4:16 pm - 08/03/2012

Dominic West of The Wire rejected a role on Game of Thrones

McNulty on "Game of Thrones"? It almost happened, according to actor Dominic West.

On Wednesday, I interviewed West, who played the iconic cop Jimmy McNulty on "The Wire," about the second season of the period drama "The Hour," in which he plays newscaster Hector Madden. I asked what other kinds of roles he was interested in, and "Game of Thrones" came up in the conversation.

"I was offered something on 'Game of Thrones' and unfortunately, I hadn't seen it, but my nephew and his father said, 'Gosh, "Game of Thrones" is the only great show on!' And I felt terrible, because I'd just turned them down," West said.

So what part was West offered? He hasn't read the books, so the name didn't stick in his head. But he did say that taking the role -- a substantial one and similar in stature or importance to Sean Bean's Season 1 character Ned Stark, according to West -- would have involved being "in Reykjavik for six months." ("Game of Thrones" shoots the scenes set north of the Wall in Iceland.)

So was it King Beyond the Wall Mance Rayder, which seems like the strongest possibility to me (and the only notable Season 3 role that hasn't been cast)? Was it a member of the Night's Watch north of the Wall? One of Mance's men? Alas, West couldn't recall the name of the character, so we're left to speculate. (I've asked HBO if they know which role West was offered, and I'll update this post if I get more information.)

In any event, "it was a lovely part, a good part. I'm going to regret it," he said with a rueful laugh. "My problem is, I've got four kids, and at the moment, I'm reluctant to be away from home for a long time. I can get a lot of work in London and still be at home. That's one of the many brilliant things about 'The Hour.'"

"Should I have taken it?" he asked, semi-seriously. As much as I would have loved to see Baltimore's most famous fictional cop on another fine HBO program, I can certainly respect West's devotion to his family obligations. Besides, the Iceland scenes look amazing on the show, but the actors in those scenes also look very, very cold.

So now that "Thrones" is out, what kind of roles are West, who won a BAFTA award for his work in the TV movie "Appropriate Adult," looking for? There really are no limits, but he doesn't want to repeat himself, he said.

"There isn't enough work out there to be that picky, so the only real criteria are, is it well-written, and the other criteria is about trying to be at home," West said. "If someone says, which they have done, 'We've got a great part, it's a drunken cop,' I might say, 'Maybe not.'" Same goes if he's offered the role of a booze-soaked but ambitious newscaster like Hector Madden of "The Hour."

Speaking of "The Hour, a well-regarded BBC America drama that returns in October, things go very awry for Hector this season, according to West: He starts to party hard at Soho nightclubs, he gets mixed up with questionable people, and he has serious troubles with his wife, Marnie (who is, as it happens, played by Oona Chaplin, who also appears as Talisa in "Game of Thrones").

"It's meaty stuff," West says of Hector's Season 2 troubles. "In those days, the head of those news programs got 20 million viewers every night, so they were huge -- everybody knew who they were and they were in everybody's house every night. That's viewing figures we can only dream of now, and I suppose they were big celebrities," and the temptations of that lifestyle tempt Hector a little too much.


Damn, McNulty...turning down a role on Game of Thrones?

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redaodai 3rd-Aug-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
He was hot in The Awakening.
black_swan87 3rd-Aug-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
I wanted either him or James Purefoy for Mance :(
timeywimeystuff 3rd-Aug-2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Has Purefoy been completely ruled out?
badcord 3rd-Aug-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
soavantgarde 3rd-Aug-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
girl bye

soavantgarde 3rd-Aug-2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
just think of it this way: if jaime hadn't pushed bb branflakes, he would never have realized his destiny to become a tree one with the old gods
zness 3rd-Aug-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
haha this GIF sums it up, tbh.
bexclare 3rd-Aug-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
lydzi 3rd-Aug-2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
your rage gives me life Bex ^^.
bexclare 3rd-Aug-2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
spankmypirate 3rd-Aug-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
OMG this post is just in time! I just finished watching The Wire in its entirety last week. It was amazing. And I'm currently watching a Community ep in which Omar is guest starring!!

(yes, I watch too much TV).

On topic: Westeros has enough problems without McNulty, lulz.
wheezy_wazlib 3rd-Aug-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
The Wire and Breaking Bad are like works of art when it comes to storytelling
la_petite_singe 3rd-Aug-2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
No such thing as too much TV, bb. Don't forget that Gus Fring was on Community too! :D
spankmypirate 3rd-Aug-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen that episode yet (I'm watching Community for the first time, 3 years late I know!) but good to know! :D
rlmoonyk 3rd-Aug-2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
The Wire was perfection. I had to bow down once I finished it last year
misoras 3rd-Aug-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
i was in mourning after season 4 and 2 tbh.
kamikashi 3rd-Aug-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
i wanna rewatch the wire but at the same time i have put off starting up breaking bad.
brokenseas 3rd-Aug-2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
GRRM fakes enough deaths that we don't need McNulty out there faking murders all over the place
lydzi 3rd-Aug-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Too busy being fab in The Hours.
watermeloncholy 3rd-Aug-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I doubt it was for Mance...

Or at least if it was I don't think he was the first choice.
devochkazhenya 3rd-Aug-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
gurl can't you use your magical powers to tell us who its going to be?
prophecypro 3rd-Aug-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
After Centurion, McNulty aint fucking with these fantasy joints.
phoe21 3rd-Aug-2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
He would've been really good, but not my ideal choice.

I want the actual casting soooo bad. And they better cast Dalla and Val, too!
soavantgarde 3rd-Aug-2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
something tells me they'll condense them into the same character
phoe21 3rd-Aug-2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised at all, but I hope not :(
lydzi 3rd-Aug-2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Hope not because they will have a problem with the babies otherwise.

Then again...
asha_greyjoy 3rd-Aug-2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
I wish theyd just say who Mance and Daario were.
I hate speculation
soavantgarde 3rd-Aug-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
daario better be sexy as fuck

that's all I have to say on the matter

also we'd better get diq
devochkazhenya 3rd-Aug-2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
I honestly doubt we are going to get penises other than Alfie Allen's. Maybe we will get some of that Kit Kat but the chances are slim to none. Unless we get some full frontal Roose Bolton action.
cerseilannister 3rd-Aug-2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
i need to know who daario is. he has to be like dirty hot.

Edited at 2012-08-03 09:58 pm (UTC)
atomicdogmeat 3rd-Aug-2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
They would of wasted him anyway.
fabouluz 3rd-Aug-2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
This bitch..he thinks he is hot but he is so not.
kurtvonnegut 3rd-Aug-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
ughhhhh i hated mcnulty. typical treats everyone like shit male but people call it charm cuz he's white.
redcliches 3rd-Aug-2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
but who thought McNulty was charming?
misscrystal 4th-Aug-2012 12:23 am (UTC)
IKR? Fans were calling him McNutty the whole time the show was on.
leelah 5th-Aug-2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
hahaha what? everyone hated mcnulty. what show were you watching?
la_petite_singe 3rd-Aug-2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ahh! That would've been great! But I do love The Hour. And can't unsee Purefoy as Mance, so.
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