Paddy Considine On ‘Home Of The Dragon’ – Deadline
Many have ascended the Seven Kingdoms’ Iron Throne, probably 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 fallacious.
Nonetheless, Recreation of Thrones assured us from the outset that nothing lasts endlessly, and but it managed eight seasons of intrigue and dragons. Ryan J. Condal’s prequel doubles down on each, as Viserys weathers numerous challengers to his dominion, together with his brother Daemon [Matt Smith] and his cousin Rhaenys [Eve Best].
It’s maybe a shocking selection for Considine, greatest identified for an completed profession in British impartial cinema, whose storied collaboration with director Shane Meadows yielded a number of celebrated options together with Useless Man’s Sneakers, 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 up to now, it has been chosen with the identical due care he has utilized each selection 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 Recreation 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 an excellent king; not that any of them matter to these attempting 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 Recreation of Thrones took seasons of success to construct to. Did it really feel like the largest set you’d ever stepped onto?
PADDY CONSIDINE: It did. I believe we’re fortunate in the truth that Recreation of Thrones has all gone earlier than us. It began as a smallish, however bold present. After which it turned epic. By the point Miguel [Sapochnik] was doing “Battle of the Bastards” [Season 6 Episode 9], it was mind-blowing to me, the size. 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 Recreation 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 Recreation of Thrones. We haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel and there are not any gimmicks and methods. We’re excellent 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 Recreation of Thrones very early on. My agent instructed me that HBO had been making this present about dragons and totally different households and kingdoms and I used to be like, “Ah…” It wasn’t for a selected half; he mentioned, “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 time to get into. For me, then watching the present, it wasn’t actually till the Crimson Marriage ceremony [in “The Rains of Castamere”, Season 3 Episode 9] that there was a large turning level. That’s if you notice no one’s protected. After, after all, what occurs within the first season with Sean Bean’s character.
So, I’d tried to observe 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 sincere. It wasn’t till lockdown that I gave it one other shot, and it then turned 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 mentioned, “Are you a fan of Recreation of Thrones?” And I mentioned, “Properly, it’s humorous you must ask that.”
DEADLINE: You’d seen all of it by then?
CONSIDINE: Not fairly. I in all probability 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 provided the function of the king within the new Recreation 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 believed 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 metallic and all that; he was the one that might learn all that stuff.
My bandmate Wealthy [from Considine’s band Riding the Low], and a few my different associates after I was a youngster, 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 onerous work to me. So, I went to observe the movie, not cynically, however simply alongside for the journey. And I used to be completely blown away by it. I couldn’t consider it. It was transformative. That’s the way it felt entering into Recreation of Thrones.
DEADLINE: Home of the Dragon is predicated on a sort of in-universe historical past of Westeros that George R.R. Martin revealed 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 mentioned, “Ryan, can we stick Mushroom in there someplace?” I used to be combating each minute to seek out an excuse to incorporate Mushroom. However yeah, it’s written by way of his eyes.
In fact for me, I by no means learn the books, however my pal gave me a large compendium that had all of the histories in. He knew extra about my character than I did. Once I instructed him who I used to be taking part in, he mentioned, “Oh yeah, he rode Balerion, he did this, he did that.” So, he gave me this guide and it was an ideal 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 recognize what, I’m not a large geek on it, however it has drawn me in. I’ve been provided a lot stuff like this up to now and never achieved 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 believed, 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 variety of calls which might be all very thrilling, with nice casts, nice individuals concerned. Then I get the script and I’m 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 an ideal factor to be part of, however anyone might have performed that half to be sincere.
So, there’s a variety of that in my historical past, of me turning issues down as a result of I couldn’t see the purpose. Once 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 type of. I requested my agent, “Are you certain that is for me?” And he mentioned, “No, they’re not going to anyone else; that is simply you.”
The distinction is Viserys is a tremendous character. I noticed a lovely, 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 an ideal character. That was all I actually wanted to get on board.
DEADLINE: From the primary episode, Viserys looks like an honest, truthful and even-handed king. In Westeros, I’m unsure that’s going to be nice for him.
CONSIDINE: He is an efficient king, an excellent man. The present would suggest he was chosen as a result of he was the male, and Rhaenys was handed over for being a lady. 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 occasions more durable 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 very best for everyone. He sees the great 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 probably 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 loads 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 anyone 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 wherein 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 totally different causes. It’s not a call he takes frivolously; it’s one he toils with. However I believe he trusts his instincts, and when he seems 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 concerning the dream and the responsibility she’s going to have. That there will likely 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 attention-grabbing facet to him as effectively, 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 effectively. The notion that this dream might save the world from loss of life 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 all the time making excuses for his habits. It comes to some extent the place sufficient is sufficient. I believe that’s one other sensible strand of Viserys’s character; the household dynamic between him, Daemon and Rhaenyra.
DEADLINE: It feels just like the love between Viserys and Daemon may solely go in a single route.
CONSIDINE: Properly, I believe Daemon adores his brother, personally. I believe that’s a part of Daemon’s downside, actually, is that he needs him to be his large brother.
DEADLINE: However he additionally needs his throne?
CONSIDINE: I’m unsure he does. Viserys even says he doesn’t need the throne; he’s not all for. He’s too unruly for it.
DEADLINE: I believed 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 endure the fools all day lengthy. It’d drive him mad.
DEADLINE: It’s a disgrace as a result of Matt Smith has the proper 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 challenge a sure swagger.
CONSIDINE: It’s an entire 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 simple factor to sit down on, to be sincere with you. It’s a throne made 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 through the season, by the best way. I might present you some actual spoilers if I dug into my cellphone [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 once. What was the sensation like, first clocking eyes on it?
CONSIDINE: It was a giant second for me, truly. I believe I may need been in full costume after I first walked onto that set; it was positively a capturing day, no less than. I finished myself from wandering in on a time off. I did go previous the workshop someday whereas it was being constructed, and so I went and had a little bit of a have a look at them constructing it. However after I went to the set, I went in with goal, and I did have a second of awe. Miguel got here as much as me and mentioned, “How do you’re feeling concerning 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 in all probability truthful to say that on the earth of Westeros there are only a few ensures of life, and it is a present all concerning the succession of kings, which implies sooner or later you’re going to be succeeded. Have you ever thought a lot about that; about how restricted your time on that throne may be?
CONSIDINE: Properly, yeah, however I can’t reveal something [laughs]. As a result of sure, it’s all about succession. Studying the script, you possibly can take that a few alternative ways. Richard III was a bit bit what I went for in my head. Not by way of a specific framework for the character, however by way of 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 keep in mind once we did the readthrough—which is an terrible expertise anyway, the place you simply assume you’re going to be fired any minute—Miguel mentioned to me, “You have 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 all the things I can. And that’s what I did, and I beloved 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 state of affairs, as a result of the half had already been solid with one other actor. Even individuals on the studio had been going, “Why are you assembly this man?” Which means, me. It induced a little bit of a storm.
DEADLINE: Which movie?
CONSIDINE: It was for Breaking and Getting into, with Jude Regulation. So, it was already solid, and I didn’t perceive why Anthony was taking this time with me. I don’t know, he simply appeared to have some type of fascination after seeing me in Useless Man’s Sneakers. However for me, it was nice to simply get to spend a while with this sensible 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 solid—however I actually loved the expertise.
Anyway, he mentioned to me someday, “Do you like this character?” And I went, “No. I don’t. I can’t join with him. I don’t love him.” He mentioned, “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 achieved, the very best of it, probably the most attention-grabbing, has been after I’ve absolutely beloved the character I’m taking part in. Once 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 attention-grabbing, it was as a result of I beloved them.
DEADLINE: Does that depend even when, for instance, you disagree with a personality’s decisions?
CONSIDINE: Sure, you’ve nonetheless acquired to like them. As a result of they’re not your decisions; 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 someday and say, “These aren’t your beliefs; they’re hers.” It was an ideal lesson for me as effectively, as a result of a variety of actors attempt to bend issues round to their very own mind-set and their very own ideas, 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 could be very totally 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 sort 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 study that’s not the case and it liberates you and means you are able to do much more than you possibly can earlier than.
DEADLINE: From the outset, you’ve taken your profession in many alternative instructions. You’ve develop into an completed 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: Have you learnt, 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 assume I had that type of ardour for it that different individuals speak about. To me, it was extra of a problem. It’s onerous for me to elucidate it. However I had a wierd relationship with performing; possibly a love/hate relationship with it. And a variety of it got here from me considering I wasn’t ok.
Doing The Ferryman was a vital step for me. It was a bit like going to high school, and I discovered a lot from it. I believe I in all probability discovered extra concerning the craft doing that play than I had ever identified earlier than. It’s necessary to have an expertise like that in any line of labor, however I might exit on a limb and say that I’m captivated 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 variety of work that floated within the center simply to make a dwelling, and so they had been issues I didn’t actually need to do. There’s this popularity round me, I believe, the place it’s, “Oh, he makes actually large decisions,” and it’s like, generally I’ve simply acquired to go to work, and I don’t need to play somebody’s fucking dad, I need 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 study that over time. I needed to learn to be an actor and cease being so fucking essential of myself. Study 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 loads.
DEADLINE: Realizing you a bit, it seems like so lots of the challenges you’ve taken on have come from a spot of eager to leap into the work and decide to determining learn how to succeed. It’s a unbelievable perspective, however the danger 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 learn how to preserve that stage of pleasure even when the challenges you’re dealing with 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’re feeling trapped. I believe for a time I felt trapped by it. I had a spouse and youngsters. I had duties. 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 endlessly be the man within the inexperienced coat [in Dead Man’s Shoes]. That used to play in my thoughts loads. It’s not taking something away from that specific movie, as a result of it had such an unbelievable influence for me and for individuals on the market who noticed it. It’s up there with among 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 if you don’t… It seems like possibly that’s fallacious; possibly I ought to be like, “That was one factor, after which we transfer on and discover different issues.”
DEADLINE: I believe each issues will be true. You’ll be able to take your shot with the thought 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 endlessly be indebted to him for what he did for me as a result of I used to be not in an ideal place after I began that job. It was one other hazard job. I stored trying again at my life, and there’d make certain interviews the place I used to be in a nasty place. I used to be all the time in a nasty place. I’m considering, Is that going to be the story of my life? That I’m all the time in a nasty place?
DEADLINE: Everybody finally ends up there among the time. It’s unavoidable and it’s human nature. The distinction is you’ve been sincere about it. You haven’t placed on a entrance.
CONSIDINE: I believe generally it feels like I complain 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 individuals on the market who would fortunately step into your footwear. Properly, these are my footwear, 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 assume it is going to. Wherever you assume you’ll get if you set out, you all the time find yourself elsewhere. However you’ve simply acquired to go alongside for the journey.
I keep in mind watching that Bob Dylan documentary, and he mentioned, “A real artist ought to by no means have a way that they’ve arrived, they need to all the time be in a state of turning into.” That’s true of all the things. There’s no fucking arrival, man.