House of the Dragon Star Matt Smith Initially Skeptical of GOT Prequel

It's easy to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the ensemble nature of the Game of Thrones universe, which now includes the new HBO prequel series House of the Dragon. Given the GOT's meteoric rise, actor Matt Smith had his initial doubts about joining the new series as Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). The Morbius and Doctor Who star opened up about his skepticism before taking a chance on the high fantasy series.

House of the Dragon Premiere Review: Considine and Smith Shine
Matt Smith in House of the Dragon. Image courtesy of Ollie Upton / HBO

"I was in a car park, and my agent said, 'There's this part in this new show that is a prequel to Game of Thrones,'" Smith said. "And I was like, 'Ohhh. I don't know. It's a tough one, isn't it? It's a tough one to follow. Haven't we seen this before?' But then [the offer] sort of didn't go away. Then it came up again, and then I went in for a screen test, and then that was that." When he learned more about Daemon, he found about someone else attached to the project he wanted to work with. "I became aware that Paddy Considine was doing the show as well. He'd already been offered the role of King Viserys, and I was such a huge admirer of Paddy's, and I'd always wanted to work with him. So that was a real draw. And then there are so many elements to Daemon. I love the relationship with his brother. He's a brilliant character because you never quite know what he's thinking. I liked the ambiguity of that. There's a ruthlessness in his personality that I thought was really interesting to see characters who behave that badly. But in many ways, he comes from what he thinks is quite a genuine place."

House of the Dragon Premiere Review: Considine and Smith Shine
Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon. Image courtesy of Ollie Upton / HBO

Coincidentally, Considine turned down his initial offer to be on Game of Thrones before his second opportunity in the franchise arose with House of the Dragon. Smith was well aware of fan skepticism when he was cast, given his previous work in another franchise. "That's one's job as an actor, isn't it? You sort of have to disappear, and you can't really listen to outside noise," he said. "I learned that with Doctor Who. It was such an adverse reaction when I first got that part, and you just have to shut it out and focus on the work. I always knew I could add something to it. It won't be to everyone's pace, I'm sure. But I certainly feel that I've made a connection with Daemon and with the other actors as well. I think we've got a wonderful cast." For more on Smith talking about GOT, Daemon, the Targaryens, stunts, dragons, and more, you can check the whole interview at The Hollywood Reporter. New episodes of HOTD are available Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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