Veronique • September 6th, 2022
Behind the Blinds interview

ALL EYES ON YOU

For the past three weeks, Milly Alcock has been winning over the audiences with her nuanced portrayal of young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon – the HBO show which last month made headlines for its record-breaking premiere. For the Australian actress – who prior to getting the part has never seen Game of Thrones, the series that HotD is a prequel to – the biggest surprise was just how straightforward the extravagant show’s arc is. “It’s a story of one family, and how that family has a massive fight which affects the whole kingdom,” says Alcock. “And because they’re in charge, everyone else around them suffers and has an opinion on their actions.” Prior to the show’s big launch, we spoke to Milly about the fascinating nature of Rhaenyra, the euphoria of riding a horse, and wanting to play a valley girl.

House of the Dragon is one of the biggest shows of the year! How did you become a part of this project?

It was a really fast auditioning process. I did a self-tape back in Sydney and the sample scene they gave me was actually from Game of Thrones – I hadn’t seen the show at that point, so I hadn’t actually realized [what I might be auditioning for]. Then, two weeks later, I got a callback, followed by a phone call saying that I got the part two weeks after that. It was just so extremely quick that I didn’t feel like I actually landed the role!

What would you say are the main differences in the storytelling tone between House of the Dragonand Game of Thrones?

I would say that our show is the modern revamp of Game of Thrones – the series has definitely addressed the critiques and didn’t make the same mistakes that the original got scrutinized for, which I think is going to make it more appealing to a wider audience. House of the Dragon explores a broader range of perspectives in terms of themes like sexuality, gender, and race, so it allows everybody to be a part of that world.

Having not seen the original show prior to getting the part, what surprised you the most about this universe?

The fact that despite being very extravagant in its presentation, it’s very simplistic in its themes – it’s a story of one family, and how that family has a massive fight which affects the whole kingdom. And because they’re in charge, everyone else around them suffers and has an opinion on their actions.

In the series, you play Rhaenyra Targaryen – what do you find most fascinating about her as a person?

She is a princess, but she fundamentally doesn’t want to adhere to that role and what she’s expected to do. That’s why she acts out in a lot of ways, and because of her position of privilege, she can get away with a lot more stuff. She comes across as quite arrogant – we meet her when she’s in her early teens, so she’s at that point where she expects the world to owe her something and hasn’t grasped the reality that everybody suffers and that she’s not the only person who’s ever experienced these feelings. She holds a lot of anger in her and we see her work through that anger, but quite publicly, because of her position. But I do really adore her outspokenness and emotional intelligence about people close to her. She’s a lot smarter than she’s made out to be.

What was the wildest skill you got to learn for this role?

I learned how to ride a horse! I’m very grateful that I got to learn that skill – there’s something really fun about horse riding and the freedom that it gives you. Also, I think it helped me tap into Rhaenyra a bit more and tap into her using her dragon – I’m assuming that the feeling of euphoria while riding a horse would be a bit similar to the feeling of riding a dragon, just a thousand times less strong because the dragon would be going so fucking fast! [laughs]

What amazed you the most about the level of production on a series like this?

The craft and attention to detail were insane! For example, with the costumes, everything was handmade and hand-embroidered, so it felt like you were wearing art. Also, just the sheer volume of people that it took to make that job. When you’re working with a 400-person crew every day, it can be quite overwhelming – you can’t help but have the feeling that you’re a part of something that’s larger than you and larger than something you’ll ever be. So there was a bit of pressure within that feeling of ‘all eyes are on you’, but I learned to understand that I had so many people around me whose job was to make sure that I came across the best way that I could in my performance. All of the crew was so incredible – they were so kind and so human, which didn’t feel like it should go together with how big and over-the-top the production was.

Having that incredible experience, what sort of challenges and roles are you hoping to explore now?

I really want to do a play. I think it would be such a great challenge in terms of how you rehearse and the text that you are given, as well as vocally and movement-wise. There’s just something that seems so exciting about that moment of performance living in the space of two hours and being shared exclusively with the audience that’s right in front of you. Also, I would love to do some independent films. I want to play a valley girl…

An A24 valley girl?

Yes! I just want to have fun.

Source: behindtheblinds.be

Welcome to Milly Alcock Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress Milly Alcock. Milly has been in films like "The School" and the short films "The Familiars" and "Furlough". She has also been in TV Shows like "Pine Gap", "Reckoning", "Upright", "The Gloaming" and the upcoming "House of the Dragon". This site is online to show our support to the actress Milly Alcock, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.
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Current Projects

House of the Dragon
Milly as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Young)
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The story of the House Targaryen set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones (2011).