Were there opportunities for you to find moments to play around and find new aspects of a given scene, or was it pretty by the book?
It’s pretty by the book, but I got a few in. It ultimately depended on who we were working with that day because every director works completely different and has a different structural understanding in how to create a scene. We were working together as a team, but there were a few little lines that I noticed in the final edit that slipped in.
It’s difficult to improvise because the language isn’t a language that I’m familiar with because it’s a period drama in a world that isn’t Earth. So there were a few like “Sorry” and “Thank you” and things that kind of made it to the final cut that really just emphasizes Rhaenyra’s moral compass and her ability to empathize with other people in their situations.
I imagine it’s hard to just improv in Valyrian right off the cuff.
[Laughs.] Oh no. Yeah, you can’t do that. You just wouldn’t know what to say.
Outside of those improvs, was there a small detail you were able to work into your portrayal that we wouldn’t know about? Like maybe something in the costuming?
There’s nothing that I specifically asked for in that regard because I didn’t really know that I had that ability in that capacity. It’s such a huge show; you’re working with the best in the world. I’m not the big actor, I haven’t worked on a lot of jobs, so I put my hands into Jany [Temime], who did our costumes. There’s a thread of dragon scales that goes through a lot of Rhaenyra’s costumes. I think that’s a really beautiful detail that she emphasizes in a lot of her outfits but there’s nothing that I specifically requested.
I read that you didn’t get to meet with Emma D’Arcy at all during production but have you two had a chance to speak and compare notes at all?
I got to become close with Em over press and everything, but press is such a weird, isolating experience because you’re separated the whole day. Then you go and do hair and makeup, then you go do the carpet, and then some people hang out. You’re still kind of all separated. But I definitely got to know Emma a lot better during that time.
How did your relationship with Emily [Carey] evolve over the course of filming?
Me and Emily spoke before we started shooting; we got cast, and both asked if we could have a phone call and a Zoom ‘cause I was obviously in Australia [at the time]. It’s interesting because both of our experiences within the show were reflected within our personal lives. We were both under-experienced young women in this world of men, and so much is at stake.
We bonded over that because it’s such a unique and niche experience, and there’s no one who can really relate to what me and Em are going through right now and in the process of filming. That’s very similar to Rhaenyra and Alicent; there’s a parallel there that I think translates on screen.