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 "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.

Harper’s Bazaar Australia

Mad about Milly

Milly Alcock thought her starring role in Tim Minchin’s comedy hit ‘Upright’ was her big break. Then, the producers of Game of Thrones called. As the dust settles on her career-making turn in ‘House of the Dragon‘, the 22-year-old Aussie is still adjusting to her new life as a megastar.

Words by GRACE O’NEILL; Photographed by BRYAN LISTON; Styled by CATHY KASTERINE

SOMETIMES those huge, life-altering moments arrive with a bang — big, bright and brilliant. But more often than not they’re quiet and understated, and only in retrospect can you appreciate just how significant they were. For Milly Alcock, the biggest moment of her career fell in the latter camp. “I was at my friend’s house cooking dinner when I got the call,” she says. “I went outside and silently screamed, then came back inside and asked my friend if he had a bottle of wine. And we drank wine. And that was about it.” It was the call a thousand actors would have killed for: the lead role in House of the Dragon, HBO’s ludicrously anticipated Game of Thrones prequel. The 10-episode series had a budget of about $US200 million and would see Alcock star alongside British acting heavyweights Rhys Ifans, Paddy Considine and The Crown’s Matt Smith. The 22-year-old Sydney-born Alcock not only held her own as the young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (think of her as Khaleesi, half a millennia beforehand), she shimmered off the screen like a white-haired supernova.

I imagine the casting process for a project of that scale required a marathon-like endurance — flights across the world, several terrifying auditions. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. “It was actually the quickest audition process I’ve ever done to book a job,” Alcock says. We’re speaking in London, where she is now based, in an airy studio in the city’s trendy East. As we break for lunch, the petite starlet slips out of new-season Celine, Miu Miu and Chanel, and into a quintessentially Aussie-in-London look: big men’s shirt over a tee over a long-sleeved thermal (“Whatever I wear here it’s never warm enough,” Alcock says with a laugh). As it turns out, the process of landing one of the most coveted roles on TV was shockingly low-key. This was in part because casting happened in 2020, when in-person auditions weren’t possible. Alcock sent in two self-tapes and got the call a few weeks later. No follow-up interviews, no terrifying interrogations with executives, just a straight up “Yes”. “I think that’s what made the whole process really frightening, because in some ways I felt like I hadn’t earned it,” she adds.

The news was so casual that, at first, it hardly affected Alcock’s day-to-day life. Sworn to secrecy, she kept her job working part-time at a cafe in Sydney’s Marrickville until shooting began. “I was literally washing dishes every day,” she says, laughing. “Nobody knew!” Shooting was scheduled for early 2021 and Alcock, then only 20, moved to London during the height of pandemic lockdowns. As a fellow Australian who relocated to the British capital during the pandemic, I can attest that 2020 was a truly awful time to be living in the city. Alcock nods in recognition, although her anxieties were slightly different to mine. “I didn’t know anyone, and I’d never lived out of home for that long, and I was about to film what was potentially the biggest TV show ever. So yeah, it was a headfuck.”

Based on George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book, Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is a decades-spanning saga centred on the Targaryen dynasty, 500 years before Game of Thrones is set. Rhaenyra is the feisty-but-brilliant teenage daughter of King Viserys I (Considine) who, having no living sons, must decide whether to abandon tradition and name his daughter as heir. Add to the mix a power-hungry uncle (Smith, with whom Rhaenyra has a suitably Thrones-style brooding sexual tension), a Machiavellian advisor with the ear of the king (Ifans), and a best-friend-turned-frenemy (played first by Emily Carey and then by Olivia Cooke), and you have the makings for a seasons-spanning spectacle of epic proportions.

Preparation for the role was gruelling. Alcock spent hours a day learning to ride horseback (“I’m a horse girlie now,” she jokes) and worked with multiple dialect coaches to master her High Valyrian, a Targaryen language invented by Martin. As the series’ name suggests, she also had to learn to ride dragons — albeit a mechanical creation in HBO’s green screened studio. Filming took months. “I put a lot of pressure on myself,” she admits. “It was this feeling of all your dreams having come true, but now you’ve actually got to do the thing. Which is really scary. Because if it doesn’t work there’s no-one else to blame but yourself.”

Alcock grew up in Petersham in Sydney’s inner west with her mum, dad and two brothers, in what she describes as a decidedly non-arty family. “The arts felt like something that was just mine, that I had ownership over,” she says. “I really held onto that as a sense of independence and something I could call my own, I was very protective about it.” Acting, as she puts it, was the only thing she was good at. So good, in fact, that she was accepted into the prestigious Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, whose alumni includes Yael Stone and Odessa Young. “I arrived and all my classmates already had agents,” Alcock recalls. “So I started googling agencies and calling them saying, ‘Hi, can you hire me?’ Eventually one did.” She caveats: “I think I was literally about 13 at the time.”

Alcock began taking on small jobs: a Cadbury ad here, a stint on Australia’s Disney Channel there. Her first credited role was in the 2017 web series High Life. From there she nabbed parts in 2018’s Showcase drama Fighting Season and the Netflix series Pine Gap. It was around this time that she was cast by Phoebe Tonkin in the actor’s directorial debut, a short film called Furlough. “Milly and I met in a coffee shop in Newtown and I was instantly captivated by her confidence and charm,” Tonkin says. “Directing for the first time was a very vulnerable experience, but Milly brought so much power and strength on screen that I ended up with an 18-minute short instead of the usual 15 minutes because I couldn’t bear to cut out any of her beautiful performance.”

Alcock’s first big break came in 2019, when she landed the lead alongside Tim Minchin in his Foxtel comedy series, Upright. Alcock plays Meg, a teen runaway who gets roped into helping a struggling musician (Minchin) transport an upright piano across 3000 kilometres of Australian outback. Taking on the role meant dropping out of high school, a decision that was to Alcock “kind of a no brainer”. She expected to be met with resistance from her teachers or parents, but both were nonplussed. “I told my mum and she just said, ‘Sure,’” she recalls with a shrug. And her school could hardly ask her to turn down an opportunity to work with one of Australia’s greatest creative talents. “Working with Tim gave me a very clear understanding that when you’re on set, you’re there to do a job,” Alcock says with a clear reverence for her old boss. “You need to serve the story and speak up when you have an idea, don’t be scared. I think he taught me to trust myself in a way that I’ve taken into every role since.”

Alcock wrapped House of the Dragon in late 2021 and flew straight back to Australia to start filming Upright’s second season. It gave her less time to brood on what might be coming, but the feeling that her life was about to change never really went away. “It felt like I was sitting on a time bomb,” she says. “You’re constantly waiting for the ball to drop.” When it eventually did drop this past August, it dropped hard. The first five episodes of House of the Dragon boasted 29 million viewers apiece, which marked the largest audience for a television series debut in American cable history. Alcock’s face was plastered across train stations and billboards around the world, including her local Tube station. She started being recognised on the street, and her Instagram following jumped from a few thousand to 1.5 million in a matter of weeks.

Then there was the gruelling global press tour, followed quickly by the awards season circuit. The series picked up nominations at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes. Emma D’Arcy (of “negroni sbagliato” fame), who (*minor spoiler) plays Rhaenyra a decade on, was nominated for Best Television Actress in a Drama Series at the latter. “It’s been an interesting experience in terms of how people treat you,” Alcock says. “There was this feeling of All eyes on me for a moment. I was meeting people I admired at events and having people compliment me on my work. But at the same time, I tried to disassociate myself from it. I never searched reviews or read or watched my interviews back, because I think that would be very bad for my mental health.”

In this way, Alcock is the archetype of a new kind of celebrity. Yes, her life changed overnight. But she still lives in a share house with a group of creative friends (including the model and photographer Anaïs Gallagher). She still freaks out when she’s in-between jobs (she’s waiting to start filming a new, as yet unannounced project, in September). She still wonders if she should go back to part time work at a cafe. In the months before House of the Dragon came out she contemplated dropping her resume into Violet, the much-loved Dalston bakery, to pick up a part-time job before starting the press circuit.

And yet to call Alcock normal or unaffected would feel trite. It’s better to think of her as a person with an unusually healthy (or, perhaps, uniquely gen Z) sense of perspective. Sure, getting cast in a critically acclaimed show loved by millions of people is great — but you’re still the same person on the other side of it. “The goal for me with acting has never been to be famous, or to be a movie star,” Alcock says. “I think that’s emotionally taxing. It’s not what I strive for at all.” Still, there’s no denying this is where she currently finds herself. How does she think about the future? “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great problem to have,” she says. “I’ve been looking at other people’s careers that I admire, and the way they’ve handled it. And I’m thinking about who I want to be in that public eye space, which is a space I don’t want to be in a lot.”

It strikes me, not for the first time, that Alcock is wise and sensitive well beyond her years. Whether she likes it or not, life in the public eye feels all but inevitable. But when our shoot wraps and Alcock disappears into the blissful anonymity of London during peak hour, I feel quietly assured that she’s better equipped than most to handle it.

Source: harpersbazaar.com.au

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