Diana Rigg recalls Lady Olenna: “It was about time that the old bag croaked”


Dame Diana Rigg played Lady Olenna Tyrell for five seasons on Game of Thrones, her memorable run coming to an end in season 7, when she flipped her own death scene and left Jaime Lannister with a serious case of what-am-I-doing-with-my-life. She doesn’t give a lot of interviews about Game of Thrones — when you’ve had the kind of career she’s had, you’re earned the right to pretty much do or not do anything you want — so it was fun to hear her thoughts, however brief, on her character when she spoke to Luxury London about a charity carol concert in which she’s participating.

"I will miss playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, because it was a great part, but all good things come to an end sooner or later, and I think it was about time that the old bag croaked. I’m doing another sort of waspish lady [the Duchess of Buccleuch] in Victoria so I’m carrying on with that particular side of the character in a way."

She talks about Olenna croaking with love, obviously. And it’s true: the Duchess of Buccleuch and Lady Olenna are very much cut from the same cloth:

Game of Thrones seems to have led to an uptick in Rigg’s TV output — before making her debut as Olenna in season 3, she hadn’t appeared on on the small screen since 2006, in an episode of Extras. Afterward, she nabbed roles in Doctor WhoYou, Me and the ApocalypseDetectorists and more. “My highlight of 2017 so far has been the fact that I’ve never stopped working,” she said. “It’s absolutely brilliant; I’m so grateful.”

All that and she’s still doing theater, too — you can see her as Mrs. Higgins in a Broadway production of My Fair Lady next year. And you can head to Luxury London to get her takes on London living, volunteering and the holidays.

Next: John Bradley: Every character is placed 'in a completely alien environment' in season 8

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