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Artikel

Game of Thrones interviews

4. december 2019 af Jesper Rosenberg Antonsen Skriv en kommentar

Game of Thrones interviews billede

Helt eksklusivt for Danmark har CinemaOnline fået tilsendt dette interview med John Bradley og Hannah Murray - kendt som Samwell Tarly og Gilly i Game of Thrones.


Interviewet er på engelsk - men vi tænkte, at det ikke skulle afholde os fra at bringe det:

Both John Bradley and Hannah Murray – two much loved cast regulars – admit that it will take a long time to accept that Game of Thrones is finally over.

Being part of a ground-breaking TV series that has been on air for almost a decade – adored by countless millions around the world and showered with awards and critical acclaim – has been an extraordinary experience both professionally and personally.

“We’re still doing a lot of press interviews for the show and it kind of feels like it’s still going on,” says Ms Murray who plays Gilly. “It’s like ‘oh, we’ll just go back next year and do it again.’ I think it’s going to take a while to sink in that it’s finally over.”

Bradley points out, too, that not only has it been an extremely rewarding artistically, the show has introduced him to people who, he hopes, will be friends for life.

And he hopes that those friendships will continue to flourish even though they no longer have a new season of Game of Thrones to look forward to each year.

“I can remember Kit (Harington who plays Jon Snow) saying something to me – and Kit is quite capable of having quite intense conversations late at night – and he said ‘all along during our friendship there has been excuse for us to meet, we would always get back together because of work on Game of Thrones. But when Thrones ends that’s when we have to really put effort into this friendship and see how much we want to keep this friendship going because it’s been taken out of our hands.’

“And I think that’s true. And I think that the friendships I’ve made personally are strong enough to survive the reason for us getting together not being there anymore.

“But there was a comfort in knowing that if you are on some job that you are not particularly enjoying or you are doing something in some part of the world and you are getting a bit Throne-sick you could think to yourself ‘well, at least I’ll be back with Kit and Hannah soon, back with David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss, showrunners) and there will be that comfort blanket there and I’ll be back in a working environment that I’m familiar with and comfortable with.’ But now that’s gone I do feel a bit bereft of it.”

Both Bradley and Ms Murray are convinced that the final season of Game of Thrones lives up to the incredibly high standards of what went before.

“As a show we’ve always challenged audiences and we’ve never spoon fed them anything. We know that the best and most memorable ‘never believe that they wanted to happen – (the death of) Ned Stark (Sean Bean), the Red Wedding all of those things,” says Bradley.

“And of course we don’t want those things to happen, we wanted Ned Stark to stay alive until the end, we wanted Catelyn (Stark played by Michelle Fairley) to stay alive, we wanted Pedro (Pascal who played Oberyn Martell) to be in it all of the time please.

“And then something happens and it’s like ‘no!’ But if you think about how the show has made you feel, you need that and that’s what has made this show such a success because it provokes such a visceral reaction from the audience. And it continues to do that with the final season – we’re never going to make it easy for people.”

Along with every other cast regular, Bradley and Ms Murray were presented with a framed storyboard – a drawn sequence featuring key scenes with their character – from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss as a farewell present after they had wrapped on the show for the final time.

“Yes, my storyboard was the White Walker attack from season three, which was such an amazing sequence that we were really proud of so that meant a lot,” says the actress.

“Dan and David gave me the storyboard and then they gave this speech which was really personal and really heartfelt and the things they said had been written out on the back of the frame.”

Bradley adds: “My storyboard was the same one. And that’s something that I will cherish. It’s tricky though, because Dan and David have written on the back of it and so when you hang it up it means you can never see what they’ve written. But that was such a thoughtful thing for them to do.

“They gave such a personal speech too and it wasn’t like a template with ‘insert compliment here’ and ‘insert inspirational moving quote here’ – they really tailored it to all of us and made us all feel very special in that moment.

“And the thing about David and Dan is that they have always made people feel valued and they have made it feel like a collaboration from day one and they did that right until the last second. They made people feel integral to everything.”
Bradley was born in Manchester, England and won the role of Sam Tarly whilst still studying at the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre. His other TV credits include Borgia, Shameless, Merlin, The Last Dragonslayer, CelebriD&D and Conan. His films include Traders, Caesar, American Satan and Patient Zero.

Ms Murray was born in Bristol, England and studied English at Cambridge University. Her TV credits include Marple, Above Suspicion and Skins. Her films include Chatroom, Dark Shadows, The Numbers Station, God Help the Girl, Bridgend, Lily & Kat, The Chosen, Detroit and Charlie Says.

Q&A follows:

Q: How does it feel now that Game of Thrones is over?

HM: Actually, we’re still doing a lot of press interviews for the show and it kind of feels like it’s still going on. It’s like ‘oh, we’ll just go back next year and do it again.’ I think it’s going to take a while to sink in that it’s finally over.

JB: And for us on a personal level as long as there are opportunities to see each other en masse as a group – like when we get together to do interviews – that keeps the feeling alive. And people really commit to things like this because they know that those opportunities to get us all together are going to be few and far between. I can remember Kit (Harington) saying something to me – and Kit is quite capable of having quite intense conversations late at night – and he said ‘all along during our friendship there has been excuse for us to meet, we would always get back together because of work on Game of Thrones. But when Thrones ends that’s when we have to really put effort into this friendship and see how much we want to keep this friendship going because it’s been taken out of our hands.’ And I think that’s true. And I think that the friendships I’ve made personally are strong enough to survive the reason for us getting together not being there anymore. But there was a comfort in knowing that if you are on some job that you are not particularly enjoying or you are doing something in some part of the world and you are getting a bit Throne-sick you could think to yourself ‘well, at least I’ll be back with Kit and Hannah soon, back with David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss, showrunners) and there will be that comfort blanket there and I’ll be back in a working environment that I’m familiar with and comfortable with.’ But now that’s gone I do feel a bit bereft of it.

Q: Let’s take you back to the beginning before we talk about the end. Can you remember your first day on set for Game of Thrones?

HM: Yes I remember I arrived in Belfast and I had a rehearsal with John – that was the first time I met him. And then me, John and Kit went out to dinner and that was really nice and then I had drinks with Joe Dempsie because we were already friends and we’d worked together on my first job (the British TV show Skins). And so that was really nice because it was like, ‘I’ve already got a mate here in Belfast..’ And then my first day on set I think we were shooting the scene in season two with Ghost (Jon Snow’s direwolf) where he comes and sniffs at me and I’ve got a squirrel and I’m scared and Jon comes over and sends him away. And it was the first time I’d really done green screen and that was a little disorientating to have this ball on a stick as a fake dog (laughs). And I remember being really surprised that Dave (Benioiff) and Dan (Weiss) were there because I’d met them at my audition and they were like these fancy Americans and I thought ‘oh, I’ll never see them again – they’ll be back in Hollywood’ and they were there and they were really friendly and really great and I realised how dedicated they were to the show. And they were there every day going forth. I remember the rehearsal I had with John was really wonderful. It was my first night in Belfast and we worked on a scene and we had this beautiful note from our director who said ‘your characters are like two birds with broken wings and when you come together it’s the first time you realise you might be able to fly..’

Q: What were you expectations at that point? Did you wonder how long you would be in the show?

HM: I think it’s rare for a lot of TV series to go for more than one season and when I was offered the part I was told that it was a couple of episodes in season two and then a bigger role in season three but no one said anything beyond three. I wasn’t even thinking of three necessarily – I was thinking, ‘I’ll go and film for this period of time and then I’ll go and do other things.’ So it was a fun thing to go and dip my toe into and I didn't really realise what a big part of my life it would become.

JB: I can remember my first day – it was a long time ago, back in August 2010. It was my first day on the show and also my first day working on a film set and I just remember being overwhelmed by the scale of things. I didn’t even know the way television worked. I trained at a very theatre based drama school that taught you how to be a theatre actor but I think we did about three hours of camera training across three years of overall training. So my fourth hour in front of a camera was my first hour on Game of Thrones. I remember how many people were there and how immersive the set was, the production values and then just thinking, ‘so what do I do now?’ There was a real sense of uncertainty about it. It was like, ‘I’ve auditioned and they know I can do that and they’ve trusted me to play this part, so do I just act like I acted at drama school?’ The last thing I’d acted in was my final third year show at drama school in front of a hundred people. It was like, ‘is it the same as that? Or do I do something different? I hope I don’t let them down..’ When I first went on to that set I thought ‘there are a lot of people here who are working at an incredibly high level. I just hope I can hold my own in this.’ Because when those cameras rolled there was no indication that I was going to be able to do it. And the day was so long – I had no indication of how long that day would be – and it felt like being thrown in at the deep end. It was my first day on this huge thing and you are aware of the faith that David and Dan had put in you ad thinking ‘well, I have to re-pay it when the camera rolls.’ And that moment, I think for me, was when acting very suddenly had to change and my relationship with it had to change. I was suddenly acting for different reasons. I was acting to make a living, first and foremost, but also the stakes just got so much higher and I felt that – I felt a real uncertainty that the reasons I had to say those lines was different to when I was doing it just a couple of months before. And that got better over time but at the beginning it was an uncertain time.

Q: So to bookend that let’s talk about your final day. Did you get a framed storyboard as a memento?

HM: Yes, my storyboard was the White Walker attack from season three, which was such an amazing sequence that we were really proud of so that meant a lot. Dan and David gave me the storyboard and then they gave this speech, which was really personal and really heartfelt, and the things they said had been written out on the back of the frame.

Q: That will be getting a special place in your house…

HM: It’s actually at my parent’s house because I live in LA now and all my stuff is in storage. They were just so lovely and they made it feel very special and meaningful and everything that they said meant a lot to me. I remember I didn’t really want to take my wig off..

Q: Why? Because that would mean you finally said goodbye to the character?

HM: Yes. I remember in the morning when I had my wig put on, I said to Laura, who did my hair, ‘this is the last time’ and she said, ‘don’t say that!’ She didn’t want to think about it because it was the end of it all for the crew, too. There were so many different goodbyes and I think for the crew every time an actor would wrap it was another marker and they knew they were getting closer to the end. And then a couple of months later I had to fly back to Belfast for a photo shoot and I got to put the wig back on (laughs). But at the time I remember really trying to slow down that process of it being the end of the day and the end of Game of Thrones for me. And finally, going back to the hotel and it was very surreal.

JB: My storyboard was the same one. And that’s something that I will cherish. It’s tricky though, because Dan and David have written on the back of it and so when you hang it up it means you can never see what they’ve written (laughs). But that was such a thoughtful thing for them to do. They gave such a personal speech too and it wasn’t like a template with ‘insert compliment here’ and ‘insert inspirational moving quote here’ – they really tailored it to all of us and made us all feel very special in that moment. And the thing about David and Dan is that they have always made people feel valued and they have made it feel like a collaboration from day one and they did that right until the last second. They made people feel integral to everything. I have been out with David and Dan before and socially they are incredibly generous and giving, not only with bills and things, but also with their time and they make friends with everybody. And I’ve been out with them and the whole crew can be out some nights – second Ads (assistant directors), a couple of actors, hair, make up, a whole group of us from the show – and somebody will talk to David or Dan and say ‘what do you do?’ And they would always say ‘we work together..’ And I think that’s what they made it feel like. They are very aware that everybody plays their part and plays it to the absolute best of their ability all of the time – everyone is so committed to it – and they created this family atmosphere with God knows how many hundreds of people.

Q: What do you think the audience will make of the final season?

HM: It’s going to be huge. I think the reactions are going to be immense.

JB: I think they will be too.

HM: I’m really excited for the world to see it and I can’t wait to see it because I want to watch all the bits that I wasn’t involved in. I can’t wait to be able to talk about it with people.

Q: It’s a show that has delivered huge shocks and surprises down the years. Can’t we expect more shocks in the final season?

JB: Absolutely. As a show we’ve always challenged audiences and we’ve never spoon fed them anything. We know that the best and most memorable ‘never believe that they wanted to happen – (the death of) Ned Stake, the Red Wedding all of those things. And of course we don’t want those things to happen, we wanted Ned Stark to stay alive until the end, we wanted Catelyn (Stark played by Michelle Fairley) to stay alive, we wanted Pedro (Pascal who played Oberyn Martell) to be in it all of the time please (laughs) and then something happens and it’s like ‘no!’ But if you think about how the show has made you feel, you need that and that’s what has made this show such a success because it provokes such a visceral reaction from the audience. And it continues to do that with the final season – we’re never going to make it easy for people.

Q: Does that include the ending of the whole series? George Martin described it as ‘bittersweet’ so how would you describe it?

JB: When I read the ending for the first time it was just an enormous sense of relief for me that we weren’t going to be one of those shows that suddenly goes massively of course or becomes tonally different at the very end and lets people down. It stays true to the ethos of the show and the ethos of the books and the ethos of the story right until the last seconds.

Q: Do people ask you about the show and want to know what happens?

HM: Not really. I actually get the opposite and people say ‘please don’t tell me what happens..’

JB: And I think if you were to simply tell people the ending and say, ‘OK, it ends this way..’ it wouldn’t do it justice really because over those six episodes in the final season everything happens to make that the most appropriate ending. The thing about the final season is that we have always given the audience things at the appropriate time and we have never rushed anything. And what makes all these battles so important is that they are the consequence of everything that has led up to them – it’s not a battle for the sake of a battle just to be cinematic, it’s the climax of everything that has led up to it and the political machinations and the dynamics of the characters involved. We have never done anything gratuitously and I think to try and explain the ending in isolation wouldn’t do it justice.






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