true fan of Game of Thrones knows that the original pilot of the series was a
massive flop, after which the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to
reshoot the entire episode and make serious recasting decisions. Naturally, it
was all incredibly expensive but worth the risk.
most infamous recasting that was ever made in the last decade has to be of
Tamzin Merchant. Previously known for her role as Catherine Howard in The
Tudors, Tamzin was the first choice to play the role of Daenerys Targaryen –
the character that went on to become not just the Queen, but also the Mother of
was replaced by a somewhat new face – Emilia Clarke – who eventually blew
everyone’s mind with her fantastic performance. She earned several Emmy
nominations throughout her eight-season run.
on the other hand, has shown her talent in Amazon’s Carnival Row and CW’s
Supergirl. She is also all set to publish her first novel, The Hatmakers –
something her fans are really excited about!
we haven’t been this close to playing and then losing the most iconic character
in television history but we can tell that it sucks. And in Merchant’s case,
she had already booked the series and played the character in the pilot episode
which also almost went on air.
Any normal person in this position would feel
crushed and demotivated to another level. So, it’s interesting to discover how
Tamzin actually feels.
broke her silence in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. She spoke candidly
about her lost opportunity and the failed Game of Thrones pilot. And we’re kind
of taken aback by her generosity and optimism, because she had nothing but
positive things to say about her experience.
recalled the entire experience and said that it was, in fact, a good call from
the casting directors and some kind of an affirmation that she needed to listen
to her instincts more than she did. She made a shocking revelation and said
that she was not comfortable shooting the nude sequences and had backed out a
couple of times during the contract process.
is what she said:”Shooting that
pilot was a really great lesson. It was an affirmation about listening to my
instincts and following them, because I tried to back out of that situation
and, during the contract process, I did back out. I was talked back into it by
some persuasive people. Then I found myself naked and afraid in Morocco and
riding a horse that was clearly much more excited to be there than I was”
further said, “It was a lesson that
if my guts are telling me a story isn’t something I’m excited to tell, then I
shouldn’t try to be excited just because other people are telling me that I
should be excited. I didn’t have any training as an actor, I only have my
instincts. And what excites me and what drives me is a compelling story and a
compelling character. So for me, Game of Thrones was never that. I think it’s a
testament to Emilia Clarke for making that role iconic — she was obviously
excited to tell that story, and she was epic and excellent. But for me, it
wasn’t in my heart to tell it.”
a lesson for you, kids: always rely on your gut when making important life
decisions because, sometimes, your heart is not in the decision your brain
comes up with.
Merchant views this lost opportunity as a silver lining by admitting that if
she had given her time to the Game of Thrones series, she may not have been
able to write her new book The Hatmaker.
funnily recalled her experience back in the days, sharing that whenever she
used to travel on buses, she’d see Emilia Clarke’s face on it. This has to be a
bit annoying, don’t you feel? Imagine your past keep coming back to haunt you.
she took it well and said, “It was
kind of funny riding to auditions on buses with Emilia Clarke’s face on it.
Like, ‘oh my mode of transport is quite interesting today!’ It’s been a thing I
felt like I watched unfold and it’s been fantastic for the film industry in
Northern Ireland and Croatia, and that has been really great.”
hope to see the lost pilot someday (somebody leak it online!) but we can
re-watch the entire series which is available on HBO Max now.
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can say that not all characters are suited for some actors. This is why actress
Tamzin Merchant couldn’t better portray the role of Daenerys Targaryen – mother
of dragons to Emilia Clarke in Game of Throne Dragons.
for all of us: If you don’t feel it in your heart don’t do it otherwise you’ll
be saying what Tamzin said that “It wasn’t in my heart.”