There was a lot to unpack in last week’s “Game of Thrones” premiere, from Sansa and Jon’s infighting to Daenerys’ long-gestating plans for conquest, but one of the most memorable sequences from “Dragonstone” had little to do with war. Rather, it was our introduction to Samwell’s time at the Citadel — an apprenticeship shown in a montage that repeatedly cut between bowls of soup and overflowing bedpans.
In a new Vulture interview, actor John Bradley takes us behind the scenes of that stomach-churning sequence. Were you aware, for instance, that “if you want to re-create human feces onscreen, the best thing to do is to use soaking-wet fruitcake and mold it into the shape of turds”? Now you do.
Bradley continues: “The thing about wet fruitcake is, when you see it for the first time at 6:30 in the morning, it’s fresh. But when you get to 5 in the afternoon and you’ve been shooting all day, and the wet fruitcake has been in the water and under the hot lights all day, it starts to become only slightly less unpleasant than the real thing.” Somehow that knowledge doesn’t make the scene any less unpleasant, does it?
As if that weren’t enough, it turns out that Bradley was filming his scenes on his lonesome over the course of five days, during which his castmates were doing something considerably more glamorous: attending the Emmys.
“They were on the red carpet in L.A. while I was on my own in Belfast, dry-heaving and pretending to scrape shit out of the bedpan,” says Bradley. “The balance is a little bit off here.” Indeed. Read the full interview here.