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Rome Actors on Game of Thrones

Here’s a couple of fascinating tidbits from interviews with Ciarán Hinds and James Purefory, both who had been on HBO’s Rome—a fine show, one of the most lavish productions ever put to screen as a regular hour long drama—and who have been asked (for various reasons) to remark on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Of course, only one of these actors is actually on the show, but the other has been a fan-favorite when it comes to casting speculation…

First, of course, is Ciarán Hinds, the actor cast as Mance Rayder whom we recently glimpsed in HBO’s latest video. Speaking to Irish Central, Hinds had the following to say about the first season of the show when he decided to catch up to it:

“I saw the first series and I found some of the sexuality and violence a little gratuitous and it annoyed me but then it calmed down a bit, but the storytelling and the juggling of the storylines are fantastic. It draws you in and takes you elsewhere.”

Well, the show certainly has gotten some stick for the gratuitous sex and violence, but it certainly is interesting that Hinds is comfortable noting it. We like his attitude. The interview discusses how he became involved, both in terms of the convenience of filming in his native Northern Ireland and then the fact that he ended up filming in Iceland during a blizzard.

The other interview comes to us by way of Empire Magazine, with James Purefoy. Purefoy was the very memorable Mark Antony on Rome, and fans have suggested him for many roles, such as Oberyn Martell, Euron Greyjoy, and, in fact, Mance Rayder. But when asked about how he felt about Rome having ended prematurely, Purefoy had the following to say:

”[Kevin] McKidd and I had lunch the other day, and I said to him, “Have you been asked to do Game Of Thrones?” And he said, “I’d never do it. Because they stole our fucking show.” He worked out that if Rome had run for the entire seven seasons that it should have run, we would only have finished it last year. And he feels that HBO did Game of Thrones instead of us, so they stole our show. I kind of agree with him. I won’t be doing Game Of Thrones, even if they ask me”

I can’t help but think there was, perhaps, a little bit of humor behind the remarks, and I’d take what he says with a grain of salt. Yet it’s interesting, not only because he sang a different tune two years ago, but also because it’s probably true that if Rome had gone the distance, Game of Thrones would at best be in development and waiting in the wings for HBO’s pre-modern, gritty, sexy historical drama to come to an end. One hopes that neither Purefoy and McKidd are genuinely serious about turning down a good role down the road, if it’s offered to them.

(Of course, it’s also interesting that it seems Purefoy has yet to be approached about the show. But this may be a matter of timing—he ended up on the short-lived Camelot for a time, and is the star of a new TV show titled The Following in which he players a serial-killer and cult leader.)

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