‘I’ve Totally F*cked It’: Fabien Frankel Recalls His First Day Jitters on ‘House of the Dragon’

Frankel "forgot how to act" while filming his first scene as Ser Criston Cole on the "Game of Thrones" spinoff.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 29: Fabien Frankel gestures during the press conference of House Of The Dragon at St Regis Hotel on July 29, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Fabien Frankel
Getty Images

The first day at any new job can be nerve racking, doubly so if your job is starring on an HBO show. And if that show just happens to be a highly anticipated spinoff of one of the most popular cable series of all time, anyone could be forgiven for being a bit nervous.

That was certainly the case when Fabien Frankel, who plays Ser Criston Cole on “House of the Dragon,” stepped foot on set for the first time. In a new appearance on “The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon,” Frankel revealed that he panicked while filming his first scene and completely froze on camera.

“The camera finally got around to me and I swear to God I literally forgot how to act. I couldn’t do it! I didn’t know what to do,” Frankel said. “I remember going, ‘This is it, I’ve totally fucked it.'”

Soon after, he saw now-former showrunner Miguel Sapochnik marching through “250 background artists” to talk to him.

“Fabien, what’s up? What’s going on with your face?” Frankel recalled Sapochnik saying. While the actor eventually got over his nerves and was able to complete the scene, he still isn’t over the embarrassing memory. “It was just the worst fucking experience of my life.”

Frankel isn’t the only cast member to open up about their nervousness on set. Emily Carey recently revealed that she was scared to film a sex scene with her onscreen husband Paddy Considine, though the crew’s professionalism ultimately made it a smooth experience.

“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 said. “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.”

New episodes of “House of the Dragon” air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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