August 10th, 2010

Morocco

Three More for the Show

I have fallen way behind in introducing you to the many of the wonderful actors and actresses that have been cast recently for HBO's GAME OF THRONES. They're hiring them faster than I can write about 'em.

There's too many for me to catch up in one swell foop, but let me mention a few.

Playing Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, will be the distinguished British star of stage and screen CHARLES DANCE, O.B.E., who has been our dream casting for this role since the moment we were greenlighted.



Dance was one of the fan favorites for Lord Tywin as well, so he needs no introduction for many of you, I know. For the rest... he has been acting professionally since 1974, but the role that really brought him to widespead attention was Guy Perron in THE JEWEL AND THE CROWN, in 1984. You've seen him in GOLDENEYE, GOSFORD PARK, as Mr. Tulkinghorn in BLEAK HOUSE, and a million other films and television shows. You will shortly be seeing him YOUR HIGHNESS, the film that preceded our pilot in Belfast's Paint Hall. His commanding screen presence and steely charisma should make him the perfect Lord Tywin.

The more feared of the many Lannister knights is the huge, brutal Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides. I did not exactly make it easy for David and Dan and our casting director Nina Gold when I described Gregor as being almost eight feet tall, but they came through as always when they filled the role with Conan... no, not Jason Momoa, and not the Governator either (way too old, way too small, and not a good enough actor), but Australian actor, bodybuilder, and stunt man CONAN STEVENS.



Stevens is actually about ten inches shorter than the Mountain... but still a good half foot taller than Rory McCann, who will be playing his "little brother" Sandor Clegane. He first came to our attention when he read for the part of Khal Drogo. He was not right for that role, but he's perfect for this one, with the acting chops to go with the great physicality he brings to Gregor.

Stevens has his own website at http://www.conanstevens.com/ and is also a blogger. At last report, he was already in Belfast, being fitted for his armor and meeting the other members of the cast. You can read more about that on his blog. He seems to be an amiable fellow, from what he writes, not at all like Ser Gregor. But on screen he's very different, and I can't wait to see the Mountain and the Hound square off at the Hand's tourney.

And to round out the gang from the westerlands, we've tapped another talented young English actor, EUGENE SIMON, to play the role of Lancel Lannister, King Robert's squire, eldest son of Ser Kevan Lannister, cousin to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion.



Simon made his acting debut in 2003 in MY DAD'S THE PRIME MINISTER. He has also played Young Ben-Hur in the recent remake of BEN-HUR and Young Casanova in CASANOVA, and co-starred as Gerald Durrell in MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, where he shared the screen with the lovely Tamzin Merchant. Like Conan Stevens, Simon initially read for another role, one that went to someone else, but he impressed David and David (and me, FWIW) so much that we knew we'd found our Lancel.

(For those of you keeping score, no, we won't be casting Robert's younger squire, Tyrek "Wet-Nurse" Lannister, at least not for season one. We may be able to bring him in for season two. Assuming we get one, of course).

Three more great choices, I think. I'm a happy camper.
froggy

Whip and Hammer

The bloody lash knows what it's like to be dead. He's met his waterloo and been a casualty, and seen his share of apparitions too. The horny-headed hammerhand is older than you might have thought, but too young to need a pacemaker, though he might have ridden on the ferry with Gerry. Another friend of our kraken's sister, he knows the doctor and the wizard too. Damned if he doesn't play what he calls football (not the real kind).

(Ooops, screwed up the clues again. Fixed now. Resume).
hiya hiya hiya

Take a Bow

No, take two. You've nailed two more correctly.

"The bloody lash knows what it's like to be dead. He's met his waterloo and been a casualty, and seen his share of apparitions too."

The bloody lash is Jhogo, one of Dany's bloodriders. He's the one she gives the whip too. In the series, he will be played by Londoner ELYES GABEL.



Gabel played Rob Cleaver in WATERLOO ROAD, 'Guppy' Sandhu in CASUALTY, and Vimal in APPARITIONS. In DEAD SET his character becomes a zombie, so he knows what it is like to be dead. You'll enjoy watching him as Dany's whip man. It is known.



(And for those of you who are keeping score, Dany's other bloodriders will be played by extras or featured extras, at least in season one).

"The horny-headed hammerhand is older than you might have thought, but too young to need a pacemaker, though he might have ridden on the ferry with Gerry. Another friend of our kraken's sister, he knows the doctor and the wizard too. Damned if he doesn't play what he calls football (not the real kind)."

You got this one very fast. Yes, the horny-headed hammerhand is Gendry, the armorer's apprenctice, who fashions a horned helm for himself, and is told that his hands were made for hammers. Portraying him in the series will be JOE DEMPSIE.



Yes, Dempsie is considerably older than Gendry in the books. David & Dan decided to age up the character, as with many of the children in the books (Robb, Jon, Dany, etc). Dempsie hails from Liverpool, on the Mersey, which is why you will find those references to Gerry and the Pacemakers in the clues (though he's still so young I doubt he knows who Gerry and the Pacemakers were). He's played in MERLIN and DOCTOR WHO, so he knows the wizard and the doctor, though he's perhaps best known for his role as Chris in SKINS. He's been on LILY ALLEN AND FRIENDS, and he was in THE DAMNED UNITED, a soccer movie. That's "football" for those parts of the world that don't know True Football.



So... two more bright young talents come to Westeros. I think you'll like 'em.