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‘House Of The Dragon’ actor Olivia Cooke says acting in the TV series felt like “self-flagellation”

House of The Dragon actor Olivia Cooke has said she felt like signing up to star in the Game of Thrones prequel was like “self-flagellation” after it first aired.

Cooke plays Alicent Hightower in the fantasy show. However, the actor said that she felt many people judged her as a person because of how she played Alicent. “It’s mad because what they’re talking about is this fantasy version of me that doesn’t exist whatsoever,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.

Speaking forthrightly about her own reaction to the initial reaction online to her performance, the actor added: “People talk about you like they know you and it’s just so odd. All you can do is be as authentic as possible.”

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in ‘House Of The Dragon’. CREDIT: HBO/Sky

Cooke did admit it was a mistake to read things on social media. However, she did say it was a “challenge” to try and shut the noise out.

Speaking about Game of Thrones fans in particular, she said: “The Game of Thrones fans have been quite noisy, and having to block your ears and eyes from that has been a challenge. It’s like the school playground – you want to know what everyone is saying about you and what’s been said.”

The Ready Player One star has said the experience of being part of something so high-profile has changed her slightly. Admitting that life is “different” following the show’s release, she said: “When my episodes aired, I was subject to an immediate visibility that I hadn’t experienced before when I was walking down the street. I’m so naïve, but I think I was purposely so because I didn’t want to confront this anxiety.”

HBO renewed House Of The Dragon on August 26, after the show’s first episode racked up 20million viewers in the US. A release date has yet to be officially announced, although we have an indication judging by reported filming schedules.

According to WinterIsComing, production on the second season will be underway from March 2023 in Spain. Filming on the first season began in April 2021 and concluded in February 2022, before it was released later that year in August.

As such, when following the same timeframe, it’s likely the show will return in mid-2024 at the earliest.

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