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The Big Man and the Redhead

I said that the big man could tell you the latest casting news. That's because the big guy is Ian McNeice, a veteran British character actor most recently seen on HBO as the newsreader in ROME. He's done a million other parts as well, of course. In A GAME OF THRONES, he'll be playing Illyrio Mopatis, Magister of the Free City of Pentos, merchant prince, and arch- conspirator.





There is one character with a speaking part in the HBO pilot who did not appear in my novel. In the early drafts of the script she was known only as Red-Headed Whore, but she has since been christened "Ros." Playing Ros will be the lovely Esme Bianco, an actress, model, and burlesque performer whose website can be found at http://www.esmeforever.com/



Her previous credits include CHEMICAL WEDDING, BURLESQUE FAIRYTALES, and DEAD MAN RUNNING, which is where those clues about chemicals, fairies, and dead men came from. Tyrion will be very pleased to make her acquaintance.

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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cuddlycthulhu
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm really, really impressed with the people that are getting cast for your miniseries.

Do you know if any of them are fans of your work?
paat
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
He's dead-on for Illyrio. Now we just need you to confirm Drogo and all will be right in the world ;)
lostrealist_05
Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
I agree with this... GIVE US DROGO! =D
bug_totem
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, I thought this Big Man riddle was about ser Gregor...
Once you said that it's a difficult task to find a guy to play older Clegane.
I think that Russian boxing champion Valuev is a perfect pick :)

http://akboxing.ru/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/valuev.jpg

By the way, last year he starred in Russian movie 'Stone Head', so it's not really impossible!
hippoiathanatoi
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Only the pilot is being cast, and that only covers the first few chapters of the book; Gregor would not appear.

Valuev's English is very heavily accented, isn't it? Don't think that would work unless he was dubbed.
(no subject) - bug_totem - Oct. 21st, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nycfalcon - Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
altman_ltd
Oct. 21st, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
Illyrio very good.))))
it is Illyrio ))0
palemoonrises
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Ian McNeice will be PERFECT as Illyrio! I can see it now... So excited for this series!
anoceanview
Oct. 24th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
This. I think he's going to be perfect as well.
gh0ti_2
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
McNeice is perfect as Illyrio.

Though, I guess it may be a little rude to say Esme Bianco is equally perfect as the Red-Headed Whore... sorry, "Ros".
sensorium
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, perfect casting! I'm so excited :D
rtrifts
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
McNeice is wasted on Illyrio
McNeice is a great actor, don't get me wrong. I'm sure he'll make a great Illyrio, too.

But for all that, I think he could have made a much better Varys. Given the much bigger role Varys plays in the tale, it would have been a better use of his acting talents.
daystarclarion
Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
Re: McNeice is wasted on Illyrio
for varys, i totally imagine the smarmy guy from sweeney todd/harry potter...timothy spall (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001758/)
Re: McNeice is wasted on Illyrio - rtrifts - Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: McNeice is wasted on Illyrio - sinnfrei_88 - Oct. 22nd, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
anywhere_but_nj
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I really liked McNeice in ROME! This is exciting!
infinite_hiatus
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm sure Tyrion would be very pleased indeed.

I don't know if you've mentioned this, but who is writing the screenplay? It seems like I'd remember if you said it was you, and I assume you're working on some other book or another. To me, the writers of a TV show are more important than the actors.
marxzealot
Oct. 21st, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
Awesome choices!
McNeice was pretty cool when he read the news in ROME. I loved all his gestures.
shsilver
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
I've loved Ian McNeice ever since seeing him in Mel Brook's adaptation of 84 Charing Cross Road. My kids got to know who he was by watching the Donny Osmond version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and of course he was wonderfully hideous in the television version of Dune. I also enjoyed him in The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (although the book was better than the movie).
mylefteye
Oct. 22nd, 2009 08:29 am (UTC)
And don't forget his lovable Bert in Doc Martin!
nycfalcon
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Whores are like cookies. You never know how they will taste, and then it's too late.
chiv
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
I couldn't think of a better person to play Illyrio, he's been in mind sonce I read the book.
Annyoingly, for some reason I felt that Ian McNeice would also make a very good Varys.
marinshellstone
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Yay! love McNeice.
faery_lights
Oct. 22nd, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
That might just be the best icon ever!
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