview

How is this season for Jorah and Dany this season?

“I think it’s really about building our power base, about whether Daenerys is going to become a real power. Last season we almost starved to death and then we survived. So with the growth of the dragons, and the conquering of various people on the way… I suppose I should say that there’s always been this sense about Dany that she’s on her way toward the top, and you really see this movement in season 3. We’re on our way.”
Season 3 Interview: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

This is the third in our series of actor interviews leading up to the premiere of Game of Thrones on March 31st (April 1st in the UK, Scandinavia, and elsewhere).

And as it happens, this is also our third interview with Nikolaj to date, and he remains as charming and entertaining as always. The interview transcript below doesn’t really go very far to indicate just how engaging he can be to talk with, and how funny. Despite the provison from HBO that details for season 3 were not really permitted to be discussed, Nikolaj provided some small suggestions about how the story may go in the course of discussing the series, his character, and the fans.

Interview

So, what can you tell us about the new season?

“Well, this guy gets killed… what’s his name…  I can’t tell you anything, really. But I’ll say this much, as it’s not giving anything away really, is that when I was first approached for this I talked to the guys and they told me about Jaime. And I always hoped we’d get to season three, based on that.”

 

Season 3 Interview: Gwendoline Christie

One of the real pleasures of the press junket this year was getting to talk to a member of the cast I’ve not met previously… and perhaps no cast member has really excited me as much as Gwendoline Christie, the imposing Brienne of Tarth.

The actress seemed practically born for this role, and she made quite an impression in her all-too-brief appearances in the second season. The third season promises to give us a lot more of the Maid of Tarth, as she travels through the dangerous, war-torn riverlands trying to deliver Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing as Catelyn Stark commanded her to do.

Interview

What can you tell us about this season of Game of Thrones?

“As ever, what you can expect is that the unexpected always happens. Anything you think isn’t in the realms of possibility can very well occur. Characters are being thrown into situations that are normally completely alien to them, and you have to watch how they scrabble out of it.”

 

Interview with Bryan Cogman

The release of Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones was a chance for fans the world over to get a closer look behind the scenes at the making of the series, thanks to the writing of series story editor and writer Bryan Cogman having penned the book, filling it with the insights he was able to take from fellow members of the production team and the cast.

And now the collector’s edition has been released (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), and it adds an additional wrinkle: among the various bits of swag, such as the scrolled maps, is a whole second volume, this one containing storyboards from artist Will Simpson which are a key part of the process of creating and producing the series.

To explain more about the books, and what they reveal and what’s contained within, we had the opportunity to interview Bryan so that he can provide a better understanding of what fans can expect to find.

 

Interview with Alfie Allen

Before “Valar Morghulis” aired, I had the chance to interview Alfie Allen about his role as Theon Greyjoy, his character’s arc, the pranks that a certain pair of executive producers love to pull, and more.

Alfie’s story this season has been one of the highlihghts of season 2, something which I told him and which, as you’ll see, he was quite pleased to hear!

Interview with Amrita Acharia

One of the most recent departures from the show has been that of Irri, the Dothraki handmaiden and companion to Daenerys Targaryen. Played by actress Amrita Acharia, Irri showed herself to be spirited and dutiful, and it seems that last trait may well have led to her character’s very unexpected death on the series. We had the opportunity to speak to Amrita about he role, what it was like to be involved in a production of this scale, the difficulties of acting when speaking an imaginary language, and the problem of being one of the Horse Lords but without ever riding a horse… !

Unlike most of our interviews, this one has been published at Suvudu, where I’ve contributed a number of reviews and articles related to Game of Thrones. So go ahead and read the interview!

Interview with Richard Madden

One of the key deviations from the novels this season is that Robb Stark, played by Scottish actor Richard Madden, will be followed in his journey through the narrative when the book pulled away and kept him in the background.

In past interviews, the executive producers have said a large part of the reason was that they loved Madden and his presence on the show, and they wanted to see more of him. It’s difficult not to see their point: handsome, capable of playing stalwart and naive by turns, and charismatic, Madden draws the eye whenever he’s on screen portraying Eddard Stark’s son, who is now the King in the North.

We had a chance to speak with Madden on the phone while he’s in L.A. doing the press thing, and decided to ask him questions (and, in one case, make a proposal) based on what fans submitted to us. See the results below!

Season 2 Interview with Bryan Cogman

Almost a year ago, we first had a long chat with writer and keeper of the mythos, Bryan Cogman, about his role in the first season, which included writing the episode, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”.

Bryan was there almost from the ground floor, helping during the time of the pilot, and becoming the right hand man to David and Dan as they developed, wrote, and produced the show. Going into the second season, he received the title of story editor… and he wrote the extremely well-received third episode of the series, “What is Dead May Never Die”.

In the interview below, Bryan discusses various aspects of the episode, his overall role on the show, and more. Insightful as always!

Interview with David Benioff and Dan Weiss

Having planned to run this last week just before the premiere, and then just after the premiere, and then when we had the renewal news, and then this past weekend…

Well, it’s finally live: the last interview from our trip to the international press junket in London in late February, where we talk with executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. I’d met David before when I visited the set back during the filming of the first season, and I’d spoken to the both of them during an interview around that time as well, but it was the first time meeting Dan… and yes, he’s just as much One Of Us as you can imagine, geek boys and girls; check out the question regarding the shirt he was wearing!

Interview with Michelle Fairley

Thanks to our friends over at Sky Altantic’s Thronecast after-show, we have another first look exclusive on longer interview segments they have up with members of the cast and crew. We’ve already posted their Benioff &Weiss and Dance interviews, so let’s close up with my favorite character: Catelyn Stark, and the actor who’s brought her to life, Michelle Fairley.

You can read our own interview with Fairley here.

Interview with Emilia Clarke

Continuing our series of interviews from the press junket in London that we attended at the end of February—just one more left after this—is with one of the actors who has gotten the most attention from the success of Game of Thrones: Emilia Clarke, the actress who’s brought Daenerys Targaryen to life.

She was as charming and cheerful as you can imagine, meeting with us and fielding questions about her work. Topics range from various aspects of her performance, her familiarity with the novels (on the face of it, she’s probably read them more times than I have!), and a whole lot more. It was a pleasure speaking with her!

Interview with Charles Dance

Thronecast is almost upon us—following hard on the April 2nd premiere of Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic in the UK—and they’ve kindly allowed us to have the exclusive first look at some of their interviews from the press junket. We’ve already posted the interview with David Benioff and Dan Weiss, but lets follow that up to revisit with Charles Dance, aka Lord Tywin Lannister, whom we have recently interviewed ourselves.

You’ll get a bit more information… including spoilers, both for the first three novels in the series and for this season, so don’t play the video if that’s a problem!