Speakeasy was recently at a party with members of the cast of “Game of Thrones” in New York City when British actress Natalie Dormer patted the place next to her on the couch and asked us to sit down. We didn’t need to be asked twice.
Dormer, who previously starred as Anne Boleyn (second wife of Henry VIII) in “The Tudors,” on “Game of Thrones” plays Margaery Tyrell, a calculating royal who uses her body and mind to manipulate the cruel boy-king Joffrey Baratheon (played by Jack Gleeson). We chatted with Dormer about the third season of “Game of Thrones” which begins tonight.
Are there any parallels between the fantasy character you play on “Game of Thrones” and the real-life one you played on “The Tudors”?
They’re very different. Anne was in love with Henry. Margaery would be crazy to be in love with Joffrey. So she’s just trying to be a good politician, as she’s been raised by her grandmother to be.
What’s it like working opposite a character like Joffrey who is so despicable?
You know everyone loves to hate Joffrey but the big joke is Jack Gleeson, who plays him, is the nicest, most erudite, most sensitive, most polite young man you could ever encounter.
What can fans expect in this new season that’s different than past seasons?
This season is epic. The whole last two seasons have been building up to this moment. The producers have always said they wanted to get to season three. It’s because it’s such a season of changes of fortune. You see the mighty fall, and the lesser suddenly start to climb the ladder. It’s like everything suddenly gets turned on its head this season.
When you’re doing a fantasy series like this how do you ground it in reality? How do you retain the humanity of your character even though there are dragons flying around?
Because, like you say, you hold on to the humanity of the character. And those things that we all feel–love, ambition, hope, pride–these are all part of the human condition. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing Shakespeare or a modern detective series.
George R. R. Martin hasn’t finished the final books in the series on which “Game of Thrones” is based. Have you talked to him? Has he given you any clues where it is all heading?
No darling, we’re taking one season at a time, like you!