I have fallen way behind in introducing you to the many of the wonderful actors and actresses that have been cast recently for HBO’s GAME OF THRONES. They’re hiring them faster than I can write about ’em.
There’s too many for me to catch up in one swell foop, but let me mention a few.
Playing Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, will be the distinguished British star of stage and screen CHARLES DANCE, O.B.E., who has been our dream casting for this role since the moment we were greenlighted.
Dance was one of the fan favorites for Lord Tywin as well, so he needs no introduction for many of you, I know. For the rest… he has been acting professionally since 1974, but the role that really brought him to widespead attention was Guy Perron in THE JEWEL AND THE CROWN, in 1984. You’ve seen him in GOLDENEYE, GOSFORD PARK, as Mr. Tulkinghorn in BLEAK HOUSE, and a million other films and television shows. You will shortly be seeing him YOUR HIGHNESS, the film that preceded our pilot in Belfast’s Paint Hall. His commanding screen presence and steely charisma should make him the perfect Lord Tywin.
The more feared of the many Lannister knights is the huge, brutal Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides. I did not exactly make it easy for David and Dan and our casting director Nina Gold when I described Gregor as being almost eight feet tall, but they came through as always when they filled the role with Conan… no, not Jason Momoa, and not the Governator either (way too old, way too small, and not a good enough actor), but Australian actor, bodybuilder, and stunt man CONAN STEVENS.
Stevens is actually about ten inches shorter than the Mountain… but still a good half foot taller than Rory McCann, who will be playing his “little brother” Sandor Clegane. He first came to our attention when he read for the part of Khal Drogo. He was not right for that role, but he’s perfect for this one, with the acting chops to go with the great physicality he brings to Gregor.
Stevens has his own website at http://www.conanstevens.com/ and is also a blogger. At last report, he was already in Belfast, being fitted for his armor and meeting the other members of the cast. You can read more about that on his blog. He seems to be an amiable fellow, from what he writes, not at all like Ser Gregor. But on screen he’s very different, and I can’t wait to see the Mountain and the Hound square off at the Hand’s tourney.
And to round out the gang from the westerlands, we’ve tapped another talented young English actor, EUGENE SIMON, to play the role of Lancel Lannister, King Robert’s squire, eldest son of Ser Kevan Lannister, cousin to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion.
Simon made his acting debut in 2003 in MY DAD’S THE PRIME MINISTER. He has also played Young Ben-Hur in the recent remake of BEN-HUR and Young Casanova in CASANOVA, and co-starred as Gerald Durrell in MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, where he shared the screen with the lovely Tamzin Merchant. Like Conan Stevens, Simon initially read for another role, one that went to someone else, but he impressed David and David (and me, FWIW) so much that we knew we’d found our Lancel.
(For those of you keeping score, no, we won’t be casting Robert’s younger squire, Tyrek “Wet-Nurse” Lannister, at least not for season one. We may be able to bring him in for season two. Assuming we get one, of course).
Three more great choices, I think. I’m a happy camper.
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