There is no doubt that we all love Emilia Clarke as Danaerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. But did you know she wasn’t the first choice for the role of the Dragon Queen? English actress, Tamzin Merchant, was the original pick and even featured in the pilot episode of the fantasy drama series.
Now, years after being replaced by Emilia in the show, the actress has opened up about being ousted from the show. Read on to know all that she had to say below.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tamzin Merchant opened up about playing Danaerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones’ pilot episode. 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.”
Tamzin continued, “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.”
Talking about being replaced by Emilia Clarke as Danaerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, Tamzin Merchant said, “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.”
During the same interview, Tamzin Merchant also spoke about what it was like to watch the show become successful. She 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.”
Thought she lost being part of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, the actress Tamzin Merchant played Catherine Howard in The Tudors, Anne Hale in the Salem series and Imogen Spurnrose in Carnival Row.
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