The House of the Dragon series was announced in 2019, and you were cast the next summer. Can you take me back to when you first heard about the project and tell me about the audition process?
Well, I hadn’t auditioned in like a year because of COVID and everything. I was living at home in my family attic, and me and my friends at the time, to get through COVID, were throwing live music gigs and live art-gallery events. We would ticket them and would get all of our friends who are painters and artists [to participate]. We would curate and display the work and get the space ready, and then we’d get our friends who are musicians to play, and we’d sell booze and everything in different warehouses. I used to work at the warehouse at this restaurant, and I was washing dishes there. I was a dish bitch at the time. So that was my life. It was very different.
And then I got sent an audition for an unknown HBO project. I went to shoot it with a friend of mine, and he was like, “This scene is from Game of Thrones,” and I was like, “I haven’t seen Game of Thrones.” Well, I hadn’t at that time. I have now. He was like, “This is from Game of Thrones. This is the scene with Arya Stark. This is the needle scene.” So I watched it and was like, “Okay, cool” and sent the tape through and very quickly got a callback. I remember my agent, who was recording me for my callback. After we shot it, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “I feel like I’m just watching history being made.” And I was like, “Don’t say that!” It was just very surreal and crazy and exciting.
Let’s talk about Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Once you were able to dive into the actual script and that character a bit more, what really appealed to you about her?
I really liked her resilience and her sense of self. She’s very assured in who she is and what she stands for. And I really adore her morals.
What was your reaction to seeing the series poster with you as Rhaenyra standing in front of the dragon for the first time?
I remember thinking, “Oh my god, I look so tired” because it was an actual still from on set. We didn’t do a separate shoot for it. And I remember Miguel showed it to me privately, and I just looked at him and was like, “What? Where is everyone else?” And he was like, “It’s you.” And I was like, “Why? Why is it just me?” And he was like, “Because you are Rhaenyra!” But I haven’t seen any real-life [billboards]. People have been sending me billboards and stuff, but I haven’t seen any, and I really want to.