Alfie Allen Interview
On getting the part
I don’t think British actors get the chance to work on HBO’s shows, but it’s pretty insane and I didn’t think I had a chance but they kept calling me back and I thought they were obviously taking me seriously! There were seven auditions but I went up for other characters, and I’m not going to tell you which ones, but in America they work out which actors they like and then work out who’s right for the part.
On Arya Stark and Viserys Targaryen
With Maisie’s character she’s just a little girl and you think she’s going to be all right in the first series and she gets sent off and manages to handle it. It determines her as a person that was so interesting. Viserys is a horrible piece of work, and for me I like the darker elements and he’s a dark character. Something that Harry [Lloyd] really achieved well – he made you feel sorry for him even though he’s a complete wrong-un. You understood why he was like that.
On being close with his on-screen brothers
There is a family feeling on set, everyone was so lovely and got along. Me, Richard [Madden] and Kit [Harington] are obviously still working together but we’re close friends now. It’s sounds so cheesy, but it has changed my life.
On experiences with fans
No unpleasant experiences thankfully, and people have been really nice especially as my character is perhaps one of the least liked in the books. No dirty knickers though. Maybe next season…
On his sex scene
It’s great. I just enjoy it you know? You want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and you have to approach it with a sense of humour, you have to be jokey. When I was doing Equus I couldn’t do that. And I was on stage the whole time and it was a lot more natural as you didn’t have people holding radio booms… And I had been training for four or five months before that so I just wanted to see what I looked like on camera!
On Season Two, and specifically scenes with Melisandre (Carice Van Houten)
I don’t have any scenes with her sadly, but she’s great. We got to hang on a lot and she was very funny on set, telling stories…
On his character’s journey through the first season and beyond
It sets out the identity crisis which Theon has. He’s an honoruable Stark but he’s trying to prove to the Greyjoys that he’s one of them and he has these two moral paths which he’s trying to take and because he tries to take them both he ends up making the wrong decisions. He’s misguided really. Something that me and Kit [Harington] share is that we’re odd ones out, we don’t really belong. It’s almost like art imitating life. In the first series I was sort of a background character and that’s how he is in the Stark family, but in the second series I come to the fore. Maybe that’s what happens in his head, he gets this power and attention and he goes power crazy. That’s in the books so I’m not revealing too much.
On reading ahead…
It can be a help and a hindrance. I had read the books quite a while before we started filming the second series so I didn’t go back once we had started filming. You’ve got to make it your own really. One of my first questions when I got the part was ‘Should I read the books?’ and some chose to and others not to. I did because I was interested.
Oona Chaplin on Jeyne Westerling
Another new cast member for Game Of Thrones Season 2, Oona Chaplin takes on the role of Jeyne Westerling – a character almost impossible to discuss without spoilers – although her increased role in the show is one of the first major departures from George RR Martin’s source material, and a sign that Game Of Thrones is going to increasingly follow the trajectory of The Walking Dead and True Blood and keep even fans of the written material on the edge of their seats.
“Well, there has been much speculation on the Jeyne that I’m playing all I’ll say is you guys are in for a big surprise,” teased Chaplin at at the launch party for Game Of Thrones: The Complete First Series on DVD and Blu-ray. ”There may be some canoodling involved, we can definitely say there is a kiss with a certain lovely gentleman who we’ve seen in the trailer.
“Even though the series is based on the books,” she continued, “there’s so much going on on screen and there’s so much that’s missed out from the books, so it’s like they’re two different things.”
Having recently held supporting roles in BBC’s Sherlock and The Hour, Chaplin is one of the many rising stars in Game Of Thrones’ amazingly strong cast.
“It’s incredible, really,” said Chaplin of being involved in the show. “It’s such a major production and on my first day there was something like 150 extras. It was terrifying but just as exciting and wonderful.
“I wasn’t actually aware of the books before we started filming but now I’m well into the third and I’m like ‘Aaaargh!’”
Michelle Fairley Interview
On Catelyn Stark
She’s multilayered and extremely interesting. From my point of view the show is so character driven and its a very humane story, irrespective of whether or not it has a fantasy element to it. It’s about human nature, it’s about what people want today. It’s about greed, power, revenge and about caring for people you love and people can associate with that. It’s epic – it could be Greek, it could be Sophocles – or Shakespeare. Even kitchen sink drama – it could be Ibsen! There are so many elements and that appeals to a broad range of people.
On ‘the Fantasy thing‘
I think people expect it to be very fantastical, but it’s not. It all comes from the soul of a human being. The quality of the characters and the writing is wonderful. These are massive emotional topics; family, honour, love, loss, grief. Irrespective of genre or setting – be it a castle or a council estate – that’s the emotional target and you have to be honest towards that. The fantasy element comes in very slowly. You are aware that you’re in a world where there are larger forces at play – almost like these other Gods, the old Gods and we are superstitious and pray to them. The fantasy element is almost like science fiction at times – it’s not – but there’s folklore and it creates another character which these characters has to battle against.
On getting into character
One of the things that attracted me was the fact that she’s a mother, she’s from a noble family and brought up in this world so she knows how it runs. She appears almost as a Prime Minister’s wife but actually she’s a lot more than that. She’s very intelligent and she has observed how people manipulate all her life. The aspect of her relationship with Ned which appealed most is that they seem to have a very good marriage, they are able to talk and discuss their kids, but also his realm and his moral strength and that shines through on both of them – they both come from a very strong moral point. But there are lots of cracks in Catelyn’s armour, which the audience start to become aware of. She’s not pure as the driven snow, she’s not a punchbag. She’s strong and vocal and she will fight for her family. She has a very good sense of right and wrong. And revenge.
On costumes and the complete world they created
They are by Michelle Clapton, who is the costumer designer with her team, and I love them. You put them on and you stand differently, you hold yourself differently and you have a different shape. My costumes are very understated comparatively and the colours are from the North, they reflect the countryside she inhabits, the colours are very earthy, almost like rocks and heather. The majority of it is made. When you step on set you are transported to another world. The attention to detail is wonderful, the armour – even that the horses wear, the specific armour – it’s amazing. I met these women on set and I had read about them in the books and there they were. They create everything.
On Season Two
I have one scene with Melisandre of Asshai (find out more here) but I can’t say any more than that I’m afraid. in Season Two Catelyn is off travelling with her son Robb who is now fighting the King of the North who is ostensibly using his mother as an envoy and she dispatched to go and talk to Renly Baratheon, who is Robert’s brother – he has two brothers – Renly and Stannis who are both fighting to be King of the North. One thinks he is right, the other is the eldest so believes he HAS the right… So I’m dispatched with the promise that when I come back I can go back to Winterfell and see my children. That’s what she wants to do – after Ned’s death she wants to get her family back together.
On Ned’s Death
In Season One Catelyn has such an armour to present to the rest of the camp that at times she can’t collapse – she has to keep on going. And Ned’s death makes her stronger. It steels her. Her suffering is the energy she needs to keep going and it primes her determination to have revenge and she can’t indulge the sadness because she has to keep going, for her children.
On the writers and the complicated set up
David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] did a wonderful job of setting it up. The first two episodes were crucial as you’re setting up the characters, the continents and you have to get to know them and their individuality of their worlds and to know where they fit into them. It’s a massive task to do and then to balance it so you know at the end of episodes two who they are, what their motives are. And nobody is what they appear to be! Somebody always has a ricochet effect and they’ll respond in a certain way to each event. The writers know these books inside out and they created these family trees which are in the books as well. So you can read the histories, and we call got a document concerning who these families are, their histories, who they fought wars with, who they fathered, who split off after which war and so on. We felt totally immersed.http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2012/03/07/interview-with-game-of-thrones-catelyn-stark-michelle-fairley/