‘Game of Thrones’ Director on Ghost’s Departure and Brienne’s Collapse [Excerpt]

SOURCE: The New York Times
AUTHOR: Jennifer Vineyard
DATE: 06 May 2019
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NOTE: Interview with David Nutter who directed the Red Wedding, murder of Jon Snow, and burning of Shireen Baratheon episodes, among others. Jennifer and David go all over the place so I’ll just share the bit about Rory here.


“Game of Thrones” actors have said you bring out something unexpected from their performance by giving them a fresh insight or a new take. Can you share any of the notes you gave actors over the years that shaped their overall performance?

Sure! When I first started on the show, Rory McCann, who plays the Hound, was someone who had a lot of promise. He was fantastic, but he had some issues with his performance. He hadn’t done a whole lot of acting. So I basically sat down with him, sat down across the table from him, and we read through a couple of sequences together. Ten minutes later, I looked at him and I said, “O.K., here’s the deal. Stop acting. Just say the words like Clint Eastwood would say them.” Once he started to do that, at that point, it was basically all done.

Sometimes, when actors reach out to their characters, they’re nowhere in sight. They need to find something inside of them. And then the characters are right there. As a director, I want them to find the character that’s already inside them, instead of trying to manufacture or manipulate or make something up. That’s not really honest or true.