Game of Thrones Interview Season 1

Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon) “feels sorry” for new Game of Thrones cast members

When it comes to actors who have ridden the popularity of Game of Thrones to increased celebrity, Mark Addy just missed the boat. As King Robert Baratheon, he had a crucial role in Game of Thrones Season 1, but it wasn’t as crucial as Sean Bean’s role, and King Robert died before the show transformed from cult hit into global phenomenon.*

And apparently, that’s the way Addy prefers it. Speaking on British daytime program This Morning, the actor said he was to glad to be on the show before it became a monster hit. “From our perspective I feel sorry for the guys going into the show now; there’s a huge expectation. For us there was none really…”

It’s hard to imagine a time when Game of Thrones wasn’t scrutinized from every which way, but Addy recalls when “nobody knew the books, over here anyway, it was very limited fan-base. And you couldn’t have expected [the reaction].” Must’ve taken the pressure off. Still, Addy praised the network for taking a chance on the show. “HBO took a gamble, and said ‘we can create this fantasy world.’ And they did a great job of it.”

It does pay to remember how ludicrous the idea of a Song of Ice and Fire TV series probably sounded back in 2010. There had been live-action high fantasy shows before, but they often involved a lot of camp, and weren’t taken too seriously (think XenaMerlin, and Legend of the Seeker). Looking back, HBO’s innovation was to make a high fantasy show that was also a prestige series, and it’s been reaping the benefits for years.

Addy also discussed his role on Jericho, a new series airing on ITV in Britain. Set in a fictional shanty town in the 1870s, Addy plays a detective brought in to investigate a murder near the construction site of a railway viaduct. Addy described Bamford, his character:

He’s an ex-navvy himself, who’s kind of gone over to the dark side. There’s more money to be made grassing up the people who are not doing their job properly than there is being a navvy. He’s an opportunist, he’s well dressed he’s got money and he’s going to get to the bottom of it.

Check out the trailer for Jericho below.

*In a way, Addy and Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen) paved the way for the actors who came after them. Their onscreen deaths were big deals for people watching at the time, but they happened before the show had taught viewers to expect major character deaths every season.

7 Comments

  • So far, Benioff and Weiss have been able to cast the right actors for the right roles. The actors should not feel any extra pressure even the show is much bigger now.

    HBO is also very smart to minimize the fantasy part in season 1, until the last episode when the dragons are born. I don’t feel I was watching a fantasy show for the first 2 seasons.

    • Your not wrong, George downplays the fantasy in his novels as often as possible. He’s always said too much magic can kill a fantasy series. Then HBO stepped in and downplayed it even further for both writing and budgetary reasons, with a couple exceptions.

      GoT or otherwise, the only time that fantasy in film or television has bothered me is through bad CGI. The only genuinely questionable CGI on GoT was during Dany’s “the Neverending Story” moment riding Drogon, the change from Drogon’s signature dark soundtrack to one more uplifting didn’t exactly help either. That scene should have been equal parts terrifying and awe inspiring, or that’s how I would have portrayed it.

      When both Dany and Drogon were CGI it looked good but when they superimposed Dany onto Drogon it got weird. It really sapped the dramatic tension out of the moment. Although as an exception, the scene where Dany dismounted Drogon looked decent, imho.

      If the show learns from that and tries to keep dragon riding filmed at a distance or obscures the cameras view regarding particular aspects of it with fire, smoke, snow or distance they should do fine. The dragons themselves have always looked consistently good and at times quite phenomenal prior to that.

      • “‘Never-Ending Story’ moment,” thank you. For me, Drogon landing in the pits was such an amazing scene, then that happened.
        I suppose some people really enjoyed it though, so oh well.

  • I’ve never even seen The Never-Ending Story – only stills of the kid riding the Flying Bath Mat – and yet I was still immediately reminded of that scene when Dany flew away on Drogon. It looked cheesy.

  • the show definitely played smart and downplayed the fantasy elements in such a way that they appear a kind of deux ex machina instead of the subtle force gaining momentum like grrm conceived. grrm introduced magic in such a way that instead of being other-worldly wonder or terror inducing creations, they were almost a phenomenal but natural extension of the fantasy.almost if suddenly fossil dinosaurs came back to life!! or dodos started appearing on the horizon etc .the show is an american one after all, and most american audience are receptive to the “game” of politics and hence, lannisters are the show favorites and not the magic-bonded starks. global or no they are and will retain the political feel of the show and not like martin whose intents are much more grand than petty trp squabble.i guess that is why he is not worried because he knows no matter what the show does, it cannot compete with what he will write in a much better scale, and hence, won’t “spoil” his books