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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

House of the Dragon cast reveal what Rhys Ifans would do to make them break character

Ollie Upton/HBO

Before Rhys Ifans was Otto Hightower, the conniving hand of the king in HBO’s House of the Dragon, he was Hugh Grant’s eccentric, barely-dressed roommate in Notting Hill.

While the Welsh actor’s character in the Game of Thrones prequel is much more serious, it seems he’s lost none of the comedic talents that made him such a hit in Grant’s 1999 rom-com.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio 1, the cast of HotD discussed the methods Ifans would use to make them break down in laughter during scenes.

“He didn’t need to [say anything],” Rhaenyra Targaryen actor Milly Alcock tells host Ali Plumb. “Rhys Ifans has a certain twinkle under his eye.”

Emily Carey, who plays Ifans’s daughter Alicent Hightower, interjects: “It’s just a look he gives you! Or he nudges, he loves doing that in scenes. If something goes slightly wrong he’ll just start nudging.”

”Tell you who he moves like,” Alcock says, “the Grinch”.

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in ‘House of the Dragon’ (Ollie Upton/HBO)

The interview then turns to Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole), who says that Ifans would “scream obscenities on your close-ups so that you would uncontrollably laugh during your takes”.

So distracting was Ifans that Frankel says sometimes the directors would have to ask the actor to leave the set so that the rest of the cast could finish shooting.

House of the Dragon continues in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 2am, before repeating at 9pm later that day.

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