Following on from this past Sunday's episode of Game Of Thrones, Empire beseeched R'hllor for an audience with Carice van Houten, who plays priestess Melisandre on the show. Fortunately, he had her phone number, so we called her up and talked about the character, dream death scenes and working with fellow Thrones veteran Nikolaj "Jaime Lannister" Coster-Waldau on Brian De Palma's new cop thriller Domino.
It truly does feel like Melisandre is feeling a great weight of regret when we catch up to her. Do you think she is?
Oh, yes. I don't think she has a lot of hidden agendas, I think she was always pretty clear about what she wanted and how she was going to do it. They were cruel methods, but I think she finally can feel something. Before, she couldn't, as with the whole Shireen thing, she had to be pure in belief that it would save a lot more people, even though it was the cruelest thing ever. I feel like her emotions are kicking in slowly. I never saw her as pure evil, I don't believe in that anyway.
When you're playing a character like this, can you truly empathise with her?
Yes, even if there's not much sympathy, the empathy is there. And I've always seen her as someone who was doing things for the greater good, even despite the horrible methods. She was never in it for herself. And the fact that we know she's really old adds to that for me. She's seen so much more than anyone else, and she knows what we're talking about when we're talking winter.
Is The Queen's Justice the last we'll see of you this season?
I don't know if I'm allowed to say about this. Probably nothing! But it does sound like she's on her way. And at the same time, we know she has to come back at some point because she said something pretty revealing about her future. It would be a shame to not see her death!
Are you looking forward to having a death scene?
Well, not necessarily! (Laughs) But if you're going to go out, then go out with a bang. Most of my scenes have been pretty epic so far. So, if I'm going to get it, I'm really going to get it!
Maybe they could just have a dragon carry you off?
Yes! Or you know, just have her trip over and fall in a stupid accident, just to add some humour. She can trip over her cloak and have a really epic fall off that cliff.
Was it fun to finally work with Emilia Clarke?
It was! I hadn't worked with her, or Peter Dinklage, or Nathalie. It was refreshing, though nothing against my lovely Stannis and Davos, because I loved them, it was like being a guest in a comedy show every time, because it was so much fun to be around Stephen and Liam, we had such a funny connection the three of us off screen. At the same time, we were all ready for some fresh blood, so it was exciting to act with them. It was like being a fan in the show! "I'm standing here talking to Daenerys and Tyrion!"
It feels like the women are becoming the powerful people in the world now.
Finally! That's great, and I love it!
You're working on Brian De Palma's Domino with Nikolaj (Coster-Waldau), and had you worked with him before?
No! That was the same thing, it was so strange to have a scene in the car, for people to see us together in regular clothes, with contemporary dialogue. Look at me, with Jaime Lannister! He's so cool!
And he has two hands, which is probably a surprise...
And I don't have red hair!
Has it been good interacting with him?
We'd met in the hallways of hotels and premieres, but not really. It's nice anyway to be around other Europeans! And him being Danish, I've always been fascinated by the Scandinavian language and now I'm in Copenhagen and f*g loving it. It's great to work with the Danes around here... Apart from Mr. De Palma!
How is it working with Brian De Palma?
It's great to work with someone at his age with his kind of spirit. I feel very lucky to be in that role.