File this one under “The One That Got Away”. Dominic West revealed to the Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan in a recent interview that he was offered a role in Game of Thrones, but turned it down. The role he was offered was almost certainly Mance Rayder.
On Wednesday, I interviewed West, who played the iconic cop Jimmy McNulty on “The Wire,” about the second season of the period drama “The Hour,” in which he plays newscaster Hector Madden. I asked what other kinds of roles he was interested in, and “Game of Thrones” came up in the conversation.
“I was offered something on ‘Game of Thrones’ and unfortunately, I hadn’t seen it, but my nephew and his father said, ‘Gosh, “Game of Thrones” is the only great show on!’ And I felt terrible, because I’d just turned them down,” West said.
So what part was West offered? He hasn’t read the books, so the name didn’t stick in his head. But he did say that taking the role — a substantial one and similar in stature or importance to Sean Bean’s Season 1 character Ned Stark, according to West — would have involved being “in Reykjavik for six months.” (“Game of Thrones” shoots the scenes set north of the Wall in Iceland.)
West goes on to say that the main reason he had to turn it down was because he didn’t want to spend too much time away from his family.
Winter Is Coming: So close! West would have been a great choice for the role. I respect his decision to not want to be away from his family for a long time, but one wonders if he realizes that the shoot in Iceland was only going to be 6 weeks, not the quoted 6 months. If he turned the role down based on a misunderstanding of the shooting schedule, well, that would suck. Still, this does prove that they are looking for a “name” actor for the role. Hopefully the part is filled soon!