Casting HBO

A couple more fan audition videos

Here are two more Youtube audition videos. In the first one, actor Steven Cabral just does Jaime. The second one, from actor James Ryan, also gives an audition for Theon, Viserys and Jon, in addition to Jaime. Both of these vids use the recently released casting sides. What do you think?

Winter Is Coming: Personally, I still think Avery Clark’s auditions are the best. He, to me, has shown the most range in his characters. But based on the fact that auditions are currently on-going and we haven’t heard anything from him or any of the others who have posted audition vids, I think it is safe to say that HBO isn’t taking these things into consideration. Not that they necessarily should be anyway.


  • The first video isn't playing. As for the second, no offense to the guy, but he's just not attractive enough for the roles he's auditioning for.

  • Anon: Yeah, I just fixed the issue with the first one. Sorry about that everyone! Should be working now.

  • The first guy is not Jaime at all, but it would be really nice if he could get some other role in GoT. He is a very attractive and charasismatic guy.

  • I don't remember how Bronn is portrayed physically, but I think the first guy could pull off the sellsword character. Beef him up a bit, perhaps, and he'd be good.

  • Steven might be all right for Jaime if he does something with his hair to fit the part, just my opinion though. The second reading wasn't to bad either, even if he doesn't seem appropriate for some of the characters he was reading.

  • I like movies but I guess I don't pay a ton of attention to the acting quality. Are Cabral's facial expressions over done or right?

    Either way I like him. I don't remember the description but off the top of my head he seemed like a good Ser Hyle Hunt to me… but I couldn't think of anyone from GoT.

  • Ghastly fake Brit accent from the first guy while the second doesn't even bother with one. Perhaps he thinks Theon comes from Brooklyn.

  • If we're being polite, tomkrist took the words outta my mouth. I see Cabral more of a Bronn than anything else. As for Ryan, I don't seem to picture any character he would fit properly.

  • I think the first guy's accent isn't very good and he seems too dark featured to be able to pull off jaime's blonde hair, blue eyed appearence, even with movie magic. Plus, his acting was ok, but not great. I think the second guy does a good job. I see him mostly as either Theon or Viserys. It wouldve been nice to hear an accent but I guess that is what dialect coaches are for:-) Either way, the second guy is definitely my favorite of the two.

  • the first guy was ok, nothing too special, i dont think he's attractive enough to be Jamie. As for the second guy, James, he said on his youtube page that he chose not to do a british accent, but when he re-films the auditions he was going to. so i'll wait to see after that for my final call but i thought he did a good job. I liked how he did more than one character.

  • I don't know about you guys, but i think the second guy is way cuter than the first guy!The first guy was wayyy too over the top which i didn't really like, even though i liked that he tried an accent. I bet the second guy's audition wouldve been better with an accent but i think he's doing that later…? But it all comes down to who's the better actor and i definitely think its the second guy for sure. He's more believable i think.

  • Firstly, the second guy was who I first noticed, second only to the first guy. After a double take I saw that the first guy's timing was off by a second, but the second guy was first in that second second.

    Secondly, the first guy came across rather second rate, while even the second guy came across second rate first, it didn't matter since he got there first.

    I took a second peak at the first guy after the second pass through the second guy, and things appeared the same as the first time around, the second time.

  • Larry, huh??? Soooooooo…..ok? I think you are crazy and deserve a medal because that was awesome! I thought the first guy was good but the second guy was better.

  • both of these feel rather amateurish to me. they'd likely not get called back if they auditioned.


  • I HATE Avery Clark for Thrones. Everything about him screams amateur. No subtlety at all in his performances. I don't particularly like either of these new guys, but I'd take them any day over Clark.

  • both of these feel rather amateurish to me.

    Very interesting observation.

    It's like watching someone make a total fool of themselves up on the karaoke mic.

  • Ryan Dunn… really? Amateurish? What was so wrong with these guys? They didnt have the multi million dollar equipment to make it look "hollywood". Are you a critic or a big star? i dont think so. For both of these guys doing it from their home i assume, with friends/family helping them, they did a good job and should get called back. Have you seen audition tapes? i have, and they pretty much look just like these do. I dont want it to seem like i'm bashing you or anything, but why dont you try to put yourself in all these auditioners places trying to get noticed and probably live their dream. Have you ever trieed anything like this? if so, then you should/would know how hard it must be for these guys. I have a lot of respect for them and anyone else who tries this, because at least they're trying.

    Anyway, i thought they were both good and would be a good fit anywhere the director would like them. The first guy i see more as being a Littlefinger whereas i think the second guy would make a pretty good Renly! Best of luck to both of you!

  • Both seem pretty good, though not really suited to any of the parts they're reading. Not sure I'd want either playing really major characters, but they could do quite well with some of the side parts. They just don't fit the look/feel of any major characters for me, and maybe don't have quite the acting skills I'd like to see for key roles.

    Anyway, I vastly prefer the second guy's lack of an accent. Why does everyone seem to think that fantasy world=British accent? Not to mention any fiction set in Europe (I.e., the non-English-speaking parts.) Granted, due to filming in Ireland, most of the cast will probably have British accents of some sort or another, and it would make more sense for any Americans to switch accents to fit in than vice versa, but that has nothing to do with the intrinsic quality of an audition. Personally, I think it would make the most sense for the various regions of Westeros to have accents from different parts of Europe, if possible. North Scottish, King's Landing English, Iron Islands Scandinavian (Mild, not Swedish Chef), Dorne Spanish, etc. This would probably be too much trouble, but the cultural diversity could add a lot of flavor, as well as making it easier for those new to the material to keep the houses straight.

  • I agree with Christina….nothing wrong trying to capture or live your dream….but I just think these guys are wasting there time…. But it's there time and so be it

  • christina,

    i am a commercial film director. i work in silver cup studios, where they film 30 rock, gossip girls, fringe, etc. and where hbo has filmed sopranos, sex and the city, six feet under, etc.

    i cast talent for a living. i have seen thousands of auditions both in person and on tape. from los angeles to toronto.

    i have a good friend who is a film director, has a movie out in theaters out right now with adrien brody, rachel weisz and mark ruffalo. he will likely direct one of these episodes if the show gets picked up (he is good friends with david weiss).

    so yeah, i know what it's like to be here. and i have enough qualifications to tell you honestly that these two actors put a lot of effort into their audition tapes.

    and both are very amateurish.

    and so is avery clark.

    and none of them will likely be contacted regarding any available parts. they will be best served flying to ireland and trying to be extras.


  • The first guy has some ability, but he's doing way too much with the facial expressions (maybe he's only ever done theater?, it's too much on camera) and I don't think he's in the moment enough with the scenes. It's like I can see him thinking, "okay, now I've got to react to this line, now I've got to react to that line." He's not natural enough for my taste. He could have talent, but he's got to work on it.

    The second guy I couldn't watch, just not even remotely there, IMO.

  • wow i dont know what everyone's problem is with the second guy! I thought he was better than the first guy! Instead of people saying "they sucks" or "they dont have it" why dont you give them real things to work on. (If they come and read these comments anyway)These guys probably didnt have all the time to prepare for it (especially the 2nd guy since he did so many characters) like Michael Cera prolly did for his "Superbad" audition. They're probably trying to get their faces out there fast since they dont know when the directors are casting.

  • First guy fails to show Jaime's pain. His comment to Ned isn't just black humor for him, it's how he actually feels about the whole situation, but can't actually let it out in polite company in any other way than black humor. This means he should be pained in the early part of the conversation, but in better humor at the end, having let it out, rather than in good humor early on, and annoyed later. Unlike other posters, I like his expressions, especially his smile. Lots to play with there.

    Second guy is just a fail. The emotion that IS there seems misplaced. Theon isn't angry or scared, he's arrogant. Jaime is pained. Visceris is an insane schemer, worrying about details rather than accepting his situation. All I'm seeing is anger and volume from behind a blank look, a la Keanu Reeves.

  • I think the first guy has the look's for Jaime, the second guy is quite vacuuos, there isn't much there, but all praise to them for doing this and getting themselves seen, I hope someone pick's them up and gives them some guidance,I like the other guy, someone Rice, for jon snwo, but I think hbo are looking for professional's for the adult roles.

  • I'm going to give the edge to Steve Cabral over James Ryan. Neither are perfect, in my view, but I disagree with Smoldering Hound in that Steve allowed some of Jaime's pain and bitterness to eke through at the very end. It was almost a surprise, to me, when it snuck in there. He added to the scene what I thought to be some sort of underlying approval seeking; behind the jibes, he wants Ned to notice him and respect him. And yes, to perhaps get that long-due thanks.

    I think his British accent is fine (sounds British to me), if not a little rushed in some places. Jaime needs to be more silken at times.

    I think he could play Jaime. But I could easily see Steve Cabral in Theon's shoes as well.

    That is if Avery Clark doesn't get it. I hope he at least gets an audition. I still see some huge potential in that guy.

  • Having little or no time to prepare is part of the game in casting. Most of the time actors don't get their sides until the night before or the morning of their first audition. Sometimes they go in for one role, and while there are handed sides for a new character they weren't originally considered for and told to do a 'cold reading.' This means the actor literally might have a whole two minutes to glance over their new lines before reading for the casting director. You aren't expected to have them memorized that quickly, but you are expected to do your reading off the page well.

    Acting classes include training on how to do cold readings, and good actors can do it very well. I've done table readings with some very good actors and even in that scenario, merely sitting around a table and reading through a script, they can make the dialogue live (even sometimes bad dialogue that doesn't work on the page). I've also watched actors give incredible cold readings that were so good I had tears well up in my eyes.

    Acting is a tough game and it's 95% rejection, even sometimes for some very good actors. If one puts themselves out there like that, I say good for them because it takes guts and that's no small thing. I've always greatly respected even the ones who try and don't make it or who try and aren't that good. But after that, it doesn't matter unless you can move people or impress them with your work. I've seen and known (and know) a lot of first rate actors who have yet to "make it," so I guess I'm just very picky about these things.

  • the second guy could be a good Bilbo Baggins if the Hobbit was ever made for Broadway.

  • I enjoyed Cabral's audition – although I can't see him as Jaime. He looks more like a Theon to me.

    Didn't like Ryan's auditions at all – sorry.

  • I don't really like any of them for a major part but saying Clark even comes close to Cabrals performance here makes me wonder about some of you guys. That kid is awful.

  • They're all awful Anon, in comparison to actors.

    In comparison to each other? Not my idea of a fair fight to analyze fanboy character renditions. Hats off to them for having a go at it and making it public. Hopefully they had fun doing it.

    Hopefully you guys are having fun judging their performances.

  • the first guy would be perfect for jaime–he's got the swagger and he's really talented–problem is, he lucks more like a stark than a lannister. he also needs to speak slower.

  • just finished reading the 3rd book and all I can say is holy shit! WOW! I love these books!

  • oh and all of these guys are wrong for any part in the story. their auditions = epic fail

  • haaa… well, Ana, try to read the 4th book realllly slowly because you might have to wait a while for the fith. I would rather savor the 3rd book than the 4th–NO ARYA FTW

  • One of the number one issues with the first guy is speed. Really needs to slow down and articulate more. Otherwise I like the core of what he was doing just needs a lot more work.

    The second guy is just meh. Nothing really there for me…

    Very brave and good to throw this stuff out there though. Takes an iron pair for that.

  • I actually thought that the first guy was really good. The problem is that he has a very hard face, which is something that you would find in a northman rather than a Lannister. Bronn is a good fit maybe, or even someone like Ramsay Bolton.

    As for the second guy…he didn't do anything for me. He doesn't look like someone who would blend in with the setting and characters at all, and his acting wasn't anything special. Better than I could do, for sure, but not good enough for a production of this quality.

  • Shove a goatee on the first guy and you have what I see Littlefinger being like.

    The second guy…..well, not for those characters me thinks.

  • wow… too mny different comments for me too hang up on…
    But would like to say this.
    Really enjoyed seeing Steven Cabrals reading! That gave me an idea of just how I want Jaime to be played. Many gave good reflective criticism to his acting though, which I hadn't thought of, and could be true. Anyway, it resparked my want for this series to come alive! I hadn't thought of Bronn – but agreed! He would make an awesome Bronn! I think it would be ideal if we found someone partly famous, yet right(!), for the roll.

    The second guy, I am sorry. I just couldn't focus on the vid. I totally agree with Brude on guts etc. But if I were to give a tinsy tiny little bit of constructive criticism, in case he happens to read this. Nothing much, since I lost interest so early. Sorry. But I would suggest changing those first pictures. I suspect a certain awkwardness in front of a camera, or in the very least I would suggest working on facial expressions. They seem utterly unengaged, and not nearly enough "eyecatching" and alive to stand out in the business. I would guess anyway, with my limited insight, not working there myself. But yeah kudos to both for doing it!!

  • sorry – to clear up meant ideal with partly famous actor, or a little bit renowned if that's the word, because offcourse he'll have to be able to act… anyway I meant for Jaime and not Bronn. lol.

  • That second video was painful to watch. The first guy could play a minor role like a Kettleblack or someone.

  • I think the first guy has criminally misread Jaime's character. Jaime isn't a sniveling arrogant little twerp with a sarcastic mean-streak. I read him as believing himself to be honorable yet misunderstood. His black humor comes from cynicism, his belief that most who consider him so dishonorable are even more full of shit themselves. At the end of the day he's just not so goddamn smug as that first guy plays him. It's just way off.

  • Anonymous @8:23

    I totally agree. And the worst part is he had all the time in the world (plus edits) to deliver a few minutes of dialogue that bombed.

  • Not to stir the pot or anything, I liked both guys auditions, but i've actually seen the second guy, James Ryan, perform live before and all i can say is that this tape he did is not anywhere close to being his best performance! And no, i'm his GF/wife or even a friend, i happened to see him in a show a few months back here in AZ and am a big fan of the books, saw him here and the rest is history. I dont know why this performance was so weak, off day i assume. But he did say on his youtube that he was putting up a better one, so i guess we'll see.

    Also, i agree with whoever said the first guy would make a good LittleFinger! I totally agree! Not a bad theon too i guess.

  • @ryan dunn

    I agree Michael Cera`s audition certainly does leave these two trailing in the dust, but one little thing I think he has going for him is that the guy he auditioned with was also a pro. So all the exchanges between the two were a lot more credible, and realistic. The two guys in question here had just a member of family/friend which might somewhat prevent the kind of immersion that Cera could benefit from.

    I take nothing away from him though, it was excellent.

  • I partially agree JG. Ryan Dunn I really dont think that comparing Cera's Superbad audition to these guys' "audition" has much bearing due to Cera was doing a screen test with Seth Rogen, so that means that he already had had a couple of auditions with the scene he did then got to Rogen. So, he appears to have "it" eventhough he had a lot more time to rehearse and prepare. Not to mention that these guys just did theirs with friends/family (as JG said). Nothing against you or Cera, but it's just not the same thing. I would like to see these two guys have a screen test with one of the stars, they would probably be a million times better.

  • Anonymous @3:42 Right you are.. the kids in the youtube videos had only minutes to spare before filming themselves…. Not. You are fired.

  • Anachronite: We have brought up your third guy a while back.

    I believe we did our best to ignore the existence of his youtube video, just as I am trying to relinquish any memory of the two above, even though I refuse to click play out of principle.

    I am forced to see their non-GoT faces every time I come here, like some unsavory banner promising an ersatz butter for my toast.

    I hope that one day, young people such as the above will stop dreaming and start going back to work as lowly gnaves or what-have-you.

  • I agree, first guy is Littlefinger possibly Theon. Second guy Samwell?
    Alexander Skarsguard (sp) is Jamie – nobility and ruthlessness

  • …and also thoroughly busy with True Blood, which won't be dropped anytime soon, based on it's lovelu success… Go Alexander!
    And have to disagree aswell – I don't think he would be right for the part.

  • I think the first guy has criminally misread Jaime's character. Jaime isn't a sniveling arrogant little twerp with a sarcastic mean-streak. I read him as believing himself to be honorable yet misunderstood. His black humor comes from cynicism, his belief that most who consider him so dishonorable are even more full of shit themselves. At the end of the day he's just not so goddamn smug as that first guy plays him. It's just way off.

    …What this guy said. Anon here says what I meant to say better than I did.

  • First guy might make a decent littlefinger. He doesn't have the Jaime look, which is a problem that goes beyond his hair color.

  • ooh he would be a really good littlefinger! good call. too bad he doesn't have the look for jaime, i thought he played it perfectly.
    smoldering hound-
    as i recall, he IS smug and sarcastic in the beginning, or at least thats the way he comes off. we don't actually like jaime as a character until he gets his own chapters when catelyn sets him free and we get to see another side of him.

  • Jamie Ryan was terrible, far too generic and americanised.

    Steven Cabral was excellent, and he'd be a brilliant Jaime if it wasn't for his colouring. Maybe a Renly? I liked him a lot and there's definitely a role in GoT for him, just not sure which one.

  • When I saw Steven Cabral my first thought was Bronn. He's got the look and it seems he can act well enough. I think it'd be cool if he got the part.