Ewan Mitchell interviews are few and far between, but when they do come around … boy, do they deliver. In his second-ever interview for House of the Dragon, Ewan Mitchell discusses his process for getting into Aemond’ Targaryen’s head, and (very, very vaguely) teases good material in season 2.
In his conversation with The Face, (his go to for House of the Dragon interviews, it seems) Ewan Mitchell explains how he’s gone semi-method in preparation for season 2 of House of the Dragon, walking at a slower pace than usual and dressing all in black.
“There’s a Johnny Cash music video, ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down,’ and someone says in that that wearing black stands for the poor and the downtrodden. And that’s what Aemond is,” Ewan says, then somewhat contradictorily goes on to explain that he based Aemond’s way of carrying himself on the famously slow gait of movie monsters.
“For Aemond’s walk, there was something I found interesting about 80’s horror icons. No matter how slow they walk, they always catch up with Jamie Lee Curtis. There’s something in the physicality of Freddy [Krueger], Michael Myers, Jeepers Creepers.”
Ewan might not be at the level of method acting where he’ll get stuck speaking with
Elvis’ Aemond’s accent for the rest of his life, but he did commit to maintaining distance from Matt Smith while filming season 1.
“I said to Ryan: ‘I’ve got this idea of avoiding Matt Smith’ … because there’s this moment in episode eight where we have that intense stare-down. I thought there was something in experimenting and saving that moment for then. Aemond idolises Daemon, and this is the first time that he makes any sort of contact with him. Their family tree is actually a circle!”
Matt Smith agreed to the arrangement, and Ewan kept apart from his co-star, going so far as to eat lunch away from him. “I just wanted to keep that separation, so that I never saw Matt and I only ever saw Daemon,” Ewan says.
Ryan Condal confirms that Ewan is, indeed, very, very committed to his craft. “I went around the corner and saw Ewan in the corner with his sword, practicing,” he recalls. “That to me felt very Aemond. He’s always working on improving his skills. He’s not taking coffee breaks … I don’t want to say he’s Method because I actually don’t know what his approach is. But he came into [his first audition] as Aemond! I just remember quietly saying to the casting director afterwards: ‘He’s fantastic, I have to have him… Is he always like that?’”
One does get the sense that Ewan’s extreme shyness makes this sort of intense preparation necessary to get into character and Ewan admits that, yes, he’s always been this laconic.
“My friends call me The Iceberg because I’m seen as cool and collected. I don’t show too much. I’m just floating along the seas … I was a very quiet kid growing up, and I always played my cards close to my chest.”
Speaking of quiet, when asked about what’s in store for Aemond in season 2, Ewan claims that “HBO [is] going to detonate this charge in my head if I say anything remotely spoilerish.”
However, when asked if he’s got a message for fans, he replies:
“Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.”