Ed Skrein talks about leaving the role of Daario Naharis

Ed Skrein talks about why he walked away from the role of Daario Naharis after playing Daenerys’ paramour in the third season of Game of Thrones.

By this point, most Game of Thrones fans have gotten so used to seeing Michiel Huisman in the role of Daario Naharis (Daenerys Targaryen’s adviser, bodyguard, and part-time lover) that they don’t even call him “Daario 2.0” anymore. However, there was a time not so long ago when Huisman was seen as an interloper, the guy who replaced actor Ed Skrein after Skrein abandoned the role for a shot at movie stardom.

Skrein will soon be headlining The Transporter Refueled, so it seems that his choice to walk away paid off. (Ironically, he’ll be stepping in to a role originated by Transporter franchise mainstay Jason Statham, and so the cycle of life and recasting continues.) The 32-year-old Skrein recently sat down with Digital Spy to discuss his decision to leave HBO’s mega-franchise after its third season.

Daario Naharis

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO

“It wasn’t as straightforward a decision as it’s been made out in the press,” Skrein said. “In a lot of ways I would have loved to have carried on and stayed working on that, because it’s a fantastic TV series.”

Skrein doesn’t actually give many details on why he didn’t carry on with Game of Thrones, but many outlets assume he left specifically so he could become the new face of the Transporter series. Skrein also says that “the most important thing in my life is my family, so each project is important but only to a point.” So maybe Game of Thrones would have forced him to spend too much time away from his wife and son? Or maybe the extra money from starring in a big action movie franchise could help his family prosper? It’s all about reading between the lines here.

Still, Skrein didn’t leave Game of Thrones empty-handed. Apparently, he forged a lasting friendship with Jacob “Grey Worm” Anderson, and he’s at peace with his decision to leave Daario behind. “I never really look back,” he said, “so if I do look back, I look back with such fondness and great memories of working with an incredible team.”

I feel like this is basically another way of saying “If I look back, I am lost,” one of Daenerys’ favorite aphorisms from A Dance with Dragons. If anything, that kind of coincidence makes it seem like Skrein would have been the perfect long-term Daario, but there’s no use wondering about it now.

Finally, Skrein admitted that he hasn’t been keeping up with the series—he’s on a movie star’s schedule now—but he plans to buy the complete boxset and binge the show after it concludes. Then he’ll be sorry he left. THEN HE’LL BE SORRY.

Next: 20 books to read while you wait for The Winds of Winter

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