Jacob Anderson chats about Grey Worm’s conundrum on Casterly Rock and filming that love scene with Nathalie Emmanuel

GW

At the end of “The Queen’s Justice” we left Grey Worm in a tight spot, stranded on Casterly Rock with Euron Greyjoy and his fleet coming in for the attack. So it’s a strange comfort to know that Jacob Anderson conducted his interview with The Hollywood Reporter nice and safe in a farm house outside of Oxfordshire, England where he chatted about the challenges of filming Grey Worm’s kick-ass fight scenes as well as that lovely sex scene with Missandei in episode 2.

Jacob Anderson was honest in his interview that, as proud as he is of that Casterly Rock action sequence in episode 3, it was quite a time-intensive and grueling set piece to film.

“Oh, it took so long,” he said. “The actual fight only took one day of shooting, but all of the stuff around it — going through the tunnels, and being on the boat — there were two days of boats, and some of it was shot in Spain, some of it in Belfast, some just outside of Belfast. It took maybe seven or eight days to do that whole sequence. The boat was actually pretty awful … I was just getting freezing water shooting up into my junk. That’s what that was. If you think I look cool jumping out of the boat? Well, that’s what was happening in real life.”

He also discussed the challenge of playing a character who shows such little emotion in the heat of battle.

“[I]n the past, I’ve received notes from directors, and from [David and Dan] that would tell me not to let my face do too much when I’m fighting …” he said. “When I was talking to Dan Weiss about the character when I first started, I asked if he had any pointers or anything about him. He said: ‘You have to think about yourself as a robot. You think about someone who has been traumatized so much they can no longer bare to feel anything about what they do. You just have to play someone who is almost not human anymore.’ It was interesting.”

This mandated emotional detachment contrasted considerably with what was required of Anderson in that highly charged love scene with Missandei in “Stormborn,” which he described as “the most difficult scene I’ve ever had to do in my life, for so many different reasons.”

Setting aside the obvious discomfort of having to be naked all day with Nathalie Emmanuel, who is by now a good friend, in front of 20 crew members, there was also the need for Grey Worm to emote which, as Anderson pointed out again, isn’t really Grey Worm’s forte.

“It’s the most that Grey Worm has ever really talked about anything that isn’t having to do with duty or strategy. It was very difficult to work that out. How does Grey Worm talk about his feelings?”

Grey Worm Casterly Rock

But onto the big questions: will Grey Worm ever get back to Missandei? Will he get off Casterly Rock at all? Just how afraid are we supposed to be for our beloved Unsullied warrior at this point?

“Well, I think everybody should be afraid for every character at this point in the show,” Anderson said. However, he went on to point out what Grey Worm himself told Missandei in season 5 – that he doesn’t fear death so much as being separated from her forever.

“I’m not sure it’s so much that he’s afraid,” Anderson said. “He’s a pretty brave dude. I don’t think he’s afraid of being stranded. He’s just afraid of not seeing this person that he loves again.”

30 responses

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    1. “Setting aside the obvious discomfort of having to be naked all day with Nathalie Emmanuel.”

      Oh my heart bleeds for you. The sacrifices you make for your craft!

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    2. I was just getting freezing water shooting up into my junk.

      I imagine he probably could’ve done with that while shooting the sex scene with Nathalie Emmanuel too.

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    3. Casterly Rock was a bit disappointing. It’s supposed to be a castle built into a mountain that’s higher than the Wall, but what we got was a concentric castle on a cliff edge.

      Highgarden wasn’t any better either. The only real issue I have with last episode.

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    4. Grey Worm and Missandei are very underrated. I enjoy the scenes they’re in, as limited as they are. I also found their sex scene absolutely tasteful and undoubtedly the best showcase of intimacy on GoT thus far.

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    5. Ten Bears:
      “Setting aside the obvious discomfort of having to be naked all day with Nathalie Emmanuel.”

      Oh my heart bleeds for you. The sacrifices you make for your craft!

      I laughed way too hard at this. Obvious discomfort indeed.

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    6. In spite of Grey Worm’s necessarily stoic Unsullied demeanor, Jacob Anderson has become a really great actor. His love scene with Missandei last week was garnered a large amount of its power from the way that he was able to convey Grey Worm’svolumes of long-suppressed and conflicting emotions using little but his eyes – his shame at his mutilation, his fear of being rejected by the woman he loves, his difficulty with expressing his feelings for her, and finally, his relief and gratitude when Missandei accepted him as he was. Coupled with an equally great and delicate performance from the lovely Miss Emmanuel, I consider it perhaps the best sex scene that Game of Thrones has done to date.

      And of course, Anderson’s always excelled at the fight scenes. The taking of Casterly Rock may not have been as large of a setpiece as some were expecting, but I thought it was perfectly staged to fit the story, and I’m always impressed watching Grey Worm wield his spear. He’s a badass through and through.

      I’m also feeling pretty good about Grey Worm’s chances of surviving the season (if not necessarily the series) now that he didn’t die taking Casterly Rock. It was wonderful to see it, but I think it was a one-off, and the next time we see Grey Worm and the Unsullied will be after they have abandoned the now-strategically devalued castle and marched back across the continent, just as Jaime predicted.

      Make it home to Missandei, Grey Worm! I need you two to last as long as possible.

      Ten Bears,

      For real! I get what he meant – he and Nathalie are obviously friends in real life, and the necessary production logistics of having 20 other people in the room surely cut down on the intimacy. Still … there are worse jobs than working in close quarters with Nathalie Emmanuel for a day. Far, far, far worse.

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    7. Violator,

      Same. And the two castles featuring at the end of the episode left a sour taste after the first viewing. Thankfully, the rather easily conquered castles could no longer bother me as much after seeing the episode again and enjoying the dialogue and the characters.

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    8. I’ve been thinking he is going to die since we got spoilers here about a certain scene that I feel he should be in but wasn’t among the cast present. There is reason now that explains why he would not be and still could be alive. Jaime talking to Olenna did make it sound as if abandoning them far from Daenerys without ships was the plan, not to attack the Unsullied themselves. Grey Worm should be smart enough to know what to do, whether that’s to stay or head inland… Euron’s men wouldn’t stand a chance on land and he knows it so it’s doubtful he’d chase them.

      I still don’t know why Daenerys isn’t flying recon on Drogon. She should also be able to fly to Casterly Rock and check on the situation – give new orders to Grey Worm. Drogon should be a lot faster than a raven.

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    9. It’s pretty well understood that filming sex scenes is one of the least sexy things from an actor’s perspective. Having your bits out for hours on and off in front of cast and crew, someone up close putting makeup on your ass, having a director telling you what to do, probably stifling laughter with your fellow cast half the time, all while trying to look ‘in the moment’…yeah. Lol. But hey, it worked out!

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    10. Pigeon,

      It is indeed generally very unsexy, but nevertheless, I can imagine worse things than having to spend my work day with a naked Nathalie Emmanuel kissing me.

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    11. Pigeon: someone up close putting makeup on your ass,

      ZOMG!! I always knew that filming sex scenes would be supremely uncomfortable, what with the number of people present, the very close camera, the heat of the lights, but I never thought before now of make-up on the ass!!! :O

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    12. Violator,

      I thought Casterly Rock was portrayed really nicely. Not to go into book talk, but some of the distances and numbers (like the height of the Wall) are a bit silly in the books and it’s a really good thing the show did away with those. They might be okay in books, especially if you don’t think about it too hard, but seeing it on screen wouldn’t work nearly as well.

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    13. Jared,
      All of this – they did a GREAT job! The tenderest love scene since Shae and Tyrion re-united after Blackwater. I want to believe they will survive and be together, but it’s GoT……

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    14. hodoring hodor:
      Violator,

      I thought Casterly Rock was portrayed really nicely. Not to go into book talk, but some of the distances and numbers (like the height of the Wall) are a bit silly in the books and it’s a really good thing the show did away with those. They might be okay in books, especially if you don’t think about it too hard, but seeing it on screen wouldn’t work nearly as well.

      I can’t remember correctly but is it as high as the wall an exaggeration? I mean c’mon realistic that’s not true. Southerners like to run their mouth a lot and make things bigger then they are.

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    15. I really liked the Cersei / Ellaria/ Tyene scene. Lena Headey is really knocking it out of the park full on psyco Cersei. Only thing I was disappointed was the way she decided to kill Tyene, seemed like Cersei might go for something more intense. It was a little lame to just repeat what Tyene did to Myrcella.

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    16. Casterly Rock was not how I imagined, but still looked like a castle fit for a great house. I’m disappointed with Highgarden though. I don’t think anyone could honestly say it was breathtakingly beautiful, especially given what we saw of Horn Hill you would think the capital would be at least equally impressive.

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    17. Jack Bauer 24,

      Since he didn’t die, he will come back at some point I guess. I think all the warrior types of men and women are going to survive this season. They need named characters to fight the white walkers, they cannot always show Jon Snow or Dany.

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    18. hodoring hodor,

      It’s a mountain with a castle built into it – that’s part of the character of it.

      Visenya said that she was glad she had fried the king of the Rock’s army on the open field because the castle was so strong even dragon fire would not have brought it down and it can withstand sieges.

      It’s supposed to be the biggest and strongest castle in the Seven Kingdoms.

      Highgarden is a different beast. It’s not really built for defence but it is described as having a number if curtain walls each one higher than the one surrounding it and in the space within each are beautiful gardens.

      The castles are described this way to give then character and distinguish them. You’d have had a hard time distinguishing between those castles we saw in episode 3 with the exception that one of them is on a cliff edge.

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    19. King Podrick: I can’t remember correctly but is it as high as the wall an exaggeration?

      According to The World of Ice & Fire it’s actually a lot higher. It’s not a castle built that high though, it just sits that high atop the mountain it’s built on and into. The descriptions are very impressive and I can understand some disappointment that it wasn’t as grand as imagined on the show. It didn’t wreck anything for me but I did think about it, just like I was thinking that Horn Hill and Highgarden should have been swapped as the show Horn Hill looked much more impressive and lush.

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    20. From a narrative perspective I feel Greyworm needs to die, Dany needs to lose one of her inner circle and he would be the perfect candidate. At this point if GW and the remaining unsullied escape and walk across Westeros back to Dragonstone or some other miracle it will feel like a cheap waste of time. Here’s hoping that we see his death in the next episode and the return of Jorah to make things a little bitter sweet for Dany.

      Nothing against the actor either, I quite like him.

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