House of the Dragon star Olivia Cooke hated her 'stunning' meme 'for a very long time'

In 2022, for some reason, Olivia Cooke's reaction to Emma D'Arcy revealing their drink of choice went mega-viral online. Now that House of the Dragon is returning, Cooke tells us how she really feels about it.
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rokh H&M Collaboration Event In London / Dave Benett/GettyImages

In 2022, HBO debuted its Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, and it was a smashing hit. It brought back all the juicy drama people loved from Game of Thrones, with a new set of characters and a lot more dragons.

But if we're being honest, the most popular thing to come out of the first season of House of the Dragon may have been a viral moment shared between stars Emma D'Arcy (Rhaenyra Targaryen) and Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower) during an interview. Reading from a card, Cooke asked D'Arcy to name her drink of choice. D'Arcy chose a Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it. "Oh, stunning," Cooke responded. And for whatever reason, the internet went absolutely wild over this.

D'Arcy didn't quite know what to make of the reaction online. "I don't have anything illuminating to say on it because it's very hard to know how to react when you become a meme," they told Entertainment Weekly.

Cooke, on the other hand, knew exactly how she felt: "I did hate it for a very long time. I was in the pub. A woman opened the door for me and she said with a thick Spanish accent, 'Stunnin'!' I was just like, 'Oh my God. Over a decade's worth of work reduced to a single word in my lexicon."

EW does say that Cooke and D'Arcy now "appreciate all that response to a seemingly innocuous moment." But I don't know, Cooke still sounds a little ticked off. The reaction may even have gotten her to swear off posting on TikTok, where the meme spread like wildfire. "I refuse to do it," she said. "It's just sad how you work for eight months and it f---ing gets reduced to a f---ing TikTok, and that makes me sad." She still uses TikTok, mind you; during the chess-themed photoshoot for EW, D'Arcy and Cooke were cracking up about living out a TikTok trend where people recreate the life-size chess scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She has a complicated relationship with the platform, you could say.

Olivia Cooke needs a new plan for House of the Dragon season 3, "if there's a season 3"

With that viral moment behind them, Cooke and D'Arcy are off to create a bunch of new ones in the second season of House of the Dragon, which premieres on HBO and Max on Sunday, June 16. They'll have more chances this time. In season 1, they only came in at the halfway mark, replacing younger actors as the characters aged. In season 2, they play Alicent and Rhaenyra for all eight episodes. "It was so exhausting, but also nice," D'Arcy said.

Once again, Cooke takes a bit of a harder tack. "Oh my God, by the end of season 2, I was a f---ing shell of myself. I was a husk. I could not form a sentence. I was so tired. I need to implement some way of getting through season 3, if there's a season 3, to really harness as much energy as possible. It is a behemoth."

Whether there's a season 3 may depend on how season 2 does. We'll be watching.

Next. Watch a brand new trailer for House of the Dragon season 2!. Watch a brand new trailer for House of the Dragon season 2!. dark

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