Game of Thrones stars Isaac Hempstead Wright, Gemma Whelan and Kristofer Hivju | BFI Q&A

Game of Thrones stars Isaac Hempstead Wright, Gemma Whelan and Kristofer Hivju | BFI Q&A


– Thanks for being here. God, it’s really emotional for me, and I’m sure them watching that, but how is it kind of… you know you’ve kind of finished but you’re being reminded of something. How does it feel? – Every time I think I’ve
got over Game of Thrones, – (laughs) – I watch something like
that, and it all comes back. – Kit’s video. – I know!
– I know! It’s really depressing. – Was it genuinely like that in read-throughs though? Where there was that
element I guess of surprise and real reaction to storylines and things as they were being told and unfolded in front of you. – Well the only person that hadn’t read the
script in advance was Kit. (audience laughs) – As you can see. – And he was like “Woah, woah, woah!”. So it was good for the camera, but he just hadn’t done his job. (audience laughs) – He looked the most
unprofessional out of everybody. – Yeah, yeah. But it looks good on screen. – But it does show kind of, how invested you all were in this story and these characters, do you know what I mean? – It’s quite hard not to be when you spend the best part
of 10 years with the same characters year-in, year-out. I mean, it’s a pretty unique thing to get to know a group
of people like that. It’s one of those sort of
formative bonding experiences. – Yeah. Question for you all, what
did you think of the ending? Joke! (audience laughs) – Thanks. – Don’t! But am I right in thinking, joke, but am I right in thinking that when you did read the
script for the last episode, and you discovered, you
know, what your fate was, so to speak, you were kind of going, “Hold on, this is a joke.” – Our producers Dave and Dan were famous for sending prank scripts. – Did they!? All the time. I can remember one year, I got a text from Alfie Allen, saying, “Mate, I can’t believe you jump out and kill me in this
episode, that’s so cool”. – We were all in on it. – I was like “I don’t know
what you’re talking about, “Alfie, but sure.” – So I was convinced that
they’d sent everyone a script where they became king,
or they became queen. I was like I’m not going
to get too excited. Waltz into the read-through like, “Yeah, it’s me!” and then find out it was a joke. (laughter) – So I didn’t get too
excited too early on. – Were you both privy to– – No, but Alfie was
sent a script that year, that said that he was killed by Bran. And we were all sent
emails by David and Dan to say just play along with the story, if Alfie gets in touch with you, just say yeah mate, sorry
mate, I’m sad to hear it. But it sort of backfired
because I was like “Yeah, cool mate, yeah whatever, “wicked way to go out, no worries”. – Oh, bless him. – Didn’t really have the impact, did it? – It was quite cruel I
think, if nothing else. – [Gemma] Yeah, yeah. – Did you get any false scripts? – No, I survived. – Oh good. What I wanted to ask you though, was, this brilliant character, that, I mean, he’s awesome. Would we agree? Yeah? – [Audience] Yeah! – And the way that we just
fall in love with him, the more we go through
each season, sort of thing. How involved do you get in talking to the showrunners about the character, and how you bring him to life, and how you, because there’s that brilliant tone that he has as a character, where it’s comedic, it’s loyal, it’s warrior. There’s just so many things encompassed within one character. – Well, it all started with
George R. R. Martin’s character, but in the novels he’s old and he says “Hah!” all the time. (audience laughs) – I felt like I was betraying the fans because I didn’t say “Hah!”, so I always tried to put it in, and suggesting it, and they’re like “just
keep that out” (laughs). He started out as an antagonist, as a guy who was a threat, an enemy of the realm. And he became a part of Team Jon Snow, and he suddenly fell in love. I don’t think that was George
R. R. Martin at all (laughs). So, no. We never discussed. But, sometimes you throw
something on the table, and they write around it. That’s the beauty of a TV show, that you can take and use
the best things they find, and create something new. So it’s their work, I’m just a body. I’m the DNA. – (laughs) You do a bit
more than just be a body I’ll tell you. – (laughs) Thank you, thank you. – And Gemma, for you, Yara, she’s a fantastic female character, and I just wanted to ask
you about how much that was written down in script and how much you were allowed to kind of add to that, to kind of inject into that. – My audition scenes, I related to them immediately. So I felt like I was really
connected to her from the start. And whether or not I got the job or not, I was very connected with the material. And so I think they always had in mind where she might go and what she might do and so of course as they find
out who the actor is they will write to suit that person. But, I didn’t feel very far away from her apart from the raping and pillaging, killing bit. (Edith laughs) – Good, I’m glad to hear. Isaac, how old you when
you first started on it? – 10 years old. – I remember making you laugh so much when you were 10. You loved me so much. I remember being in Belfast and you would laugh at
all my brilliant jokes they weren’t brilliant. And then he grew up. – And stopped laughing. (Isaac and audience:”Awwww”) – I still find you funny. – Well, he’s all right. (audience laughs) – What has the experience been to grow up on the set of something. But, from everyone you talk to it does feel like there was this real family environment. And you have these people
that you come back to, that you recognise, and those relationships you form. – Yeah, it’s a bit of a funny question. I get asked it a lot, “What was it like to have
grown up on Game of Thrones?” and it’s quite hard to say because I don’t really
don’t know any different. It’s this very surreal position I’ve found myself in where that is normality. – It’s the best play in the world. – An unbelievable chance to kinda be a kid and meet all these wonderful people and work in an adult world from the age of 10 and have to have responsibilities and come in on time and learn lines and all these things that you don’t really think about when
you’re a 10 year old. But, I truly mean this, and I know everybody says, “Oh, it’s like a family.” But, Game of Thrones really is like a family. It’s one of those really unique coincidences in time where all the right people were cast at the right time in the right roles and the right crew and it just gelled. And there are relationships
that have come off Game of Thrones. People have got literal
families they’ve started and Game of Thrones being
the catalyst for that. And to be in just a small part of that and to have had all these
fantastic role models and people to learn from. I mean, it’s sort of the best school you could ever ask for. – Amazing. And have you had a chance to, what’s your thoughts on how the character turned out in the end? In terms of starting as this little kid within the story and then who Bran became by the end of this. And what your thoughts are on his journey and where he ended up? – I mean, I would obviously say this, but I think Bran had
the best character arc possibly of anybody. (audience laughs) He starts off and in the very first episode you think, “Well, he’s toast. “There’s no chance he’s gonna, “he’s dead.” – No, he’s so cute. – I know. (audience laughs) Where’d it all go wrong? And he grows and learns the hard way about a lot of things. And goes from being this
traditionally vulnerable character to the most powerful person there is. And I was pretty happy with just him becoming the Three-eyed Raven, I though, “What a great
story for this boy.” This disabled 10 year old in the harshest world ever to triumph. And so to see him become king and victorious. And I think it’s so brilliant to have a disabled character win
the whole game of thrones. I mean, what are the odds of that when there are dragons and all these kinda things going on? Bran comes out on top. And it was really special. – Kristofer, have you got
a most memorable scene that you shot? – Well, you have talking scenes and you have fighting scenes. – One of each, please. (laughs) – I’ve been fortunate to be part of big sequences like The Battle of Winterfell and The Battle of the Bastards and the lake and Hardhome and lots of stuff. And the nice thing about those sequences you have like a month or six weeks and that’s the only thing you do. And you just feel happy that you come out alive. (audience laughs) So, it feels more like sport than acting. (panel laughs) You just chopping down zombies, you know. Fuck. (audience laughs) But, it’s a long journey and I had some talking scenes, too. (audience laughs) – One of the things that I
love is that whole kind of slight love triangle
that’s going on as well. I almost want a spin-off of the Game of Thrones rom-com type. – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. – You’d be up for it? – I’m up for it. – Great, I’ll pass that on. – We have Castle Black and we have them trying
to run it together. – [Edith] Yes! – It’s 19 minutes per episode and it’s gonna be a comedy. Yeah, I’m ready.
– It could work. Me too. I think we’re all ready for that one, for sure. Yara, this wonderful kind of, family’s always a big theme within Game of Thrones and looking at your character’s
family in particular incredibly complicated. And in terms of loyalties being tested, left, right, and centre as well. Is that a, I don’t know, I wanted just to ask you about the themes that resonated with you and you were really proud to be a part of.
– Do I relate to incest? – Not that one in particular. (audience laughs) Not your own, particularly. But, if there were scenes that you were really proud that the series portrayed and pushed as well in terms of whether it be about family or whether it be about loss or whether it be about disabled, disability for people. There were so things covered
within this season, series. – Yeah, I certainly feel that the
question I’m asked a lot is what’s it like to play
such a strong female character which is such a boring,
redundant question. – Thank God I didn’t ask it. – Right? (audience laughs) Because, by default women are strong and feisty and independent and front footed. – [Audience Member] Hear, hear! – So, I feel like
(audience applauds) it was a real woman
written for the screen. When I related to it I was like, this is a person that I am. I am so many elements of this person as many women are. So, I feel like it did a lot for television writing for
women, particularly, because suddenly it was like, we are now writing, and I know of course we’ve made a joke about the killing and
the pillaging and stuff, but at the core, this woman knows her family, she knows who she is, she knows what she wants, she really loves her brother and she knows where they both stand. She really does not relate to her father and she knows what he’s done wrong and why she doesn’t need
to have her loyalties lie there. And she’s a real example
of someone who just stakes her claim and does what she feels is right and I think that was really inspiring for me to play a character
who is very similar to who we are as women. So it changed things
certainly in that way. And, as you say, certain disability and… Yeah, I just feel like I was very, very lucky to play this role and be representative of that. And to be, women come out to me at
conventions and stuff and they say that Yara made a difference in terms of their journey in terms of their gender and their sexuality and how they feel about themselves and the complications that they’ve met along their journey. If a TV character can help someone, it’s really special, so it’s done so much for so many, Yara’s done so much for so many people. (audience laughs) What I’m trying to say is
I’ve changed the world. (audience laughs) But, anyway, you get what I’m saying. Blah, blah, blah. – But, I think that the series just felt that there was no subject that was kinda taboo for it and I think that was what was so fantastic about it was that anything goes basically.
– [Gemma] Meets it head on. – So great. – Just reflective, it’s reflective.
– Balls of steel, exactly. – Of exactly what it is apart from the dragons. – You’ve got memorable scene? – The King’s Moot for me. Certainly, that bit where on the Antrim Coast we spoke, well you were speaking about Belfast and how special it is to be
home when you’re working. Yeah, the King’s Moot for me there was a heck of a lot of dialogue and dynamic about it and it was the first day
we worked with Pilou. And, yeah, it was meaty, and I cut my teeth
– What a bastard. – into it. (Edith laughs) – Sorry, I feel like I’ve hurt your feelings by calling him a bastard. I meant the character, not the actor. – He is a bastard. – He’s a bastard, too. – He’s Danish. (audience laughs) – For me, that kinda came
true in season eight. Jaime Lannister was someone who I only had that sort of brief interaction with. (audience and panel laughs) – Wanted to punch his
light out, didn’t you? – But, he was one of my favourite characters to watch on screen. As was kinda touched upon
in that film earlier. I don’t know why on earth we do, but we empathise with him. And after he’s tried to murder a child we sit there and think, “Oh, he’s probably a nice guy.” (audience laughs) And that’s what’s fascinating about him and I think it’s a really
interesting parallel with Bran in that he loses his sword hand. You know, the thing that defines him in the same way that Bran lost his legs. So, I’d always wanted to have some kind of conversation with have Bran and Jaime
Lannister interact again. And I thought it was a perfect
reunion in season eight. Jaime coming in and meeting
this really, really weird, freaky, all knowing raven. (Edith laughs) – What about you two. – I’d have liked to come
across Cersei, I think. That would have been nice. – Yeah. Yeah, definitely. – Khal Drogo. (audience laughs) Where the fuck is he? – Tell me.
– Swimming. – I think he and Tormund would have a great party. (audience laughs) – Where d’ya think he is? – What? – Where d’ya think he is? – He’s dead. (audience laughs) – Definitely, yeah. Whenever I was on set
with someone with a sword I’d be like, “Oo, can I play with it? “Can I see it?” (audience laughs) Even when Bran got given
that really cool dagger in season seven, he gave that away. (audience laughs)
… Sake, Bran! – You could have played
any other character– – And that’s difficult, I think, Tormund Giantsbane? (audience laughs) Yeah, I think that. – Maybe Jaqen H’ghar. I liked him. – Yeah. – Uh. (audience laughs) Who? Google. There’s no reception. – Isaac? – Gee, probably Jaime Lannister. (audience and panel laughs) – Daddy? – Payback time, payback time. – Slightly obsessed by Jaime Lannister. – Talking to my psychiatrist, though. (audience laughs) Oh, to my shame I didn’t
actually know who he was. When we first did the scenes. I mean, I was a bit younger. It was really special. (audience giggles) There are very few people you, what? (laughs) There are few people you work with who you sort of– (Gemma laughs) (audience laughs) – Come on guys, share. – I was just saying, “Who?” And he said, “Ed Sheeren.” (audience laughs) But I think we might have misheard. (audience laughs) Sorry. No. Multi-Oscar winning Max von Sydow. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s Swedish. – Sorry, anyway.
As you were saying. – Before we were rudely interrupted. There was a sort of real atmosphere on set whenever he was there. He was referred to as T.R. The Three-Eyed Raven and whenever he arrived it be (imitates walkie talkie static) Three T.R. is on set, he’s on set. But he was just utterly charming. But he, I can’t remember what age he was, but mid-80s, early-90s, and he was there with his wonderful wife who sort of took care of him and arranged his work. And he was just a real gentleman. Very sweet, very nice to work with. And he made lines that you just though
were sort of irrelevant just a single word line and he would say it and the whole room would be captivated. So it was really cool
to get to work with him. – No, I don’t think I felt restricted. I think the writing did the work for me a lot of the time. And when it was meant
to be humorous or light, hopefully, I added that levity. Yeah, she’s quite a serious woman for most of the time. But there was very nice light moments that I enjoyed playing with. But I didn’t feel restricted, no. – I think, it’s kind of an hour and a half long scene, I suppose, the Battle of Winterfell I think is possibly one
of the best episodes of Game of Thrones that was ever made. To make an hour and a half of more or less pure battle interesting is very difficult to do. And to keep the story elements and the drama while a lot of it’s just chaos and swords flying I think is really clever. And the epic death of the Night King. – Gemma? – It’s hack, but the
Battle of the Bastards for me was, I’ve never watched a
scene of television before so physically and so when Jon Snow kind of emerges almost suffocated I realised I had stopped breathing as well. I gasped. Again, to achieve that with
an episode of television is just incredible. – The way it was shot as well… – Yeah, that was something for me. – For me it was when I was
really hooked on the show before I was in it. And it was Jason Momoa’s speech in the tent before he kills Daenerys’s brother and he has this ranting thing he’s just going all the way. I think that was, I liked that one a lot. – Amazing. – I didn’t understand a
shit what he was saying. (audience laughs) – Thank you guys for being here. It means the world to everyone here and us as well. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for your questions. (audience cheers and applauds) Huge round of applause for Kristofer, Gemma, and Isaac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *