Olivia Cooke reveals why 'the pressure felt really intense' when making House Of The Dragon

Virgin Radio

12 Jun 2024, 13:26

Credit: Virgin Radio

Ahead of the hotly-anticipated second season of House of the Dragon, Olivia Cooke visited Virgin Radio to talk all about it. 

The new season of the Game of Thrones prequel sees Westeros is on the brink of a bloody civil war with the Green and Black Councils fighting for King Aegon and Queen Rhaenyra, respectively. Joining the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar, Olivia, who plays Olivia plays the part of Queen Alicent Hightower, said: “It's like a kitchen sink drama, really.”

On the popularity of the series, the actor, who has previously starred in Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and Slow Horses, told Chris: “It's huge. And also we're jumping off from an already established fan base and a popular book. It could have gone either way, and we were really worried and nervous and scared, and the pressure felt really intense. But, luckily, after season one, people did really like it. And then coming back for season two, we've had two years and we're lucky that there's still the excitement and there's still this engine for more.”

Viewing figures for season one were huge, and fervour is high for season two. Olivia added: “I think if I thought too much about how many people actually watch the show, I think I'd have a bit of an existential crisis!”



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The series, set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. “George R.R. Martin, who wrote all the books and wrote all this lore, he is a massive historian, and that's where he takes the most inspiration from, and then just adds a bunch of like giants and dragons into the mix,” Olivia said. 

Speaking about the huge levels of security that surround the production of the hit show, the actor explained: “To try and access scripts, you have to log on to a database online, and then have to have a separate app in order to get the code to log on to said database, and then you can be timed out within an hour. 

“You're trying to learn your lines on a laptop. There's worse problems to have, but it is frustrating!

“It does feel like it's gonna combust at any moment!”

Further explaining the filmmaking process, she told Chris: “We get sides, which is a mini version of the script that you're about to shoot that day. So the order of scenes of that day. So we get sides each morning that are printed out and they're read, and we have to hand them in every night, otherwise we'll be chased down by an AD (Assistant Director). 

“It's got your watermark on it. Your name, Olivia Cooke. It was Olivia Cook's fault!”

She continued: “Jefferson [Hall], who's brilliant - he plays two Lannisters, he plays twins in the show - he took his sides home accidentally. So there were Assistant Directors texting, being like, ‘Jefferson, you need to bring your sides. You need to bring your sides’. He just sent a video of the sides strapped to a firework, and lit the firework!”

virginradio.co.uk was at the UK premiere of the new season of House of the Dragon in London earlier this week, find out what Matt Smith told us about his character here.

Also at the UK Premiere, House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal hinted at season 3. Read more here.

House Of The Dragon Season Two episode one launches Monday 17th June.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.