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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.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Tell us in the comments section.


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Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff explains why Pedro Pascal was perfect as Oberyn

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Oberyn

Game of Thrones gained huge popularity worldwide due to its amazing story, beautiful scenery and perfect casting. Some of these castings were so spot on, the actors came to be identified as their roles in public. One of them was Pedro Pascal’s Red Viper Oberyn Martell.

Oberyn’s screen-time was less compared to many of the show’s leading characters. Pedro delivered the role so perfectly the audience couldn’t take him out of their minds throughout the series. He captivated the viewer’s minds with his charm, cunning and seductiveness as the Red Viper.

Martell

Showrunner David Benioff recalls how Pedro was cast into the show in an interview with Variety. “First of all, it was an iPhone selfie audition, which was unusual. And this wasn’t one of the new-fangled iPhones with the fancy cameras. It looked like shit; it was shot vertical; the whole thing was very amateurish. Except for the performance, which was intense and believable and just right.”

Pascal had landed the role after he convinced his good friend Sarah Paulson to send his audition to her best friend Amanda Peet (Benioff’s wife). Benioff continues, “He figures out who the character really is and then he portrays that man, scouring off all falsehood. Plus, he’s really f—ing handsome.”

The Game of Thrones showrunner further went on to praise the charismatic actor, saying he deserved more recognition. His performance was award-worthy. Benioff labels Pedro as ‘an absolute gem of an actor and a man.’

What do you think about Pascal’s performance on the show? Tell us in the comments below!


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Game of Thrones showrunners reveal why the show ended early

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GoT

The final season of Game of Thrones remains one of the most divisive and controversial in TV history. The epic fantasy show came to an end with season 8, despite both HBO and George R.R. Martin wanting it to run for longer. The decision to end Game of Thrones was a risky one. The showrunners felt pressure because the A Song of Ice and Fire books were (and remain) unfinished, and they had to deliver a story within a short time. On top of that, bringing such an epic story to a close seemed like an impossible task due to the show’s popularity.

In the book, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon written by Entertainment Weekly editor James Hibberd, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain why they had to end the run early. Benioff said,

Dan and David

We didn’t want to become a show that outstayed its welcome. Part of what we love about these books, and the show, is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn it into a ten-season show, we’d strangle the golden goose.”

He continued, “We wanted to stop when the people working on it and watching it wish we had [kept going] a little bit longer. There’s the old adage of ‘Always leave them wanting more,’ but also when you stop wanting to be there – that’s when things fall apart.”

Weiss said, “When we gave them the final outline, that helped. They were able to see why taking this and stretching it into another ten episodes would ruin this and make something that’s ideally powerful and affecting feel drawn out.”

There was even a petition to remake the final season. Would you have signed it? Tell us in the comments below!


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Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie thinks Arya and Gendry never would have worked

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Arya gendry

Game of Thrones ended more than a year ago. The last season was shocking as well as controversial for many reasons for fans worldwide. One of them is the completely unexpected love-making scene involving Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and Arya (Maisie Williams) right before the Long Night.

Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry Baratheon on the show, talked to Digital Spy on how he felt about the controversial fling. “I think Gendry just lost his head a bit, didn’t he?” reflected Dempsie, “He’s so drunk on legitimacy and popped the question!

Gendry

He continued, “I think I’ve always thought that, actually, as wounded as he might have been in the aftermath, as soon as Gendry has time to sit down and think properly about it and rationalise everything, it’ll be pretty clear to him that probably the very reason he loved Arya was the exact reason she could never be with him.”

Dempsie’s deduction is in agreement with the faction of the fans who found Arya and Gendry to be an odd pair. The intimate scene was distasteful and shocking for some, though others had no issue as they were waiting for the impending battle in the next episode.

Joe explains further, “I know that Gendry’s not often been the brightest or the sharpest tool in the drawer, but I think he’s smart enough to know,” he said. “I think he’s perceptive enough to know that. It never would have worked.”

Dempsie is currently starring in Channel-4 drama Adult Material. How do you feel about the love-making scene? Let us know in the comments below!


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