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On the heels of Game of Thrones‘ 12 wins — including best drama series — at the 2019 Emmy Awards, nominated actress Carice van Houten (who portrayed Melisandre a.k.a The Red Witch) sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss the final season. During the chat, she revealed a behind-the-scenes secret about the infamous Jon Snow resurrection scene in season six.
Throughout the HBO fantasy saga, van Houten was tasked to speak in the language of High Valyrian, telling In Studio, “It was so hard. I mean, Emilia (Clarke) had it way worse than me, of course, but I remember learning those lines. There’s no reference whatsoever. It’s like, ‘Am I talking Hebrew? Greek? What is this language?’ But it was fun because I also felt like if I made a mistake, nobody will notice.”
She revealed: “The whole revival, the resurrection of Jon Snow, I improvised the shit out of that. Nobody saw it. I mean, I’m sure there’s a few people that said, ‘I knew what you were saying was wrong.’ I’m sorry. But, you know, it was a tricky time. It was a long day, and I just didn’t know my lines.”
The actress went on to discuss what she loved about the controversial series finale, particularly the destruction of the Iron Throne.
“I just love the fact that the whole throne was blown away. The whole thing was gone. I really loved it, and also the randomness of talking about who’s going to be king. The silliness of it was very smart. I thought, ‘This is what life is. Some dumbo can become president,'” she explained.
“That’s the world we live in,” she continued. “We just sort of go, ‘Uh, that guy.’ It was smart that it was just sort of silly. I really liked it, to be honest.”
The actress also talked her new psychological thriller Instinct, from director Halina Reijn, where she plays a prison therapist who falls for a convicted rapist, played by Aladdin actor Marwan Kenzari, and was named the Netherlands selection for the 2020 Academy Awards in the international feature film category.
“It’s about self-destruction. It’s about why do we keep ignoring red flags?” she explained.
Breaking down her character Nicoline, she told THR, “What really drew me in was that she’s not immediately a very sympathetic character. She’s not a happy-go-lucky girl next door, tongue in cheek kind of character that I’ve played in Holland a lot, in fact. But enough people know me from Game of Thrones, but the stuff I’ve done before is much more light, I’d say. She’s not very likable immediately. She has a certain distance about her. She’s very ambition, she’s very serious about her job, and makes decisions that are not always easy to follow.”
“For this film I had to connect to my inner junkie. Because the film, in the end, it’s a very dramatic arena, and it’s, of course, a very extreme affair between a rapist and a psychology.”
Watch more in the video above and head here for more on how Game of Thrones did on Emmys night.
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