'Game of Thrones' stars Maisie Williams & Isaac Hempstead-Wright on Arya and Bran's journeys
How much are you aware of what else is happening on the show before you actually see it?
Maisie Williams: I read the script. You read the whole scripts?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: Kind of.
Maisie Williams: So we read the script so I know what's happening for everyone else. But you live and breathe your own story. I'm not going to remember every line and every scene that happens (to someone else) and every interaction. So it's so lovely to watch it back and see what everyone else has been getting up to while you've been shooting.
But you're not likely to forget, for instance, that your mother and your brother are going to be slaughtered at the wedding?
Maisie Williams: No. I wouldn't forget that.
You did that memorable Vine about it.
Maisie Williams: Oh God. I hadn't even watched the episode when I did that Vine. I just knew it happened because everyone was tweeting me. They were like, “I'm never watching ‘Game of Thrones’ again.” It's quite sad.
Even though neither of you had worked with a Richard or Michelle in quite a while, they're still your TV family, so what was it like watching that sequence?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: It was really sad, because actually these were people we'd known. Richard, we'd been with since the pilot and we'd been in the same boat as him. He hadn't really done much before and we were all on this journey together and it all been so much fun. And Michelle had certainly been a motherly figure to us all; always taking care of us.
Maisie Williams: Every day, whenever we'd see her, she’d give us all a big hug. Although we didn't work together it is sad that they're not around. They were the life and soul of the Fitzwilliam Hotel, where we stayed. If you like didn't know who was about, they were always around at every meal or whatever.
Without necessarily knowing what's coming up, are there characters on this show whom you wish you could interact with?
Maisie Williams: Cersei. But it wouldn't really work for the storyline because one of them would end up dead at the end. When I watch Cersei, I don't Lena (Headey) at all, and that's just amazing. I'd love to be on set for that and see how it goes down for her, because I see nothing of Lena when I'm watching the show at all. Everything is gone. She's completely lost and there's this new character, from the way she holds herself to the way she talks — she’s just completely gone. So it would be so lovely to see that happen right in front of you and see how she does that kind of thing.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: I'd like to work with Joffrey, with Jack (Gleeson) just because it would be really interesting to be on the receiving end of his bile and hatred. And I think it would be quite cool to see what Bran would do if suddenly there was someone being truly foul and knowing that he was responsible for the deaths of quite a lot of his family. And I also think Jack does such a brilliant job transforming himself from this wonderful lovely scholar into this absolutely just…
Maisie Williams: It makes your skin crawl, how awful he is.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: So that'd be fun.
What was it like working with him back in Season 1?
Maisie Williams: I can't even remember. All I remember from Season 1 is being cold. It was a fantastic year and I learned so much; it was like the most eventful year ever. We hung out, and I never remember it being intense, but he wasn't the king then; he was only the prince. And since he got given that kingly title, I think it spiraled even further out of control. But I remember Jack was just onset smoking a pipe — not drugs, but this tasty tobacco stuff and the whole set smelled of this amazing fruity tobacco. That's what I remember from shooting with Jack. And just having a laugh really. It was not intense at all.
As you said earlier, this is really the first thing you've ever done; it’s a special experience. In talking to some of the older actors that you work with, what have they told you about how this compares to what you may face as actors for the rest of your careers?
Maisie Williams: I'm constantly being told, “It's only downhill from here, Maisie.” Just because the crew are fantastic. And lots of people go through turmoil and difficulties to get their end goal of a breakthrough role, and we were given that first time up. So I feel like there's still a lot of hard work for us to go. We have not made it. You've never made it, but I feel like this is the breakthrough role, but it's not. There's something else to come that we still have to prove ourselves almost. This has been fantastic, but as soon as this finishes, there are going to be things that I have to do in order to get the next thing for people to take us seriously. We were right for the roles, but it was extremely lucky, I feel. And I think now there is a lot of hard work still to go until people are going to take us seriously as actors.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: As Maisie, said everyone is so nice. There's not really a single person who's a diva or who's unpleasant or you have to tiptoe around. Everyone's friendly. I come in and I chat with Pete the props guy. He was teaching me Japanese one day. And one of the nice things is it's a really relaxed set but not in a way that everything's chaos and nothing’s working. It's serious but it's not —
Maisie Williams: Not shoutie; no one ever looks stressed. If there's an issue, we'll sort it. There's none of that (stress), because that doesn't help anyone and the crew are just perfect at gliding over any hitches or difficulties that happen throughout the shoot. The way that this show deals with that is very different than anything else I've worked on. I haven't done much, I can understand why more experienced actors say how great the crew are, because I can see it too.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: I really haven't done anything else other than this, too, and to be able to have this as my first and only experience of the acting world is really sort of lucky.
Maisie Williams: And helpful. We've grown a lot of confidence I feel. So now we've got a nice platform to go from here.
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at email@example.com
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