“House of the Dragon” star Emma D’Arcy said they felt “conflicted” about Rhaenyra being recast.
In the latest episode, D’Arcy takes over the role from Milly Alcock after a 10-year time jump.
D’Arcy told the Independent that they’re “well aware” of fans’ love for Alcock as Rhaenyra.
“House of the Dragon” star Emma D’Arcy said that they felt “conflicted” about their first appearance in the show following a time-jump recasting.
In the first five episodes of the “Game of Thrones” prequel, the role of Rhaenyra Targaryen was played by 22-year-old Australian actress Milly Alcock. Alcock quickly became a fan favorite but, after a time jump in the latest episode, the actor is replaced by D’Arcy, 30, to portray an older version of Rhaenyra.
In a new interview with the Independent, the “House of the Dragon” star reflected on seeing fans mourn Alcock leaving the series.
“It’s complicated, isn’t it?” D’Arcy said. “It’s a difficult point at which to meet an audience. They only get me when they lose Milly, so they meet me in a place of grief, of losing someone they just spent five hours with. I’m… I’m well aware of that.”
D’Arcy added that they spoke about it to their costar Matt Smith, who also had to follow a fan favorite actor when he took the lead in “Doctor Who” after David Tennant’s time as the Doctor.
“I had a nice chat with Matt the other day, and he said it’s like the ‘Doctor Who’ curse. You’ve got to regenerate,” they explained. “And yeah, unfortunately, Rhaenyra is going to completely change body and face in a couple of hours.”
In a previous interview, Smith, who plays Rhaenyra’s uncle Daemon, praised the performance of the younger stars in the show.
Alicent Hightower and twins Laenor and Laena Valeryon were also played by child actors before being recast in episode six.
“A lot of the young actors in it are going to emerge as stars I think,” Smith said during a roundtable interview, which Insider attended, ahead of the series premiere of “House of the Dragon.”
During an interview with Nylon Magazine earlier this month, Alcock said that she is still getting used to her newfound fame.
“It just makes me incredibly anxious. Me seeing my face constantly is straining,” Alcock said. “No one should have to do that. It fuckin’ sucks, man. I don’t know how the socialites of the world can do that. It’s kind of driving me off the wall. It’s an incredibly difficult space to navigate.”
The actor explained that her friends and family are not celebrities so she doesn’t really have many people to talk to in her life. She also said that she found filming the show “intimidating” because she had never done something on the scale of “House of the Dragon.”
“You quickly adapt and it all becomes quite normal,” Alcock said. “But the first two, three months I just thought I was going to get fired constantly. It was incredibly intimidating.”
New episodes of “House of the Dragon” air Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.
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