Many have ascended the Seven Kingdoms’ Iron Throne, essentially the most prized seat of George R.R. Martin’s blockbuster A Track of Ice and Hearth saga. However it’s a station constructed on daggers, and few have lasted lengthy; because the occasions of HBO’s Game of Thrones detailed.
The distinction for Paddy Considine’s King Viserys is that the expiry date is constructed proper in. He ascends the throne within the first episode of the prequel sequence House of the Dragon, which begins on HBO Sunday evening. However on condition that the occasions of the present happen 200 years earlier than these of Thrones, and that Thrones kicks off with Viserys’s Targaryen dynasty in shreds, we’re conscious from the outset that issues are more likely to go horribly improper.
Nonetheless, Sport of Thrones assured us from the outset that nothing lasts ceaselessly, and but it managed eight seasons of intrigue and dragons. Ryan J. Condal’s prequel doubles down on each, as Viserys weathers varied challengers to his dominion, together with his brother Daemon [Matt Smith] and his cousin Rhaenys [Eve Best].
It’s maybe a shocking alternative for Considine, finest identified for an achieved profession in British unbiased cinema, whose storied collaboration with director Shane Meadows yielded a number of celebrated options together with Useless Man’s Footwear, and whose personal accomplishments as a director, with the movies Tyrannosaur and Journeyman, have been critically acclaimed. He was nominated for Olivier and Tony awards for his function in Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, which performed on Broadway and in London’s West Finish.
But when Home of the Dragon is Considine’s highest profile function so far, it has been chosen with the identical due care he has utilized each alternative he has made. He was sought out for the half by pilot director and ep Miguel Sapochnik, who occurred to catch the actor in the course of his personal burgeoning love affair with Sport of Thrones. And in Viserys, Considine says, he discovered the King Lear of Westeros, a component too intriguing to not discover.
With the mildest of spoilers for less than the primary episode of the brand new present, Paddy Considine reveals that Viserys has all of the qualities that make king; not that any of them matter to these making an attempt to usurp his throne. He explains his attraction to the present, his hopes for its future, and the turning level in his profession that made him fall in love—maybe for the primary time—along with his chosen occupation.
DEADLINE: Watching the primary episode of Home of the Dragon, there’s a way of scale and grandeur that Sport of Thrones took seasons of success to construct to. Did it really feel like the most important set you’d ever stepped onto?
PADDY CONSIDINE: It did. I believe we’re fortunate in the truth that Sport of Thrones has all gone earlier than us. It began as a smallish, however bold present. After which it grew to become epic. By the point Miguel [Sapochnik] was doing “Battle of the Bastards” [Season 6 Episode 9], it was mind-blowing to me, the dimensions. That was after I first thought the tv panorama had modified, that this was cinema on a smaller display screen. So we’re fortunate to have the ability to decide up the place Sport of Thrones left off, and get all of that manufacturing worth from the get-go.
The present isn’t a spin-off for me. It’s very a lot part of the historical past of Westeros, and throughout the world of Sport of Thrones. We haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel and there aren’t any gimmicks and tips. We’re good again there.
DEADLINE: What’s your historical past with Thrones?
CONSIDINE: It’s a humorous one, as a result of I acquired despatched the script for Sport of Thrones very early on. My agent instructed me that HBO had been making this present about dragons and completely different households and kingdoms and I used to be like, “Ah…” It wasn’t for a selected half; he stated, “Simply learn it and see what clicks.” However I couldn’t get my head round it.
I believe it’s a present that takes a bit of time to get into. For me, then watching the present, it wasn’t actually till the Crimson Wedding ceremony [in “The Rains of Castamere”, Season 3 Episode 9] that there was a large turning level. That’s once you understand no one’s protected. After, after all, what occurs within the first season with Sean Bean’s character.
So, I’d tried to look at it years in the past, however I’m a bit horrible with being massively late to issues. It takes me time to get into reveals. And I didn’t get very far with it if I’m being utterly trustworthy. It wasn’t till lockdown that I gave it one other shot, and it then grew to become this bizarre synchronicity, as a result of there I used to be getting massively into the present when the decision got here for Home of the Dragon. They stated, “Are you a fan of Sport of Thrones?” And I stated, “Nicely, it’s humorous it is best to ask that.”
DEADLINE: You’d seen all of it by then?
CONSIDINE: Not fairly. I most likely performed as much as Miguel that I’d seen greater than I had. However we did watch all of it all through lockdown, so I had seen sufficient to have the ability to name my spouse and say, “I’ve simply been supplied the function of the king within the new Sport of Thrones prequel,” and have or not it’s thrilling sufficient to impress her [laughs].
The final time I had an expertise like that was with the primary Lord of the Rings movie. I used to be utterly not into any of that fantasy stuff; I assumed it was a bit lame. It’s humorous with all this Stranger Issues stuff, as a result of [growing up] we had our personal Eddie Munson, a man known as Gaz Ryan, and he was the Dungeons & Dragons maestro and into the heavy steel and all that; he was the one that may learn all that stuff.
My bandmate Wealthy [from Considine’s band Riding the Low], and a few my different mates after I was a young person, all learn Lord of the Rings, however I used to be extra into Stephen King, and I used to be like, “I can’t be bothered to learn that shit.” It appeared like exhausting work to me. So, I went to look at the movie, not cynically, however simply alongside for the journey. And I used to be completely blown away by it. I couldn’t imagine it. It was transformative. That’s the way it felt entering into Sport of Thrones.
DEADLINE: Home of the Dragon is predicated on a form of in-universe historical past of Westeros that George R.R. Martin printed as Hearth & Blood.
CONSIDINE: Yeah, it’s written by way of the eyes of a dwarf character known as Mushroom, who’s a courtroom jester. There’s truly a banquet scene in Home of the Dragon, and I messaged Ryan Condal and stated, “Ryan, can we stick Mushroom in there someplace?” I used to be preventing each minute to seek out an excuse to incorporate Mushroom. However yeah, it’s written by way of his eyes.
In reality for me, I by no means learn the books, however my good friend gave me a large compendium that had all of the histories in. He knew extra about my character than I did. After I instructed him who I used to be taking part in, he stated, “Oh yeah, he rode Balerion, he did this, he did that.” So, he gave me this ebook and it was a terrific reference. After which we’ve acquired Ryan, who’s an encyclopedia of the world himself.
DEADLINE: It sounds such as you’re getting fairly into the parable and mythos.
CONSIDINE: You realize what, I’m not a large geek on it, however it has drawn me in. I’ve been supplied a lot stuff like this previously and never accomplished it, however it’s not as a result of I’ve by no means needed to. Years in the past, there was curiosity in me to do an epic Ridley Scott movie, however there was nothing in it for me. I assumed, If I’m going to be within the desert for months on finish with a sword and a spear, there’s acquired to be one thing for me to do. I get a number of calls which can be all very thrilling, with nice casts, nice folks concerned. Then I get the script and I am going, “However anyone can play this. This isn’t one thing that’s bringing out my stregths.” Even one thing like The Bourne Ultimatum, which I did do. It was a terrific factor to be part of, however anyone might have performed that half to be trustworthy.
So, there’s a number of that in my historical past, of me turning issues down as a result of I couldn’t see the purpose. After I acquired this curiosity and I used to be going to be taking part in the king, I used to be very flattered, however in my thoughts, I used to be considering, That is going to be one other a kind of. I requested my agent, “Are you certain that is for me?” And he stated, “No, they’re not going to anyone else; that is simply you.”
The distinction is Viserys is a tremendous character. I noticed a stupendous, absolutely fleshed-out creation. George R.R. Martin has described him because the King Lear of the Thrones world, and I used to be actually intrigued by that as a result of it was a chance to play a terrific character. That was all I actually wanted to get on board.
DEADLINE: From the primary episode, Viserys looks like a good, honest and even-handed king. In Westeros, I’m undecided that’s going to be nice for him.
CONSIDINE: He is an efficient king, man. The present would indicate he was chosen as a result of he was the male, and Rhaenys was handed over for being a girl. However I believe he was chosen for his qualities; he’s a scholar and Jaehaerys earlier than him had been a peaceable king. He’s chosen, I believe, for his temperament, as a result of he understands that he’s the king of the Westerosi, and he has a respect for it. He has some understanding of the politics and what it means to be a king. However, after all, the wrestle of being a peaceable king might be 10 instances tougher than being a tyrant, as a result of the toll is bigger.
I believe Viserys’s failing is that he’s only a good man that wishes the perfect for everyone. He sees the nice in all people, however he additionally understands the corruption round him. He understands that no one is to be trusted. It’s one thing he reveals in his speech within the first episode, when he tells her that the throne is essentially the most harmful seat in the entire realm. That tells me Viserys is not any idiot. He’s not a pushover. He is aware of what he’s doing. And kindness is inside him, however it’s additionally a entrance to one thing else.
One of many issues I spoke quite a bit to Miguel about was after I wanted to place the dragon into him. It’s alright being a pleasant and jolly king, however he’s a dragon on the finish of the day. He has to have that inside him. He’s any individual who believes a lot that it prices him the lifetime of his first spouse within the opening episode. His pursuit of an inheritor prices him the love of his life, and it’s one thing he carries with him the remainder of his days. It’s not solely the load of selecting Rhaenyra to be his inheritor in a world through which they don’t need girls within the line of succession, although they clearly don’t. I believe he’s pressured to, for a lot of completely different causes. It’s not a call he takes flippantly; it’s one he toils with. However I believe he trusts his instincts, and when he appears to be like at Rhaenyra he sees his spouse; she’s what’s left, this dwelling particular person they created.
He’s additionally carrying this different secret, which is a legendary dream that impacts the way forward for all mankind in Westeros. In Episode 1 he tells Rhaenyra in regards to the dream and the responsibility she’s going to have. That there shall be storms 200 years sooner or later [the events of Game of Thrones], and that winter is coming. That if a Targaryen isn’t seated on the Iron Throne when it does, the world of males will fall.
It’s an fascinating facet to him as properly, as a result of he’s carrying round this legendary feeling. It reveals he’s not only a logical king; he’s shopping for into that mysticism as properly. The notion that this dream might save the world from demise and destruction.
It’s one thing he might by no means disclose to Daemon. He’s too unruly. As brothers, they’re full opposites. I believe Viserys loves his brother, however he finds him tough to be round. He’s troublesome and he’s at all times making excuses for his habits. It comes to some extent the place sufficient is sufficient. I believe that’s one other good strand of Viserys’s character; the household dynamic between him, Daemon and Rhaenyra.
DEADLINE: It feels just like the love between Viserys and Daemon would possibly solely go in a single path.
CONSIDINE: Nicely, I believe Daemon adores his brother, personally. I believe that’s a part of Daemon’s downside, in actual fact, is that he needs him to be his massive brother.
DEADLINE: However he additionally needs his throne?
CONSIDINE: I’m undecided he does. Viserys even says he doesn’t need the throne; he’s not fascinated about. He’s too unruly for it.
DEADLINE: I assumed that may have been wishful considering on Viserys’s half.
CONSIDINE: No, I believe Viserys believes that; believes that it wouldn’t curiosity Daemon to be king. He couldn’t sit in that chamber and undergo the fools all day lengthy. It’d drive him mad.
DEADLINE: It’s a disgrace as a result of Matt Smith has the right stance for sitting on the Iron Throne. He offers it a attempt within the first episode. You’ll be able to’t sit usually on that throne; you must mission a sure swagger.
CONSIDINE: It’s a whole disregard for the institution from him [laughs].
DEADLINE: Your Iron Throne stance is an efficient deal extra measured. You look uncomfortable on it.
CONSIDINE: It’s not a straightforward factor to take a seat on, to be trustworthy with you. It’s a throne fabricated from swords; it’s not a factor of consolation. Because the king, I attempted to keep away from these kingly cliches of the hand gestures, however there’s a sure method he sits on that throne. And it adjustments throughout the season, by the best way. I might present you some actual spoilers if I dug into my telephone [laughs].
It’s not a lounge chair; it’s a throne. Viserys understands that you must deal with it with respect. And he’s been groomed for it. It’s just like the distinction between Prince William and Prince Harry, let’s say. Viserys would by no means be slovenly on that throne. He is aware of what that seat means and what being a ruler means. Over the season, you see the impact that throne has on him, mentally and bodily.
DEADLINE: The throne room has been given a redesign for this present. It’s even grander than it was. What was the sensation like, first clocking eyes on it?
CONSIDINE: It was an enormous second for me, truly. I believe I might need been in full costume after I first walked onto that set; it was undoubtedly a capturing day, not less than. I ended myself from wandering in on a time without work. I did go previous the workshop at some point whereas it was being constructed, and so I went and had a little bit of a take a look at them constructing it. However after I went to the set, I went in with objective, and I did have a second of awe. Miguel got here as much as me and stated, “How do you’re feeling in regards to the throne?” I used to be amazed by it. I acquired up and sat down on it, and it was an unbelievable feeling. It wasn’t a strong feeling. I simply felt honored to be in that seat.
DEADLINE: I don’t need any spoilers, however I believe it’s most likely honest to say that on the planet of Westeros there are only a few ensures of life, and it is a present all in regards to the succession of kings, which suggests in some unspecified time in the future you’re going to be succeeded. Have you ever thought a lot about that; about how restricted your time on that throne could be?
CONSIDINE: Nicely, yeah, however I can’t reveal something [laughs]. As a result of sure, it’s all about succession. Studying the script, you might take that a few alternative ways. Richard III was a bit of bit what I went for in my head. Not when it comes to a selected framework for the character, however when it comes to how I needed to deal with the fabric with the identical respect you’d strategy Shakespeare. Why not? You’ll be able to’t play the sport of thrones your self. I’ve one responsibility, and that’s to play Viserys with as a lot honesty as I can, and with as a lot dedication as doable. I noticed the gorgeous tragedy in him, and the complexities.
I bear in mind after we did the readthrough—which is an terrible expertise anyway, the place you simply suppose you’re going to be fired any minute—Miguel stated to me, “It is advisable to put extra Paddy into this.” No matter he meant by that, I by no means requested him, however I interpreted it as, OK, you’ve simply given me license to essentially personal this, and imbue it with every part I can. And that’s what I did, and I cherished him for saying that.
Years in the past, I did a little bit of workshopping with Anthony Minghella, engaged on a personality in a wierd situation, as a result of the half had already been forged with one other actor. Even folks on the studio had been going, “Why are you assembly this man?” Which means, me. It triggered a little bit of a storm.
DEADLINE: Which movie?
CONSIDINE: It was for Breaking and Coming into, with Jude Regulation. So, it was already forged, and I didn’t perceive why Anthony was taking this time with me. I don’t know, he simply appeared to have some kind of fascination after seeing me in Useless Man’s Footwear. However for me, it was nice to simply get to spend a while with this good director and workshop some stuff. I used to be by no means proper for no matter function he had in thoughts—even when it hadn’t already been forged—however I actually loved the expertise.
Anyway, he stated to me at some point, “Do you like this character?” And I went, “No. I don’t. I can’t join with him. I don’t love him.” He stated, “Then you’ll be able to’t play him. You want to like him.”
I walked away from that have considering, What a load of bollocks, you don’t have to like each character you play, that’s bullshit. However it’s like, no, you do. You do, as a result of if I look again in any respect the work I’ve accomplished, the perfect of it, essentially the most fascinating, has been after I’ve absolutely cherished the character I’m taking part in. After I’ve absolutely believed in that particular person. So, he was proper. All the characters I’ve performed that I really feel I’ve imbued with something fascinating, it was as a result of I cherished them.
DEADLINE: Does that rely even when, for instance, you disagree with a personality’s selections?
CONSIDINE: Sure, you’ve nonetheless acquired to like them. As a result of they’re not your selections; that’s what you must distinguish. I skilled that as a director, after I labored with Olivia [Colman] on Tyrannosaur. There have been scenes she simply couldn’t get her head round, and I needed to converse to her at some point and say, “These aren’t your beliefs; they’re hers.” It was a terrific lesson for me as properly, as a result of a number of actors attempt to bend issues round to their very own mind-set and their very own rules, and that’s not the purpose. You’ll be able to imbue it with sure qualities you will have, however on the finish of the day, the way you react to one thing may be very completely different from how I might react to one thing.
It finally ends up being liberating, as a result of earlier on in my profession, I used to really feel like I needed to make investments each character with some form of private expertise, or true emotion that I’d felt—which got here, I believe, as a result of I had no coaching or actual understanding of the craft. Whereas you be taught that’s not the case and it liberates you and means you are able to do much more than you might earlier than.
DEADLINE: From the outset, you’ve taken your profession in many alternative instructions. You’ve develop into an achieved author and director. You made your West Finish and Broadway debut in The Ferryman a few years in the past, and it was your first play. Is your ardour for it the identical because it ever was?
CONSIDINE: Are you aware, it isn’t. It’s bizarre with me, Joe, as a result of I by no means got here into performing in a standard method. I don’t suppose I had that kind of ardour for it that different folks discuss. To me, it was extra of a problem. It’s exhausting for me to elucidate it. However I had a wierd relationship with performing; possibly a love/hate relationship with it. And a number of it got here from me considering I wasn’t adequate.
Doing The Ferryman was an important step for me. It was a bit of like going to highschool, and I realized a lot from it. I believe I most likely realized extra in regards to the craft doing that play than I had ever identified earlier than. It’s essential to have an expertise like that in any line of labor, however I might exit on a limb and say that I’m obsessed with performing now in a method I by no means was after I began out.
It wasn’t that I used to be lazy about it; I dedicated to A Room for Romeo Brass and In America and all these earlier movies. It’s simply that I began to do a number of work that floated within the center simply to make a dwelling, they usually had been issues I didn’t actually wish to do. There’s this status round me, I believe, the place it’s, “Oh, he makes actually massive selections,” and it’s like, typically I’ve simply acquired to go to work, and I don’t wish to play somebody’s fucking dad, I wish to play the King of Westeros.
I believe a part of my frustration was that I didn’t really feel like I used to be being seen. I used to be making my very own movies and doing performs and issues like that, but when something I really feel like I’ve lastly arrived at a sure level the place I really feel there’s a lot untapped potential. I needed to be taught that over time. I needed to discover ways to be an actor and cease being so fucking crucial of myself. Be taught to simply inform the story. The Ferryman taught me that, to simply go up there and inform the fucking story. It’s not you versus the viewers. There’s nothing to show. You simply have to inform the story. And that liberated me quite a bit.
DEADLINE: Understanding you a bit of, it seems like so most of the challenges you’ve taken on have come from a spot of eager to leap into the work and decide to determining the right way to succeed. It’s a unbelievable perspective, however the threat with it’s that the extra you determine, the much less thrilling every new problem begins to really feel. It sounds such as you’ve began to work out the right way to keep that stage of pleasure even when the challenges you’re going through aren’t new ones.
CONSIDINE: Yeah, precisely. And in addition, I believe there’s a hazard that you just come to hate the work. You come to hate this factor, and that’s not wholesome. You are feeling trapped. I believe for a time I felt trapped by it. I had a spouse and kids. I had tasks. I’m considering to myself, It’s not their fucking fault that you just selected this path and gave them this life. However I felt trapped by performing, like I used to be going to ceaselessly be the man within the inexperienced coat [in Dead Man’s Shoes]. That used to play in my thoughts quite a bit. It’s not taking something away from that individual movie, as a result of it had such an unbelievable impression for me and for folks on the market who noticed it. It’s up there with a few of the biggest stuff they’ve ever seen. I hear that, however for me as an artist, there’s one thing about me that wishes to attempt to surpass it in a method. And once you don’t… It seems like possibly that’s improper; possibly I needs to be like, “That was one factor, after which we transfer on and discover different issues.”
DEADLINE: I believe each issues may be true. You’ll be able to take your shot with the concept of surpassing the unsurpassable and be OK with merely creating a distinct factor that may additionally develop into unsurpassable.
CONSIDINE: Yeah, I believe so too, now. However I believe if I didn’t care about performing, I wouldn’t have put my arse on the fucking stage within the West Finish and gone by way of that, after which took that very same factor onto a Broadway stage. If I didn’t care about what I used to be doing, I wouldn’t be doing that, that’s for certain. I used to be terrified.
DEADLINE: You labored with Sam Mendes on that.
CONSIDINE: That was Sam, yeah. One other nice man. I’ll ceaselessly be indebted to him for what he did for me as a result of I used to be not in a terrific place after I began that job. It was one other hazard job. I stored wanting again at my life, and there’d make certain interviews the place I used to be in a nasty place. I used to be at all times in a nasty place. I’m considering, Is that going to be the story of my life? That I’m at all times in a nasty place?
DEADLINE: Everybody finally ends up there a few of the time. It’s unavoidable and it’s human nature. The distinction is you’ve been trustworthy about it. You haven’t placed on a entrance.
CONSIDINE: I believe typically it seems like I bitch an excessive amount of [laughs]. As a result of the reality is, what I do is taken into account to be a really privileged factor, and there are such a lot of folks on the market who would fortunately step into your sneakers. Nicely, these are my sneakers, man. That is my fucking journey, and I’ll do it the best way I’ve to do it.
The reality of it’s there’s no arrival. It by no means arrives the way you suppose it’ll. Wherever you suppose you’ll get once you set out, you at all times find yourself elsewhere. However you’ve simply acquired to go alongside for the journey.
I bear in mind watching that Bob Dylan documentary, and he stated, “A real artist ought to by no means have a way that they’ve arrived, they need to at all times be in a state of changing into.” That’s true of every part. There’s no fucking arrival, man.