House of the Dragon star Olivia Cooke has shared an insight into what Game of Thrones fans can expect from her character Alicent Hightower in the highly-anticipated prequel.
In December, it was announced that Olivia is to star in House of the Dragon alongside Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy and Paddy Considine, a fantasy series set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
While Game of Thrones scored millions of fans across the globe throughout its eight-year run, Olivia, 27, somehow wasn’t swept up in the craze, recently admitting that she only caught up on it when she secured the part of Alicent, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of The King.
During an interview with Metro.co.uk to mark the DVD release of comedy thriller Pixie – in which Olivia plays a character on a mission to avenge the death of her mother – the actor touched upon what kind of a person Alicent will turn out to be as an acquaintance of the Targaryen family.
Olivia said that while Pixie is ‘really manipulative and conniving and selfish’, as she ropes two ‘gullible’ men from her town into a dangerous heist, Alicent is ‘very different’ by nature.
This may imply that Alicent will be one of the more good-natured characters in the mix – a rarity in King’s Landing, as viewers came to learn with Game of Thrones.
But as those already familiar with the character will be aware, Alicent isn’t to be underestimated, as growing up in the Red Keep means that she knows what it takes to play the game of politics.
When Olivia finally had the chance to watch Game of Thrones after she was cast in House of the Dragon, she had to warn her mum not to let any major plot points slip.
‘I only watched it once I got the offer. I hadn’t seen it before,’ the Bates Motel star said.
‘It was so beloved and I was always going to get round to it, but then it just got away from me and suddenly it was like eight series and I was like, “I don’t know when I’m ever going to watch this” – until when I got the offer. That was as good an excuse as any.’
It took Olivia a couple of weeks to watch the dragon-filled drama from start to finish, but her mum – who was also watching Game of Thrones for the first time – was slightly ahead of her.
‘I did it in like two weeks. My mum even less,’ she said.
‘She was like, “What episode are you on?” I’m like, “Mum, do not tell me anything, because you’re ahead of me now”.’
Olivia noted that now that she’s seen the whole series, she ‘understands the hype’, adding: ‘It’s so well done and the story is so amazing.’
In retrospect, the actor admitted that she would have found it difficult to have to wait for weekly episodes to come out during Game of Thrones’ original run.
‘I don’t know how I would have done that really because I was so invested after the first season,’ she said.
Now that she’s all caught up, she’s hoping House of the Dragon ‘lives up to expectations’, with the HBO series set to be released in 2022.
Olivia stars in Pixie alongside X-Men: Apocalypse and former EastEnders star Ben Hardy, Peaky Blinders actor Daryl McCormack, The Departed actor Alec Baldwin and Shaun of the Dead’s Dylan Moran.
Olivia said that Alec was ‘just hysterical’ to work with, despite only being on set for three days.
‘Here’s this guy that in recent memory, he’s just been playing Trump on SNL and now he’s got an Irish accent and he’s dressed as a priest and he’s toting a gun. So that was really surreal,’ she recollected.
Olivia found Dylan’s portrayal of a ‘drug kingpin’ hilarious, particularly due to the fact that ‘he would improvise every single line to the point where I just couldn’t hold it in anymore’.
Looking back on the past year, Olivia said she feels ‘really grateful’ for the work she has been able to accomplish.
‘I think this year especially has made me really evaluate my expectations and just be really grateful about whatever set and whatever character I get to play, within reason, to not really mourn the projects that I wish I’d have had too much and to really focus on the task at hand more, because you just never know.’
Pixie is available on DVD and to download and keep now.
Credit: Original article published here.