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‘House of the Dragon’ Star Emily Carey Was ‘Scared’ to Film Sex Scene

Prior to meeting co-star Paddy Considine, Carey was "concerned" over their 30-year age difference: "All I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me."

Emily Carey and Paddy Considine, House of the Dragon

Emily Carey and Paddy Considine in “House of the Dragon”

HBO

A real life three-decade age difference between two onscreen lovers was a cause for concern for “House of the Dragon” actress Emily Carey.

The HBO star, who portrays Alicent Hightower in the “Game of Thrones” prequel series, consummates her relationship with her husband King Viserys (Paddy Considine) in Episode 4 of the record-breaking series. Carey was 17 when she read the script and 18 at the time of filming; Considine is 48 years old.

“It scared me, because 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,” Carey admitted to Newsweek. “Still being 17, the first scene that I read from the show was my sex scene and my intimacy scenes, that includes the scene where I’m bathing the king, anything that felt intimate was considered an intimacy scene, which I thought was great.”

The “amazing” intimacy coordinator on set made sure Carey felt secure in each scene. “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,” Carey shared.

She added that the experience was “a lot easier than I thought it was going to be,” especially since she was apprehensive over the “violent sex” shown in “Game of Thrones” which she only first binged during “House of the Dragon” pre-production.

“The first season, even just the first episode of ‘Thrones,’ there’s a lot of violence upon women,” Carey reflected. “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?'”

“House of the Dragon” showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik told the cast that the series was going to be “different from the original” and fostered an open discussion about “how we want the viewers to view the women in our show.”

“Certainly, there were a lot of women behind the scenes, we had an amazing team,” Carey added. “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 Sarah [Hess], one of our writers, amongst many others in the writers room, I’m sure.”

Carey said, “It was an amazing thing, and it was 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.”

Director Kilner revealed in HBO’s Inside the Episode featurette that directing intimate scenes like the one between Carey and Considine “can be really difficult” and is a “big responsibility” to correctly capture it.

“Being a female director, I’ve grown up watching how male directors have directed sex scenes and, as a woman, I have to really think about how to shoot it, because my go-to images are ones I grew up with, which aren’t necessarily from a woman’s point of view,” Kilner reflected on the male gaze. “Now we’re at a point where we’re like, ‘No, what is the woman’s point of view here?'”

Head here for IndieWire’s list of the 10 grossest moments in “House of the Dragon” so far.

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