If there’s a breakout star in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, it’s Milly Alcock, who plays young Rhaenyra Targaryen. Older than her character looks at the age of 22, Alcock’s been put through the Westeros wringer, having ridden dragons, gotten soaked in blood, and even done an incestuous scene. In a recent interview with Nylon, she discussed her preparation.
“I watched the original show when we were doing pre-production, because I was about eight or nine or something when it first showed up, so it wasn’t really appropriate,” she says. “So I would cycle to the library every day and just study it, as if I would for a test or exam, to try and get a grasp of what was at stake, because Westeros isn’t Earth. So I spent a lot of time trying to contextualize what everything meant and how I could translate that to us, where we live. And I’m not going to lie; I didn’t read the whole book [Fire & Blood]. I mean, it’s a very big book. But I did read the Heir For A Day section, which is most pivotal to me when I play Rhaenyra.”
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Having come from much smaller-scale Australian TV. Alcock confesses, “the first two, three months I just thought I was going to get fired constantly. It was incredibly intimidating.” But she took comfort in the counsel of the show’s veteran actors. “They quickly made sure that we felt comfortable and kind of educated us on when to speak up and how to treat crew,” she says. “They were phenomenal role models in just the way to behave on set and learning when to speak up and also when to sit back and go, ‘Oh no, I can’t get angry that this is taking so long to turn over because X-Y-Z- things need to happen.’ Just not making it all about you essentially, because you realize that we’re all there to make one beautiful piece of art, so why would we kind of torture ourselves with egos and all that.”
While many of the breakout stars on the original Game of Thrones quickly went on to bigger franchises, however, Alcock’s not so inclined. “I want to do something very intimate and personal,” she says. “I want a long career. I want to be clever about it.”
What do you think of Alcock’s performance so far? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones
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