Much of the world still may be at a standstill due to the coronavirus, but for many Game of Thrones veterans, the work continues. Let’s check in with a few of them.
First up, Emilia Clarke, the Mother of Dragons herself, appears in the trailer for Murder Manual, a horror anthology film that brought together a bunch of different directors to create eight vignettes. Clarke is part of an ensemble here, but the trailer puts her front and center, because if you had Emilia Clarke in your movie, wouldn’t you?
Clarke plays a character named Malu. She escapes an abusive family situation, which is great, but wherever she ends up doesn’t look that much better.
How will all the vignettes link up? You can find out by streaming Murder Manual now on Amazon; it’ll be coming to every major TV-on-Demand platform in the coming months.
Next up, did you know that Jacob Anderson, best known for playing Grey Worm on Game of Thrones, has a musical career under the name Raleigh Ritchie? Don’t believe me, just watch his latest music video:
Sometimes actors get into the music business and you’re like eeeeehhhhh, but I really like Anderson’s take on R&B…or at least I think it’s R&B. Anyway, I’m glad to hear that he’s signed on with Alacran Records to release his new album, Andy, this month. And he signed up alongside Ky-Mani Marley, son of the famed reggae artist Bob Marley. Not bad company there.
“I write songs for myself, to get things off my chest and process my emotions but then I release them and I don’t own them anymore; they belong to other people,” Anderson said in a statement. “I hope there is someone who listens to it and hears themselves in [the album]. I hope that makes them feel less lonely.” We’ll find out soon.
Finally, Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) talked to Collider about her role on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, where she plays the vengeful demoness Magda, who’s trying to stir humanity to chaos in the years before the outbreak of World War II. Obviously, she has some success there.
“It’s set in ‘38, but it’s about now, completely, with people’s obsession with identity, rejection of the other, people pitted against each other, belief systems and values, and manipulation of people through propaganda,” Dormer said of the show. “Back then, it was the radio, and now it’s social media. It’s terrifying. You don’t have to dig very deep. The parallels are very pertinent. And thematically it’s one of the reasons that I wanted to take the job. I agree with the points that [creator John Logan] is making. We all need to think about it a bit more ‘cause history repeats itself. I’ve been coming to L.A. for 15 years and, learning about the origins of the city, it really is incredible. I think people will be entertained factually and it’s a feast for the eyes, and then you add the supernatural and the whodunit element for the murder case that opens up, and it wets the appetites in different areas. Collectively, it’s a whirlwind ride.”
John talks about how Magda, at a fundamental level, is a metaphor for the darkness in people’s hearts, when we make the lazy or selfish choice, out of trying to protect, or out of fear, or out of pain, or out anger. There’s a philosophical question at the center, that ties the two Penny Dreadfuls together. John is quite pensive, in that way. There’s a moral philosophical question about what it is to be human, at the center of Penny Dreadful, and that’s his throughline. That’s him, as a writer.
The other Penny Dreadful she’s talking about is the one that ran on Showtime for three seasons a couple years back. That one was all about Victorian London, with Eva Green as the haunted Vanessa Ives at its center. But this is a whole new ballgame.
For Dormer, one of the most interesting parts is that she gets to play multiple characters, all of whom are trying to convince various people to give into their worse impulses. “They were looking for an actor that could do it ‘cause it’s a pretty tall order,” she said. “It’s different physicalities, different accents, and different characterizations, even though it’s all Magda and Magda’s overall plan, whatever that is, ‘cause only Mr. Logan knows.”
We know that she’s the sister of Santa Muerte, and we know that there’s some great rift between them, which no doubt will be explained ,as we go forward. The show works exceedingly well, just as a historical drama. it could work. It’s like Chinatown meets all of these different things. The show would work without Magda. It would just be different beast. The supernatural helps you, in a genre way, because you can use it as a metaphor and a catalyst to up the stakes very quickly, but why exactly he chose this version of it and why he created Magda to counterbalance Santa Muerte, I don’t know the answer to that question.
Hopefully some things will become more clear as we near the finale. In the meantime, watching Dormer transform herself to play several very different characters is a real treat.