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Emma D’Arcy almost didn’t get the role of Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon

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A collage of Princess Rhaenyra and Emma D'Arcy

Emma D’Arcy has become a household name ever since they delivered a brilliant performance as House of the Dragon‘ Rhaenyra. The actor joined the show mid-season when Milly Alcock had already garnered praises for her take on the soon-to-be Iron Throne heir.

 
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But good things come late, and Emma D’Arcy’s performance was right up that alley. Rhaenyra is a character who symbolizes silent strength. And with their nuanced performance, Emma D’Arcy nailed the role. However, the actor had to spend nearly half a year in a conundrum before they would officially be cast.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the House of the Dragon actor revealed how they thought they had lost the role. Furthermore, the auditions for the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel happened at a time when the pandemic was in full swing. Therefore the actor spent most of their lockdown preparing to bring out the best Rhaenyra.

It was about three months of self-taping in my living room in the middle of the pandemic, so it was amazing. Actually, it felt like living on an island and trying to make cinema or something, because I didn’t see anyone or really do anything, but supposedly I was in conversation with one of the biggest TV shows in the world. My partner and I cobbled together a wig out of literally a bag of hair and then after three months of doing that, I was invited for a four- or five-hour in-person audition, did that, and then after that, I was told, “You’ll hear something next week.” And then I didn’t.”

And they did not. As a retreat, the actor went to the countryside for the weekend, only to be greeted with more than 14 missed calls from their agent, who revealed that the studio had changed their mind. They continued:

“Then I was told it was probably not going my way. And I thought, “Wow, it’s a real shame.” I went to the countryside, just for the weekend, to start metabolizing, and at the end of that weekend I had about 14 missed calls from my agent. I spoke to him the next morning to hear, “They changed their mind! Do you want to do it?” So weird, honestly. A very solitary process that went on seemingly half a year.

Fast forward to 2022: HBO submits Emma D’Arcy’s name as lead actress for Emmy Awards

 

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