Why I never really got into Game of Thrones

Posted: 30th April 2014 by Christian in Blog
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So you’re a young actor. You’re a good looking woman, you’ve studied hard and you’ve made the move to the local film industry city of your choice.

Things could be going better but, well, you’ve done some plays and your improv classes are fun and you got to do a great one-act Nabokov that got alright reviews. Money is tight but you and all your actor/writer/director pals are doing ok. (Your producer pals are doing great.)

Then you get a call. It’s for a popular medieval fantasy themed television show that heaps of people love.

You agents is incredibly happy.

‘You’re in it for a whole scene! You even get a line!’

Man, it’s all going to be worth it. Every shitty play by humorless bearded wankers. Every stupid zombie short film. Every casting room full of women who look and sound just like you. Every missed opportunity. Every long day at the gym, every dessert skipped, every hair bleaching, every hundred dollar lipstick. Every thing.

You can’t wait to tell your mum.

‘So what’s the part?’ you ask.

Your agent says it. And you feel like crying.

You get emailed the one page. Yeah, it’s a whole scene. You desperately think of other parts you could play. Knight! You’ve got two semesters of stage fighting under your belt and horse-riding. Lady-In-Waiting is something. A nice dress and perhaps you get to say something like ‘Prithee milady, the king doth seek purchase to your lattice!’

You call up your agent.

‘Do I really have to play Jizzed-On Whore?’

‘Look, it’s worth 5 grand. It’s a day’s shooting and you’ll get huge exposure!’

‘But… she doesn’t even have a name and she gets, er… I don’t… ejaculated on. On screen.’ You can barely even say it.

‘Ah, come on sweetie!’ says your agent with a grotesque wink and exaggerated bonhomie. ‘It’s just getting jizzed on. We’ve all done it. It’s the new normal. So, can I tell em you’ll take it?’

You could pass this up. You really could. But it’s two month’s rent and you’ll be on TV and everyone has to start somewhere, right?

‘Yes.’

Two weeks later you’re on the bus going to the shoot. There’s five other extras. Hey, you recognise that dude. He was that really nice guy from the ad for dog food.

‘Oh hey, nice guy! Long time… so what are you playing?’

‘I’m playing bad ass city guard. I get to say ‘Ho there, trespasser!’ Then I get a good death scene.’

Well, good for him.

‘Who are you playing?’

‘I’ll be a. I mean. I’ll be a prostitute.’

‘That’s amazing!’ he says. He doesn’t get it. He’s just happy for the work. And he’s getting paid 7 grand because he gets a sword.

The shoot begins and there you are at 5 in the morning.

‘Strip,’ says the costumer, looking at her clipboard, marking your name. She’s a small fussy woman and she had two hundred people to get into capes today.

You’re down to bra and underdaks.

‘All the way  love, don’t be shy.’

There’s ten people in this dressing room. They’re not looking. Four of them are also taking off their pants.

‘OK, try this on.’

You’ve studied a bit of historical costuming. You’re not sure if the skimpy white thing they’re giving you to wear is accurate but at least it’s kind of like pants. They give you a robe to cover up at least.

‘Right, off to set.’

You and the other girls go. Hey, you recognise the set from TV. It’s the Young King’s Sex Dungeon. Oh well…

You make small talk with the other extras but it’s freezing and you’re all wrapped up in private thoughts. You bring out your phone. Take a selfie to show a pal. Memento.

‘Phones in here, ladies. Director doesn’t want any phones on set.’

Now you’re bored and cold and feeling really weird about this. I mean, maybe in context doing a nude scene would be fine. Something artistic. Something that made use of the body, had something to say, some artistic use of, nudity. You’re not that shy, really. You are an actor after all. But…

The assistants pose you, getting blocking and angles right.

In comes the director. You don’t know his work but apparently he’s a genius at making butter, tooth paste and telly’s look like something you really should buy.

‘Hi,’ you say. You’re a bit nervous.

‘Hey’, he says, walking past you to go talk to the sound techs for what seems like an hour. They look you and the other girls over now and again and mutter and laugh.

The main actor walks on the set. Wow, it’s him. You like his work and apparently he’s a cool guy. ‘Hi’. You extend a hand.

He’s still studying the script and doesn’t look up. His PA shoos you away. You feel stupid.

‘OK, action.’

It’s on. You slip off your robe. This is it. You in a medieval thong, lying on a stryofoam thing that represents his Altar of Evil. It’s cold.

‘And now, whore, I’ll do to you what I plan to…’

‘”Do to Atlantis“‘

‘Again.’

‘Do to Atlantis!’

That happens fifteen times. It’s in your head like a bad song. You hum along in your head with it.

Do to Atlantis.

Another hour of pick ups as, fully dressed, he has to mime masturbating over your body. He looks down at you, winks. You have no idea if he’s trying to be friendly or is a creep.

The director walks over to you as you grab your robe and cover up your breasts. You’re trying to work not give him an eyeful. This is your job not a date.

‘OK, you have to look absolutely pathetic and weak. Tear up. Cry. Just be pathetic. You’re terrified. Paranoid. Horrified.’

You’ve got some moves so… you cry, your lip goes. You pull the right face.

‘Cut. Do it like that, but sexier. You have to be hot. Come on, you’re the king’s prostitute. It’s not realistic you wouldn’t be sexy at a time like this.’

You do it seven times and apparently, finally get it done.

‘Cut. Ready for the jizz.’

You take a quick break for lunch as the practical effects guys get ready. It’s weird eating salad in a robe in a room full of union stage workers but needs must. ‘Back in five, guys.’

You can do this.

You lay back down and a man who never speaks to you squirts something onto your ear. They get a reaction shot. You feign a mix of being turned on and repulsed. The more turned on your are, the more the director likes it.

‘OK, do the line!’

‘Please, please my lord, no!’

Again.

‘Please, please my lord, no!’

They wipe off your ear. Reapply the practical jizz effect.

‘Please, please my lord, no!’

Cut.

You’re hurried away to costuming. Your makeup is stripped away and your clothes returned.

You hit the bus. You’re not crying in front of everyone but that was… that was a thing.

‘How was your day, nice guy from the play?’

‘Oh man, they loved me! They even gave me an extra line! ‘Never surrender to these Satanic pig dog hyenas!’

You get paid and sure, there’s some walking around money. You tell mum and dad and all your friends. Tell everyone when it’s on.

‘What do you do in it, honey?’

‘I’m… maybe you shouldn’t watch, mum.’ You tell this to a woman who paid seventeen thousand dollars for your tuition and who drove you to every play and workshop. She laughs. Of course she’s watching. She’s going to tell everyone at the office to watch.

The night begins.

All your friends eat chips on your couch.

There you are. Jesus, you’re on the screen! You can barely recognise yourself for the sexy, so ssssexy, make up! The king does his monologue and then, he turns, begins to mime ransacking his dignity and..

The camera pulls in. Just your boobs. That’s it. No more face. Just your tits, there.

Then, your ear. Sure enough, the practical effect drips on your ear.

They cut your line.

Ad break.

Your friends cheer but… now everyone’s seen your boobs. Your guy friends. Your dad. Every director you read for. Every person from school. Every date.

Your female actor mates look at you with a mixture of pity and envy. They’d have done it too. Line or no line. They’d have done just like you did. What other choice does a young actor have?

The next day, your agent calls.

‘Hey, they loved you! All the metrics are in. You did great kid! They want you back!’

As a lady in waiting or a knight or a thief or a stonemason?

‘Seriously, you’ve got to read this script. Five lines. You’re going to love the part of Pissed-On Whore.’