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Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, bonding with Emilia Clarke, and Black Lives Matter protests

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Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, the bonding with Emilia Clarke, and the Black Lives Matter protests

Our engagement with a film or TV series is usually limited to the story in front of the screen. But it always fascinates us to know more about the details and workings of our favorite movies and shows. That information becomes all the more interesting when it comes from one of the cast members whom we have seen charming us so very often. Their thoughts and opinions give us much better insights into the worlds that we see on-screen and around us. Nathalie Emmanuel, who played the graceful and strong Missandei on Game of Thrones, talked to Vogue recently. She discussed landing and preparing for her role, bonding with her partner-in-crime, Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen); who was one of the few female actors on the HBO show. And the relevance of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. Read on to find out more.

Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, the bonding with Emilia Clarke, and the Black Lives Matter protests

Nathalie’s entry into the biggest show on the planet required getting proficient with languages. “I found a casting for Missandei and I pretty much gave it all I had – watching millions of videos of translators in preparation,” she said. “Missandei is obviously this great linguist; and I became really committed to learning Valyrian – high Valyrian and low Valyrian; which are as different as Latin and Italian.” Well, it was certainly hard to notice that difference for the viewers. When she took it way too seriously, Dan Weiss and David Benioff (creators) told her that she would be fine as there was literally only one person who knew the language perfectly; David J Peterson, the guy who created the languages for the TV show. But Nathalie persevered anyway. “I would be like ‘I know, but I’m still going to get it right’,” she said.

When one comes to think of it, it was Missandei’s death and her last words (“Dracarys”) which proved to be the final trigger for the Mother of Dragons to go all fire and blood over King’s Landing. This was in line with the journey of these two characters together. Dany freed Missandei from the clutches of slavery; and since then, the woman from Naath stood firmly by Khaleesi’s side through all the high and low tides. So, one could wonder, did the two get along well on sets?

Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, the bonding with Emilia Clarke, and the Black Lives Matter protests

“Emilia and I got on like a house on fire from the beginning. When I joined the cast [in season 3], she had already been shooting Game of Thrones for a few years, and she was definitely ready to have some female energy around her. She and I always looked out for each other. If you’re the only girls on a male-dominated set, it bonds you in a certain way. For example, in my first season, my costume was pretty revealing; and there was an incident with an extra who made a comment about it on set – I mean, typical – and Emilia straightaway had my back. It got handled.” Now, that’s real fire!

It’s really good to know that the duo shared an equally amazing comradery off-screen. However, the on-screen killing of Missandei had created quite an uproar regarding the fate of the only major female non-white character on the show. Plus, it raised concerns about the overall representation of the people of color, which is awfully low. Nathalie had an indulging and thoughtful take on the matter.

Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, the bonding with Emilia Clarke, and the Black Lives Matter protests

“I loved that character, and I wish she had had a happy ending – but Westeros is this brutal, heartless world, so you have to keep that in mind. When it comes down to it, the backlash stems from the fact that when there’s so few non-white characters on-screen, a death like that registers as a massive loss.” Moreover, people’s reaction made her ponder more seriously. “It definitely caused me to reflect a lot more – about race and diversity more generally. At the end of the day, if there’s ever a show on the level of Game of Thrones again, representation has to be part of the conversation from the beginning.

That way, there’s no single person who has to represent every other person of color. It’s a conversation I used to have a lot with Jacob [Anderson], who played Grey Worm, the only other major non-white character in the series. We were always really conscious of how much our being part of Game of Thrones mattered to people. It made us really protective of Missandei and Grey Worm”. It would be absolutely safe to say that the two were very important to all of us; or at least to those who echoed with their ideas of loyalty and freedom.

She also took an active part in the recent Black Lives Matter protests that caught on after the death of an African-American, George Floyd at the hands of white policemen. In addition, she joined the Black Trans Lives Matter marches as well. “It felt cathartic, to march with my people; for us to be angry together – and to uplift each other,” she said.

Nathalie Emmanuel talks about Game of Thrones, the bonding with Emilia Clarke, and the Black Lives Matter protests

The English actress features on Quibi’s new action-comedy series, Die Hart. Starring Kevin Hart, John Travolta, and Nathalie Emmanuel, it premiered on the OTT platform on July 20. She will also appear in the upcoming action film, F9 (Fast and Furious franchise) alongside Vin Diesel, John Cena, and Charlize Theron; which is due to release on April 2, 2021.

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Kristian Nairn praises Game of Thrones stars as being down-to-earth despite massive success

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Kristian Nairn praises Game of Thrones stars as being down-to-earth despite massive success

Humility is a virtue possessed by few. Even though Game of Thrones reached great heights, the show’s cast was always humble to their roots. They have won the admiration and respect of fans all over the world due to their down-to-earth nature. For example, Jason Momoa reached out to a young Aquaman fan battling cancer last year. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) talked to Digital Spy about the show’s success and praised his co-stars.

He said, “It didn’t happen overnight, and I think for us that was a good thing. I mean it was always immensely popular, I just think as the seasons went on it moved from a really amazing TV show into a kind of phenomenon. It sort of turned into that thing that everyone talks about, people say over the watercooler at work. “

Kristian Nairn praises Game of Thrones stars as being down-to-earth despite massive success

“It’s crazy, because every TV show you watch these days, every single TV show or movie, they all reference Game of Thrones. It always blows me away. I watch a show I love and there’s a reference to Hodor, there’s a reference to Khaleesi. It’s become such a huge part of the public psyche. I don’t think we ever dreamed before season one was out that that would happen. It still happens!”

“It kind of grew, it really doubled per season. But we grew into it, which made it kind of easy. The cast was really down to Earth. I can say hand on heart we’re all really down to Earth. I think that’s a really nice thing. Just the whole Hollywood thing, we’re all kind of aware of that… Game of Thrones is so brutal and real. It’s important to keep it real.”

Have you ever met a Game of Thrones star in real? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!







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Isaac Hempstead-Wright was intimidated by Game of Thrones’ success

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Isaac Hempstead-Wright was intimidated by Game of Thrones’ success

Game of Thrones was an enchanting journey that lasted for nearly a decade. Some of the show’s cast was very young when the show began. They sort of grew up with the show, like Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Isaac Hempstead-Wright. Stardom can be a bit scary when you are young. Especially for someone as studious as Isaac Hempstead-Wright. He revealed about his nervousness in an interview with Digital Spy.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright was intimidated by Game of Thrones’ success

Isaac (Bran) said, “It was actually a little bit intimidating. I remember seeing the show go interstellar. Especially when you’re separate from it a bit [Bran was off-screen during season five], you really just see how huge it is when you’re not in the midst of the whole thing.”

“I really think season five was when it had its meteoric rise. So coming back into season six – and I hadn’t acted for a year; I’d been doing my GCSEs – coming back in was kind of like, ‘Argh! I’ve forgotten how to act!’”

He continued, “I think also there had been a lot of bonds forged in that season, and a lot of people had grown up. I’d kind of grown-up, but I had that key year of being 15, 16 away from it. So it was a weird one to come back to. But after a couple of days, it was business as usual.”

Did you ever find your job to be intimidating? Talk to us in the comments below!







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Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) recall their Game of Thrones auditions

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Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) recall their Game of Thrones auditions

Game of Thrones ended more than one and a half years ago. It was a beautiful journey for both the fans and the crew that lasted for a decade. The fantastical series still holds the record for the most number of Emmy Awards won. On the occasion of New Year, the cast of the show came together for an interview with Digital Spy. They shared their experience while shooting for the fantasy epic. Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) talked about how they were cast for their roles.

Gwendoline recalled, “I immediately rang my agent and said, ‘I want to do this’. My agent said, ‘What are you talking about? I’d never ever put you up for this. She’s ugly, her nose is broken, her teeth are broken and you’ll need to use a sword’.”

Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) recall their Game of Thrones auditions

Nairn remembered, “I was a first-time actor. I was glad I didn’t know anything about the show at the time. Because if I had I would’ve realised what a huge audition I was going for. I had no idea what Game of Thrones was. I had auditioned for a part in another movie called Hot Fuzz, and I didn’t get the part. It was the casting director Nina Gold who remembered me – she called me in for this audition. I didn’t know it at the time, but when you’re called for an audition, that’s really in your favour.”

What are your best memories from the show? Talk to us in the comments below!







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