Carice van Houten (Melisandre) felt “smaller” as Game of Thrones grew


Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten remembers what it was like to watch the show explode in popularity and influence from the inside.

Carice van Houten played the Red Woman Melisandre for seven seasons on Game of Thrones, going out with a bang in “The Long Night.” She was at the center of one of the biggest show on TV for the better part of a decade, but to hear her tell the story, it didn’t feel that way.

“It was so epic that, for a long time, I wasn’t really aware of it being that epic,” van Houten recently told Collider. “I just was doing my job and having fun with my colleagues, being in this weird fantasy series that was really well-written and really new and cool. Only towards the end did I feel like it was really taking over the world and that the expectations were becoming so crazy and high.”

"It became bigger, bigger, bigger, and bigger, and I felt a bit smaller and smaller and smaller, even though people knew me more. It has definitely done good for my career, but creatively, after a certain amount of years, I just felt like I needed to go in a different direction. I loved playing her and I loved being on that show. It definitely has opened a lot of doors for me, that would probably not have been opened before or after, if I hadn’t done it."

Van Houten had a career before Game of Thrones, of course, but the show has indeed led to some big things for her. She opened up her own production company and created a TV show called Red Light, and is now starring in The Affair, where she plays a woman in 1930s Czechoslovakia who gets involved with her longtime friend Liesel (Hanna Alström).

The movie involves van Houten having to wear makeup that makes her look like an old woman. At first, the producers wanted to hire a different actor to play the older version of the character, but van Houten would only take the role if she got to do it. I imagine she could break out Melisandre’s necklace scene as proof that it could work?

As for Game of Thrones growing to the point that van Houten felt “smaller,” I think it tracks. The show turned into such a phenomenon towards the end that I think it’d be hard for anyone working on it not to feel like they were a small piece of something much larger, especially when it started as something comparatively small and makeshift.

And van Houten’s talent still shone through as bright as ever. Whatever she does from now on, she can be proud of the work she did on Game of Thrones.

Next. Sophie Turner stars in Fortnite ad, and other Game of Thrones stuff. dark

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