The HBO television network called Game of Thrones their most successful project — each episode gained almost 20 million views. It’s not just the twisted plot, where even the main characters tend to unexpectedly die that helped the series to succeed, but also the impeccable acting. The actors did their best on set, even if they had to do unpleasant things for the sake of their characters.
We at GIGGAG tried to look at this story from a different angle and understand what kind of sacrifice the filming process required from the actors. Spoiler — the bonuses at the end will definitely boost your mood.
Jon Snow’s actor blabbed about the fate of his character to a policeman who wanted to give the actor a ticket for speeding. The officer stopped Harington’s car and said, “You can either follow me back to the police station now and I book you in or you can tell me whether you live in the next series of Game of Thrones.” The actor had to tell the truth, “I am alive next season.” After that, the policeman answered, “On your way, Lord Commander.”
The actress who played Sansa Stark had to sacrifice her personal hygiene for the sake of her character. Together with many male actors, she had to significantly decrease her usage of shampoo. All because she was supposed to look naturally disheveled in the episodes where she escapes from King’s Landing.
In one of her interviews, the actress confessed, " Toward season 5 they started asking me to not wash my hair and it was really disgusting. Now I wear a wig so I can wash my hair whenever I want, which is nice. But yes, for a couple of years I was living with pretty greasy hair."
The actress playing Arya Stark recalls one of the first episodes of horse riding with laughs. The actors were training on Icelandic horses that were the size of ponies. Nevertheless, that didn’t prevent the actors from having some collisions.
Once, Williams unsuccessfully got off her horse, getting tangled in the reins. “It was really funny, actually. My leg was, like, caught up by my ear, and I was like, “Oh, brilliant.” It seems the actress and her character have something in common.
The actor who plays Bronn almost got harmed during the battle scene with the dragons. Robert McLachlan, the director of photography, used diesel oil for creating a natural looking black smoke. Jerome Flynn had to stay at the epicenter of the fire for a long time. While other actors could wear smoke protective masks, Jerome didn’t have this opportunity. Maybe that’s the reason why the actor managed to convey his disgust so well — he almost got severely poisoned.
Moreover, the actor confessed that his postman now hates him since he shot Daenerys’s dragon.
The episode where Brienne of Tarth meets a bear is not a result of computer graphics. According to the actress, the bear, whose name is Bart Junior, is an experienced actor. He had already acted in several other projects before playing in Game of Thrones.
While filming the episode, the actress was protected from the bear by a low electric fence. During breaks, the bear was fed cream from a pan with a long handle so that it “didn’t eat the actress” (that’s how the set team would joke around). “Why do you think I look so scared?” Christie says, recalling her experience.
According to the woman who plays Cersei Lannister, the audience hated her character so much that they started to transmit their negative feelings to her as well. For example, the nurse who was helping her with breastfeeding her second kid would say, “Shame on you!” when recalling the episode of public denudation. However, Headey takes it as a compliment to her acting skills.
The actor playing Ramsay Snow (later Bolton) got punched in the face by Kit Harington several times. During the fight scene between bastards, Jon Snow got a bit carried away and hit his set partner’s face pretty hard. According to Harington, Rheon took it quite professionally. Anyway, it’s unlikely that he was actually happy to be on the receiving end of those punches.
The actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen confessed that this scene was pretty hard for her. During shooting, she had to eat 28 “horse hearts” made of berry jam. According to Emilia Clarke, the mixture was made of dry pasta and tasted like bleach. That’s why she always had a basket nearby in case she wasn’t able to hold back her vomit reflex.
The set decorator, Richard Roberts, did his best when creating the residence of the Night’s Watch. According to his idea, the castle was supposed to look “dirty, grungy, cold, and as disgusting as possible.” In order to create this atmosphere, he asked to hang raw meat and bring in real pigs. The actors say that not only did the castle look greasy, but it was actually greasy in real life. “It smelled foul and looked foul but that’s how it should be, so we’re happy,” Roberts concluded. However, we are not aware of whether the actors had the same opinion.
The actor who played the role of Ned Stark is very used to death scenes. And he relates to every scene with a good sense of humor. That’s why he found a good use for the model of his own head — he used it to play football with the set team. This kind of attitude inspires viewers to not worry so much about another death of their beloved character.
Of course, during the shooting of Game of Thrones, the actors recall many kind stories as well. For example, the dog named Zunni who played Lady and who was viciously killed on Lannister’s whim got a loving family off set. Sophie Turner, whose character owned Lady in the series, adopted the dog in real life. She shared her joy with the creator of the book George R.R. Martin and he told the whole world.
Which of these stories impressed you most of all? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Preview photo credit Game of Thrones / HBO