‘House of the Dragon’ Actor Emily Carey Was ‘Scared’ Of Sex Scenes Due To ‘Violent Sex’ In ‘Game of Thrones’

Emily Carey, who plays Acient Hightower in House of the Dragon, recently opened up to Newsweek to explain why she was “scared” of doing sex scenes in the show due...
Credit: HBO

Emily Carey, who plays Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon, recently opened up to Newsweek to explain why she was “scared” of doing sex scenes in the show due to the violent nature of similar scenes in the show’s predecessor, Game of Thrones.

In the recent fourth episode, Carey’s character is shown to be reluctant to have sex with her much older husband, the King Viserys (Paddy Considine). When she had read the script originally, the then 17-year-old (now 19) was worried as “at that point I still hadn’t met Paddy, I didn’t know how much of a joy he was and how easy he was going to make [the scene], and all I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me. I was a bit concerned.”

Despite Sean Bean’s protests surrounding intimacy coordinators, Carey found the coordinator a huge help. As she explained:

“Having that outlet of the intimacy coordinator, to be able to talk everything through and not be shunned, or not feel awkward, or not feel like ‘Oh, this isn’t your job. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable but can I ask you…’ It was never any of that, it was just that open dialogue. In the rehearsal room she was a massive help, and on set she was a massive help. Yeah, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.”

Carey was nervous not just because she had intimate scenes with an older actor, but because she had watched Game of Thrones before production on House of the Dragon started:

“Of course the first season, even just the first episode of Thrones, there’s a lot of violence upon women. There’s a lot of violent sex, and it made me nervous. I was like, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna have to do in this show?’”

In addition to the intimacy coordinator, Carey said it was the showrunners, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, who made the cast “feel incredibly secure and safe” by having an “open dialogue.”

“When we got to the rehearsal room, regardless of who was in which scenes, there was an open dialogue about, ‘Look, this is how we’re approaching the show. This is how it’s going to be different from the original. This is what we want to talk about. This is what we want to put out. This is how we want the viewers to view the women in our show.’”

“Certainly, there were a lot of women behind the scenes,” added Carey. “We had an amazing team, we had, of course, female directors, I worked with the amazing Clare Kilner who was fierce, and lots of women producing this show as well, and Sara [Hess], one of our writers, amongst many others in the writers room, I’m sure.”

“It was an amazing thing, and it was the empowering being on that set as a young girl and being treated the same as all of these very established men. It was great, I think they approached this in the best way they could have done.”

House of the Dragon is currently available on Binge and Foxtel (HBO for our U.S. viewers), with new episodes coming out every Sunday.

For more, Matt Smith says playing Daemon Targaryen is both “fun and challenging.”


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