Game of Thrones has been a platform for so many talented actors. These fine artists have gone on to do their magic in other films and shows. Every now and then, we see them in something that catches our attention right away. One such recent film is The Other lamb, starring Michiel Huisman; who played the Second Sons’ leader Daario Naharis in GoT. It’s a horror drama that tells the story of an all-women cult that resides in the remote woods with a male leader called Shepherd. We saw the trailer a while ago, and now the film has released in the US and available on VOD (video-on-demand) and digital platforms. Huisman talked to Salon about the film, his character, Shepherd, and various other things.
The Other Lamb follows a cult where the leader, Shepherd is all-powerful and the sole decision-maker for the remaining group of women, called “The Flock”. Shepherd behaves like God, who has shown mercy on his subjects by letting them in his shade. Huisman told us his thoughts about the cult and his character’s space in it.
“I think that when the film starts, the cult we follow is on its decline. The ideological way that it started and slowly built over the course of two decades is very different from the mechanics of the cult it turned into. It started because a lot of these women were looking for family and support, something they all were missing in their personal lives. They found it under the wings of my character, Shepherd, who wanted to be a good father and a good husband.
But as time goes on and the group grows, it becomes impossible for him to keep things the way they are, stay in the center of their lives, keep them away from the outside world, and be self-sufficient. For me, playing a character so dark and manipulative, it was important to understand where it started for him. I didn’t want to play him as a “bad guy”, although he is a terrible man. He’s not succeeding in being a good father.” Michiel also said that Shepherd comes from a mental place where he feels every horrible decision he takes is “the right thing for his flock”.
The Dutch actor’s role in Game of Thrones was that of a cunning fighter-Casanova. We saw him charm his way into Dany’s heart, and he’s doing the same with Shepherd. So, one may think that he has the ability to play such “creepy, charismatic” men. “I don’t know that’s something I can play. I don’t think you can perform that control as an actor. You need to believe that you have that control, and really understand the story you are in and where your character comes from. But so much of that – if it works – is movie magic,” he said.
Michiel talked about strange fan responses too. “It is sometimes strange when people who don’t know me come up and say, ‘I love you so much’. It makes me slightly uncomfortable. They don’t know me. I had to put that aside. Shepherd is very comfortable with being worshipped.”
Cults usually paint a generic picture in our minds where the leaders dress and be a certain way in order to attract followers. But Michiel feels a few cult documentaries, that he saw as part of his prep, changed his mind. “ ‘The End of the World Cult’ and ‘Holy Hell’ really opened my eyes and Malgo’s (the director) eyes. In ‘Holy Hell’, [the cult leader] wears a speedo and Ray-Bans. We can do whatever we want as long as he has a hold over his flock.” He praised the director Malgorzata Szumowska and the cinematographer Michal Englert for their artistic process. And he felt rare freedom and fear in “reinventing a story on set”.
Talking about the film’s stunning visual appeal, Huisman admitted to his love for photography. He credited the film’s “different” look to the use of “wide angles and closeups and a lens that gave an eerie and distorted feel”. He also revealed that a few of the shots found inspiration in Andrei Tarkovsky’s (Russian filmmaker) films.
Traveling is a big part of an actor’s life as they visit locations across the world to shoot for their films. Michiel finds it “one of the fun things” about his profession. And he also named one of his top five favorite places, “ ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’ in a desert in Namibia”.
Huisman has worked in films of almost all genres, be it horror, romantic, musical, or sci-fi thrillers. And he feels this diversity “makes things interesting and keeps it fun”. His next project, “The Flight Attendant” is with Kaley Cuoco for HBO Max. It’s “a fun dark comedy” and he’s playing one of the passengers that the main character (Kaley’s) indulges with. It’s a great mix of things he’s doing. We wish him the best of luck!
The Other Lamb also stars Raffey Cassidy and Denise Gough in important roles. It is out in the US, but due to release in the UK on July 3, 2020. Due to the coronavirus lockdowns, films won’t release in the cinema halls for a while. You can rent The Other Lamb on Amazon, and iTunes. Be sure to catch it soon.
What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section.
Game of Thrones was a blissful escape from the real world for a great number of fantasy lovers. The show still holds the record for most Emmy wins, which speaks volumes of its success. The cast of the show was interviewed by Digital Spy recently. They had a lot of great things to say about the show.
Charles Dance (Tywin): “The writing is really, really good. The production values are phenomenal. It’s a very classy piece of work.”
Michelle Fairley (Catelyn): “I think it’s the humane satires, it’s intrigue, it’s deception, it’s honour. I think if you take away the setting it’s the stuff that everybody deals with in their life. It’s about family, it’s about honour, trust, it’s about betrayal.”
Liam Cunningham (Davos): “A lot of people have gone, ‘I’m not into fantasy’ – it’s not about that. There are extraordinary characters in extreme situations with their lives, their loves, their hate, their betrayals, their jealousies and set against this backdrop of fantasy.”
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys): “You can take the magic away and it stands alone as a compelling drama with complex characters. And it’s got themes running through it that people can relate to. Family and jealousy and rivalry… but then you put the magic on top of it and it makes it something even more special.”
What are your feelings about the epic fantasy series? Talk to us in the comments below!
The first episode of a show determines it’s success in a big way. It helps to create a sort of mystery amongst the audience that keeps them hooked for the entirety of the series. Game of Thrones raised the bar for TV shows to unprecedented levels. Filming such a great show is no easy task, it required dedicated efforts from both the cast and the crew. The showrunners failed with the original pilot episode, but they didn’t stop there. With a lot of hard work and planning, they turned the show into a grand success. All the viewers still have in mind the picture of the first episode. Game of Thrones’ Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor, loved it as well. He talked to Digital Spy in an interview reminiscing the event.
Nairn said, “There was one mass influx at the start – we filmed the Lannisters arriving in Winterfell. That for many years was the biggest on-screen gathering of the cast. There were people there who didn’t survive for very much longer, and there were people there who you would never meet again. “
“I got to meet everybody over the years at fan events, conventions and table reads. We were filming in so many different locations, it took a long time. I only met Charles Dance for the first time I think about two years ago.”
What was your favourite moment from the first episode of Game of Thrones? Tell us in the comments below!
Every popular franchise has a little story behind its road to success. They face many challenges, but with great efforts, they finally take off to reach great heights. Game of Thrones had a pretty rocky start – the original pilot episode itself was scrapped. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran) relive the humble beginnings of the show with Digital Spy.
Nairn recalls, “There was a huge sense of anticipation. No-one really knew how the show would be received, but one thing that was clear was how much effort HBO was putting into it. When you walk onto these sets, the sort of level of detail they have gone to, all the research they had done, you just knew this was going to be something special. “
“People were working so hard. As I said it was my first acting job, but I would see other actors saying, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t seen anything like this, this is going to be something different’.”
Isaac Hempstead-Wright talked about growing up with the show. He said, “It’s been a pretty great place to grow up. I mean, the advice, and the people, and the wealth of experienced, interesting, clever people that I’ve had access to as a teenager growing up.”
What do you think about Game of Thrones’ success as a fantasy epic? Tell us in the comments below!