July 15th, 2010

Spain

The White Knight

The ranks are filling out on HBO's GAME OF THRONES.

Ser Barristan Selmy, Barristan the Bold, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, will be played by Ulsterman IAN MCELHINNEY, Belfast born and bred.

Ser Barristan is a veteran of tournament and battle, and McElhinney a veteran of stage and screen who has been acting professionally since 1981. He was a pope on THE TUDORS, a captain on HORATIO HORNBLOWER, a priest, a doctor, a detective... though I believe this is his first turn as a knight. He's no stranger to the Paint Hall, though; the huge shipyard soundstage where we'll be doing much of our filming was also the place where they built the CITY OF EMBER, in which he had a role.



McElhinney is another terrific addition to our cast. He's a splendid actor, and his readings captured all of Ser Barristan's dignity and nobility. I can't wait to see him in his Kingsguard armor and long white cloak.
froggy

Two Lords and a Sword

Hiya kids, hiya, hiya, hiya.

This time we have two lords and a knight.

The first never says a word in the books. The second gave up one lordship and received another. The third birthed a monkey, a pimple, and a loon.

The first flew by night to find the truth. The second is a merry man from the god of war. The third was a supervillain, and once ambled amongst oak trees and hollies, where he might have come across a golden rose.

Who are they?

EVENING UPDATE: Not bad, not bad. But I'm glad that I've been able to stump you for longer than it takes for my webpage to refresh. For a change. At of this moment (about 7:45 PM Santa Fe time), you've got the sword but not the lords. A few of you may be sniffing on the trail of another. The last... well, mea culpa, the clue there is really obscure.

Look for big casting news on the morrow. Lots of parts, not necessarily including these.
Spain

Along Came a Spider

... and to confirm the story that Mo Ryan broke earlier today in her column, the role of Varys the Spider will be played by CONLETH HILL.



Born in Northern Ireland, in County Antrim, Hill has done his share of televison and film, but is probably best known for his work in the theatre, which ranges from serious drama to musical comedy, and everything in between, including roles in THE PRODUCERS, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, WAITING FOR GODOT, and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. He's appeared on stages in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Toronto, and on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Tony Award for best actor. Hill has also twice been awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award, once for best actor, once for best supporting actor.



He has his own website at http://www.conlethhill.com/ where you can find out a lot more about him, and even see some amazing video clips. Hill, like Varys, is quite a chameleon, an actor who truly disappears inside the characters he portrays, more than capable not only of bringing the slimy, simpering eunuch to life, but also of showing us all the other faces of King's Landing's master of whisperers.

With Varys, Littlefinger, Grand Maester Pycelle, and Ser Barristan all cast, King Robert's small council lacks only Lord Renly... and he'll be joining them soon. (Sorry, you will need to wait for season two for Stannis, off brooding on Dragonstone). It is going to be amazing to see all these actors sitting down together at the council table...
Spain

Recasting Royce

Just a brief note to confirm the other news in Mo Ryan's blog this morning.

Yes, there's been another recasting (and possibly a few more in the offing).

David and Dan and HBO have decided to reshoot the prologue sequence from the pilot. For the very best of reasons, I think: to make it better.

I've seen the pilot, or at least a rough cut thereof, and I thought the prologue sequence was quite good, actually. But this will be the opening scene of the entire series, the first introduction to the world of Westeros for millions of viewers, so "quite good" was not good enough. We want to make it great.

So we reshoot. The only problem with that being, life moves on and so do actors. Other roles come along, dates don't always work out, schedules refuse to mesh, even with the best of intentions. And that's what happened with our prologue.

Everyone loved Jamie Campbell Bower and his performance as Ser Waymar Royce... but since our pilot wrapped, JCB has gone on to win one of the lead roles in the new Starz series CAMELOT --no one less than Arthur Pendragon himself.

JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER


Unfortunately, Jamie's shooting schedule with CAMELOT conflicted with our own, so there was no way he could come back and reprise his performance as Ser Waymar. But we wish him luck with his new (much larger) role... and who knows, if GAME OF THRONES should happen to have a longer run than CAMELOT, maybe one day he can come back and play another (much larger) role for us.

Meanwhile, for our reshoot, Nina Gold has found another terrific young British actor to don the sable cloak of Ser Waymar Royce. His name is ROB OSTLERE.



Ostlere is a relative newcomer, a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts who has appeared in the films THE TASK (just completed, not yet in release) and TORTOISE, and the tv series THE DOCTORS. He's actually an actor we've had our eye on for some time. Last year, when we were casting the pilot, he read for several parts, and was a strong contender for all of them. And though ultimately he lost out on those roles, he impressed all of us so much that we kept bringing him back. We knew he was someone we wanted to work with. It's great to have him as part of the show at last.

(If only, ah, briefly).

As for the other rangers in the prologue sequence... nothing has been settled there as yet, but there is a chance that those roles will need to be recast as well. We may also need to recast one other player, NOT from the prologue, again for reasons concerning a reshoot and schedule conflicts. But we'll see. Every effort is being made to work these things out.