Casting Press

Kit Harington wanted Ian McShane for Mance, but says Ciarán Hinds is ‘perfect’

Kit Harington is attending the New York Comic Con this weekend, to promote his upcoming film Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. Naturally, a few journos have taken the opportunity to ask him about the third season of Game of Thrones.

Terri Schwartz of Spinoff Online was one of those who spoke with Harington about Thrones and got his thoughts on his new co-star, Ciarán Hinds.

“Ciarán Hinds is one of the most lovely men you will ever meet, and also one of the most fantastically fantastic actors,” Harington said. “I’m so privileged with the people I’ve worked with, the other older actors I’ve worked with, and he’s now another addition to that list that I can say I’ve worked with. It was fantastic.”

But Hinds wasn’t Kit’s first choice for the role. He originally was hoping for HBO vet Ian McShane.

“I was kind of going Ian McShane would work for this, and then they came up with Ciarán Hinds and it was just perfect,” he said.

Meredith Woerner of io9 also snuck in a few questions about Thrones in her chat with Kit. You can watch the video of this interview at io9.

Winter Is Coming: I’m with Kit, McShane would have made a great Mance. Hopefully David & Dan can cast him in another role down the road. Victarion Greyjoy, perhaps?

87 Comments

  • I wanted McShane as Mance from the beginning he would have been great, I am sure Hinds will be great though.

    Hopefully Mcshane can some into it at some point, not sure who as….
    Euron or Victarion maybe though he is not really brutish enough for Viccy

    He could maybe play the role of Brown Ben Plumm/Tattered Prince if they expand and combine the roles to an extent, having him take over the role of most of the commanders of sellsword companies perhaps with him forfilling the role of Yezzan zo Qaggaz too.

    Guess he could also be Randyll Tarly of Jon Connington. I am sure he would be great in whatever role.

  • While McShane is a good actor he’s also 70 years old, so I honestly don’t think that would have worked out.

    Seeing as HBO originally asked Dominic West (who’s 42) I get the impression that they were looking for someone younger as Mance, but then went with Hinds when West turned down the role.

    Though for all we know McShane might have been their third choice.

  • I pictured Mance to be younger than McShane though, so I’m quite happy they chose Hinds for the role. So far I’m satisfied with the rest of the new casts, which makes me impatient to see all of them in action.

  • Especially in light of ADWD, I agree that McShane would have been too old for the part. Hinds can play younger than he actually is.

    If McShane had been cast as a Greyjoy, it would have have to have been as Balon. In particular, he would bring too much charm and charisma to any role to be the best Victarion. On the other hand, there’s this red priest whom Victarion meets, and that might be a great role for Ian McShane.

  • I’m glad it’s not McShane. Leaving aside that he’d probably be too old… more importantly, I feel I know how he’d play it. That’s not to say he’d play it badly, but just… I’ve read the books, I know more or less what’s going to happen, I even know quite a few of the lines they’re going to say… I don’t want an actor where I hear the name and think “oh, yes, I know how he’s going to act that”. It’s not like a normal show for me, where the actor reveals the character by doing stuff – here, I know what the stuff is, so the novelty for me is in how the actor actually acts.
    So part of the reason i don’t enjoy Gillen’s littlefinger is that everything he does is exactly what I thought he was going to do the moment I heard he was cast. [But slightly over-done – that’s the other reason].
    By contrast, I really like Dillane’s Stannis – because when i heard he was cast, I knew he had the skills to play the role, but I didn’t know exactly how he was going to play the role. So it’s exciting to watch him find a way.

    Likewise, with Hinds, my head says he can certainly play the role – but I can’t really imagine it. I can’t, for instance, take one of his previous roles, nudge it slightly, and come up with something that fits Mance Rayder. So that makes me excited to see how he does it! Whereas with McShane, I suspect i’d have spent the first scene going ‘oh, yes, that is how he’s playing it!’, and then spent all his other scenes thinking ‘ok, i’ve seen this now, can we have the next guy please?’.

    Of course, there are some casting decisions where you can’t imagine how they play the role and you’re worried rather than excited, because you don’t think they can do it. But in the case of Hinds, I think he’s got all the attributes he needs to play Mance (he’s physically intimidating, he’s commanding, he’s charming, he’s funny)… I just don’t know how exactly he’s going to put those elements together.

  • Mcshane for Mace Tyrell. I’d say he’d be decent for Doran as well but I feel that the producers should use the opportunity of introducing the Dornish to broaden the ethnic diversity of the cast.

  • Impi:
    HouseLark, I am holding out hope for Brendan Gleeson as Mace.:)

    We may at least wish for this, To include Brendan Gleeson in the series would be
    awesome. I hope he is a fan.

  • How about Alfred Molina as Doran? And the guy who played the Captain in Pan’s Labyrinth or Olivier Martinez or Joachim al Meida as Oberyn?

  • ” I’m with Kit, McShane would have made a great Mance. Hopefully David & Dan can cast him in another role down the road. Victarion Greyjoy, perhaps?”

    Lol, no, McShane is a perfect Lord Tarly dude. Just imagine him in the Brienne.

  • As much as I’d like to have McShane on the show. I really want Rufus Sewell as Victarion. And Christopher Eccleston as Euron.

  • Also, Ray Stevenson for Victarion Greyjoy, James Purefoy for Euron. I can imagine them interacting.

  • Nezzer: Agreed. He’d be perfect as Doran.

    I don’t know, i always pictured the dornish as black so hopefully HBO can get some good black actors in the cast. hes too big a name, but laurence fishburne as doran would be incredible

  • milk: I don’t know, i always pictured the dornish as black so hopefully HBO can get some good black actors in the cast.hes too big a name, but laurence fishburne as doran would be incredible

    Agreed, I’ll be really angry if the Martells aren’t portrayed as POC. I pictured them as more Indian than black though. I could see McShane as Mace Tyrell, although I did picture him a bit younger.

  • milk: I don’t know, i always pictured the dornish as black so hopefully HBO can get some good black actors in the cast.hes too big a name, but laurence fishburne as doran would be incredible

    …?
    What if I always pictured the Dornish as one-armed Belgians?

  • I don’t know where people get the notions of the Martells being black. Do you mean Summer Isles black? Because I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that the Martells are either Spanish or Persian if we are to give a real world analog to their ethnicity.

  • I have always pictured McShane as Doran Martell. His age shouldn’t be a factor, he won’t even have to stand.

  • I’d say that the Dorne is most similar to Spain, with the Rhoynish as the equivalent of the Moors. Alfred Molina would be a good choice for Doran if he’s available.

  • John G.,

    Spain indeed. I always pictured the Martells as Castille and Aragon types. Also not to be racist but George wrote the RV as a Latin man, the suaveness, the temper, the perpetuating stereotype. It’s plain if you ask me. Now it’s still possible D and D may go darker to toned for TV!Dorne but I don’t think they will. If they do then I’ll expect a good performance regardless of skin tone.

  • Best Al Swearengen quote ever:

    “Gabriel’s trumpet will produce you from the ass of a pig.”

    And McShane should be Coldhands.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    I don’t know where people get the notions of the Martells being black. Do you mean Summer Isles black? Because I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that the Martells are either Spanish or Persian if we are to give a real world analog to their ethnicity.

    By citing Spainish or Persian, you may also be including Moorish Spain and East
    Africans whom either sailed or taken to Persian lands. Even Asian India wasn’t
    exempt to invasions and assimilation of cultures.

    I like Alfred Molina, he’s incredibly versatile, both he and McShane would be an
    asset to GoT in roles other than the Martells. Has the roles of the Tyrells been cast
    yet ? There were really good suggestions going around, I’m sure they may be
    listed in the Casting Threads. I’ll take a look later. I can’t think of a the name
    of a actor for the portrayal of Lord Manderly ( for future seasons ), but I can con jour
    up an image of him.

    Molina was pretty good in the film version of ” the Tempest “, alongside Helen
    Mirren.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    John G.,

    Spain indeed. I always pictured the Martells as Castille and Aragon types. Also not to be racist but George wrote the RV as a Latin man, the suaveness,the temper, the perpetuating stereotype. It’s plain if you ask me. Now it’s still possible D and D may go darker to toned for TV!Dorne but I don’t think they will. If they do then I’ll expect a good performance regardless of skin tone.

    Ah, I see your point here, sorry I did not read this comment first ):

    I would support McShane portraying anyone but a priest :D

  • WildSeed,

    Never saw “Pillars of the Earth”? Mcshane was terrific as a corrupt catholic bishop. Still though, some of the recommendations for parts he could play have to be in jest. Victarion Greyjoy? A huge hulk of a man that does some very physical shit? Are we throwing out random names now?

    And someone else said Moqorro… A man who’s supposed to be blacker than black? Naw.

    He’d be the perfect Randyll Tarly though. The man can play brutal and unforgiving to be sure.

  • Impi,

    Brendan Gleeson is who I pcitured as Mace when reading too.
    If not Mace Tyrell maybe he could play Jon Connington (greying red hair with leathery skin) or Rolly Duckfield (brawny man with a shaggy beard and shock of orange hair) later…..

  • Ours is the Fury,

    I love both actors but agree…. I’m not sure either is right for Doran.
    At least Molina is 50% Spanish and 50% Italian even though I think of him as more British.

    I like the idea someone suggested of Om Puri or maybe Naseeruddin Shah or Makram Khoury a Doran.

    I do wonder if they will age up any of the Martells like they have aged up many of the roles, but especially Doran or Oberyn…..

  • Impi:
    HouseLark, I am holding out hope for Brendan Gleeson as Mace.:)

    Oh good call. I would kill to have Gleeson in GoT, I can actually see him as a good Victarion, or if he hadn’t already been cast, Tormund.

    To reply to someone else: I don’t picture the Dornish or Martell’s as necessarily black, just not white. Some of this is of course my own reading of the books.

  • darquemode:
    Impi,

    Brendan Gleeson is who I pcitured as Mace when reading too.
    If not Mace Tyrell maybe he could play Jon Connington (greying red hair with leathery skin) or Rolly Duckfield (brawny man with a shaggy beard and shock of orange hair) later…..

    I had pictured John Rhys Davies as Mace… while he’s been in some huge movies (LotR and the Indiana Jones movies), he’s also played in some SyFy channel B movies and a lot of other lower level stuff.

  • hashblower420:
    WildSeed,

    Never saw “Pillars of the Earth”? Mcshane was terrific as a corrupt catholic bishop. Still though, some of the recommendations for parts he could play have to be in jest. Victarion Greyjoy? A huge hulk of a man that does some very physical shit? Are we throwing out random names now?

    And someone else said Moqorro… A man who’s supposed to be blacker than black? Naw.

    He’d be the perfect Randyll Tarly though. The man can play brutal and unforgiving to be sure.

    yes, I did see Pillars of the Earth . Performances by Redwyne , Sewell and others,
    were stellar. In spite of the source material, I just could not accept McShane as a.
    priest . Somehow it reminded me of Edward G. Robinson portraying a righteous
    Jew . I …..just ….can’t…, sorry. In my opinion, he makes for a better Greyjoy
    family elder ( too bad he wasn’t Balon ). I would even go for Euron.

  • I don’t see how McShane is too old for Victarion. He may be 70, but he doesn’t really look it. Plus they cast consistently older in this show. Sean Bean is 53. Lena Headey is 39. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 42. And Patrick Malahide is 67. It’s not completely outlandish that a 70 year old McShane could play his slightly younger brother.

    I mean, look at this picture of Balon and then this recent picture of Ian McShane. Now tell me those two couldn’t play brothers?

    Doran Martell should be an actor of Middle Eastern descent. And someone of McShane’s stature would be wasted in a small role like Mace Tyrell or Randyll Tarly (assuming those roles even make it in the show). Victarion is one of the only roles he could conceivably play.

    (Marwyn the Mage is another potential fit, depending on how large a role he plays in the story down the line.)

    McShane for Victarion in 2013. Get on board!

  • Joshua Taylor:
    WildSeed,

    Check out Molina in ‘Frida’. The man has gravitas.

    And Ian McNiece IS Lord Manderly.

    Tom Wilkinson for Mace Tyrell.

    Tom Wilkinson would push the credibility of GoT and excel at any role, but I won’t
    get my hopes up for his accepting the role. I ‘m aware that he has completed other
    HBO projects ( ie. John Adams miniseries ), but he must be $$$$$.

    Yes, Molina scored high in ” Frida “, I thought he was actually Diego :D

  • NewJeffCT,

    That’s a good very plausible casting for Mace Tyrell! the problem is the character is a pushover so I don’t think their going to portray him close to the book at all. I am hoping he is overshadowed by whoever is playing Randyl Tarley.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    WildSeed,

    Performance by “Redwynne”? Lol I think you meant to say Redmayne? Lol! You know your invested in ASOIAF when….

    I’m surprised I got that right, I usually refer to him as ” one of the Weasley brothers”
    ( Harry Potter )

  • Winter Is Coming:
    I don’t see how McShane is too old for Victarion. He may be 70, but he doesn’t really look it. Plus they cast consistently older in this show. Sean Bean is 53. Lena Headey is 39. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 42. And Patrick Malahide is 67. It’s not completely outlandish that a 70 year old McShane could play his slightly younger brother.

    I mean, look at this picture of Balon and then this recent picture of Ian McShane. Now tell me those two couldn’t play brothers?

    Doran Martell should be an actor of Middle Eastern descent. And someone of McShane’s stature would be wasted in a small role like Mace Tyrell or Randyll Tarly (assuming those roles even make it in the show). Victarion is one of the only roles he could conceivably play.

    (Marwyn the Mage is another potential fit, depending on how large a role he plays in the story down the line.)

    McShane for Victarion in 2013. Get on board!

    Yeah, maybe he’s not too old after all, still, he doesn’t have that smug face that makes me want to punch him that I expect Euron to have. That’s why I think Purefoy would be better as Euron, even if he’s not old enough for the role.

    Ah, and I think Ian McShane has a very Dornish look with that Mediterranean look. I see Dornishmen more like Mediterranean than Middle-Eastern so he’d be perfect as Doran for me.

  • In my opinion, Edward James Olmos would be a great Doran Martell. He has the necessary presence to portray a character who is an important player but gets little “screen” time.

  • Nezzer,

    Yeah, as far as Dornish ethnicity goes, I believe Tyrion described it as something to the effect of Martells being Salty Dornishmen, which are probably spanish-y, then the Sandy Dornishmen being more middle-eastern looking (I’m not sure of any House examples of them), and then the stony dornishmen being white, which I believe would be the Dayne’s and other houses around the border.

    I’ve never seen McShane in anything, but I want James Callis for something. I have no idea what, but I’d like to see him.

  • NewJeffCT,

    I like John Rhys-Davies quite a bit, but he seems to be one of those actors that is always busy with many projects on his table. He may be a bit old too at 68 although HBO is aging most roles up a good deal.

    The other two actors I have thought of for Mace Tyrell are Angus MacFadyen and Ronan Vibert. Angus his that look and feel of Mace, but Ronan has some possible connections since he was Lepidus in Rome cast by Nina Gold….

  • WildSeed,

    He was taking a holiday but he got burnt real bad ;-)

    Apparently no matter how much sunscreen you put on its kind of useless when your covered in oil.

  • Caro H,

    Denis Lawson would join Burn Gorman and Charles Dance as a resident Bleak House veteran. Not mention how much geek cred the show would further gain to have Wedge Antilles AND General Veers!

  • HouseLark:
    Mcshane for Mace Tyrell. I’d say he’d be decent for Doran as well but I feel that the producers should use the opportunity of introducing the Dornish to broaden the ethnic diversity of the cast.

    Only problem is he’s 30 years older than the character. He could have played Mace’s father if he was still alive

  • milk: I don’t know, i always pictured the dornish as black so hopefully HBO can get some good black actors in the cast.hes too big a name, but laurence fishburne as doran would be incredible

    Then why not Eddie Murphy?

  • Having just stumbled on the end of “Jane Eyre” with Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, a woman thought he might be good as Victarion. He could be the youngest brother of Balon Greyjoy, if given a little grey in his hair maybe? He has a similar face shape and a really powerful presence onscreen IMO. Nina Gold cast that series so he is well known to her, a plus. McShane might be a good Connington or one of the heads of the sellsword legions? So many good roles coming up in future seasons too. Can’t wait to see how some of these other roles are cast, it’s going to be fascinating viewing.

  • Mrs. H’ghar,

    Yeah awesome as it may be we are never going to see the Fass on GoT, he’s A List now. He would be an awesome Rhaegar Targaryen though.

    Come to think of it, Tom Hiddlestone resembles Harry Lloyd. He would be a good Rhaegar as well. But he’s too high profile now as well probably.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Yeah awesome as it may be we are never going to see the Fass on GoT, he’s A List now. He would be an awesome Rhaegar Targaryen though.

    Come to think of it, Tom Hiddlestone resembles Harry Lloyd. He would be a good Rhaegar as well. But he’s too high profile now as well probably.

    Ah well, a woman can dream!

  • I’ve always figured the Dornish as Latino, with the Roynish being native american strain, and all the references to heat in the food being the peppers of the area.

  • Tom: Then why not Eddie Murphy?

    Don’t insult ! No one would take comedic actor Murphy as serious here.

    Laurence Fishburne has proven himself as a dramatic actor, possibly a thought
    for one of the roles ( even Doran ). He is an accomplished stage actor as well.
    I thought he did a great job in the role of Othello, alongside Kenneth Branagh.

  • Critical Geek:
    I’ve always figured the Dornish as Latino, with the Roynish being native american strain, and all the references to heat in the food being the peppers of the area.

    Really ?

  • Andrew:
    Nezzer,

    I’ve never seen McShane in anything, but I want James Callis for something. I have no idea what, but I’d like to see him.

    He was who I wanted for Littlefinger. If we were going to put McShane somewhere he would probably make a good Old Griff. Because clearly the two Grayjoys are Pilfory and Stevenson because GOT needs more Rome alums.

    I always saw the Martells as Middle-eastern, to kind of Hispanic, which is always what happens when a person gets described as dusty or dusky.

  • Sean,

    He would have made a very intriguing Littlefinger indeed!

    I’ve thought of maybe fitting McShane in as Old Griff too, but I keep wondering if he is too old for the role. If Connington was a peer and good friend of Rhaegar wd that mean he was a contemporary in age too? If so 40-ish or mid-forties if HBO ages the role up.

    Athough I’m not sure Old Griff has to be a contemporary of Rahegar
    I think McShane may be too old for Connington…. Even if Mcshane is relatively physically fit and maybe can play some younger than his true 70 years….

    I just don’t see too many 60-ish roles left, especially not many meaty roles that would work for someone of McShane’s stature. Victarion as Winter suggested, Doran like some others suggested… and that’s about it. Maybe they could beef up the role of the Kindly Man? I would love to see Maisie Williams opposite McShane for an entire season!

    I recently read McShane was cast in the second season of American Horror Story so I may have to watch that for him!

  • Note on the whole Dornish people being black or brown skinned, GRRM specifically said to a women of color, some actress whose name I can’t recall, “you look like nymeria sand”. So I’d like to see the Martells as POC

  • The Martells feel more middle eastern than Hispanic. The Dornish are descendants of the Rhoynish from Essos who immigrated to southern Westeros. There is a strong parallel to the arrival of the Moors in Spain, down to the description of palaces like Sunspear and the Water Gardens. Those are not white Spaniards, btw, but darker-skinned people.
    Julian Walker,

    It was Janina Gavankar of True Blood.
    http://interracialscentral.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/janina-gavankar.jpg

  • darquemode:
    NewJeffCT,

    The other two actors I have thought of for Mace Tyrell are Angus MacFadyen and Ronan Vibert. Angus his that look and feel of Mace, but Ronan has some possible connections since he was Lepidus in Rome cast by Nina Gold….

    I love these two. Not necessarily for Mace, but I’d really like to see them in GoT. Now that you mentioned it though, I’m starting to see Angus MacFadyen in the part – there is a bit of physical resemblance, if you compare him to Finn Jones & Natalie Dormer.

  • The B of B-town:
    Hopefully Mcshane can some into it at some point, not sure who as….

    He could maybe play the role of Brown Ben Plumm…

    I hope he can as well. However, Brown Ben Plumm is actually…brown, is he not? (as in, dark complected)

  • the goat,

    Hmmm, thinking of Moroccans….
    I was just watching World Without End and enjoying Aure Atika as Queen Isabella. I hadn’t seen her before so I looked her up and she is French / Morrocan via Portugal. She could make a good Ellaria Sand. Has that striking and sensuous look without being the “traditional” beauty much like Ellaria was described.

  • darquemode:
    Impi,

    Brendan Gleeson is who I pcitured as Mace when reading too.
    If not Mace Tyrell maybe he could play Jon Connington (greying red hair with leathery skin) or Rolly Duckfield (brawny man with a shaggy beard and shock of orange hair) later…..

    Rolly Duckfield is supposed to be a young man

  • I mentioned McShane for a role a long time ago here on these comment threads. My pick was Euron Greyjoy. I also thought Brian Cox would be good as Doran Martell. But “Ours is the Fury” reminded me Doran isn’t white. By the way, as for McShane’s age I think he looks younger than the person who played Balon so I still think Euron is a good choice.