With only hours to go until Saturday Night Live host Kieran Culkin (HBO's Succession) and musical guest Ed Sheeran take the stage at Studio 8H, everyone's busy with last-minute maneuverings before the cameras roll by 11:30 pm ET (we always forget there's that little bit of an early jump since our local NYC NBC affiliate signs off at 11:28 pm). So with time to spare, we're taking a look back to a very interesting time in Sheeran's career. Of course, we're talking about his guest-starring appearance in HBO's Game of Thrones S07E01 "Dragonstone" where he played a Lannister soldier & had a brief campfire scene with his friend Maisie Williams aka Arya Stark. We use the word "interesting" as a way of being kind because his appearance was not well-received by the fan, with shots taken at everything from Sheeran's brief moment of acting to accusations that the move was "stunt casting" by the producers. Now, Sheeran is offering some clarity & insight on how it all came about- an experience he found to be "great" while filming only to be left questioning his decision once it aired and reactions came in. "I feel like people's reaction to it sort of muddied my joy to it," he revealed on the Armchair Expert podcast.
While Sheeran has never been shy in the past about being a huge fan of the HBO series and wanting to cameo, he revealed that he specifically asked to be on that episode as a surprise to Williams. Originally, the plan was for Williams' Arya to be killed off during the season (which clearly didn't happen) so he wanted to squeeze in the surprise since it appeared time was running short (unfortunately, the surprise was ruined by accident when Sophie Turner mentioned it during a convention event). "She's always been awesome," Sheeran said of Williams. "I don't think they had written the ending yet. It was meant to be her last season, but it wasn't. And as a surprise for her, [they got] me on. So, she was meant to turn up on set and I was by the fire." Here's a look at the full episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, with hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman:
Earlier this week, we learned who else will be taking the stage of Studio 8H this month for Saturday Night Live. On November 13th, we have Jonathan Majors (Loki, Lovecraft Country) hosting with musical guest Taylor Swift. Then on November 20th, we have Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Kim's Convenience) hosting with musical guest Saweetie.
Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang, along with returning feature players Andrew Dismukes & Punkie Johnson, and new feature players Aristotle Athari (Future Man, All Rise), James Austin Johnson (Silicon Valley) & Sarah Sherman (The Eric Andre Show) make up this season's cast. With NBC's long-running sketch/variety series inching closer to the 50th season mark, it does so as the winner of the 2021 Emmy Award for Variety Sketch Series- its fifth straight win in that category (with the series very close to the triple-digits tally when it comes to the number of Emmys won).