Carice van Houten on nudity in Game of Thrones and why life isn’t fairShe’s one of the biggest sex symbols in Game of Thrones and proud of it. But Carice Van Houten could well be set to play another role in season six: Jon Snow’s saviour. The Dutch actress talks to The Red Bulletin about what we can expect from the new season
THE RED BULLETIN: What was it like shooting the Jon Snow resurrection scene?
CARICE VAN HOUTEN: Ha ha, nice try! Why is everyone assuming that I can bring this character back to life? Yes, I have made some potions in my time, but bringing someone back to life is another story. I understand why everyone wants him to come back to life, because in this f**ked up world we need the good to come back. That’s not what Game of Thrones is though. The good die and it is not fair. Sorry if I disappoint a few people with that.
But if you had the power to raise the dead, which characters would you bring back?
I would love to bring back Joffrey and Tywin Lannister.
Two of the most dangerous characters on the show?
I just loved watching Joffrey and I loved the way Jack Gleeson portrayed him. And I would love to bring back Charles Dance. He was one of my favourite characters.
Your character isn’t the most loved. Can you imagine being in her position?
Yes, in a way, because you learn that not everyone is born a bad person. Melisandre has her very troubling methods, but she is doing it to save humanity. She was always in control, always fanatic. You hardly see her emotions because she cannot allow herself to go there. I struggled in the beginning with this character. The parts that I have done before were women that were strong and they had strong cores, but they had so much doubt and fears and insecurities.
I played a lot of damaged people. And I loved that drama, because I could draw from my own life. I haven’t been able to do that with Melisandre until now. We saw how confused she was at the end of season 5. Her methods haven’t worked and she’s in unknown territory now. That’s great for me as an actor, we’ve been building this up for so long and now we can see the cracks in her character.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where certain methods didn’t work?
Oh yes. I have had 1000’s of methods that didn’t work.
How did you cope with it?
Loads of therapy. Where to begin…
Are you uncomfortable with getting naked in front of the camera?
I love it! No, seriously, it’s definitely not my favourite thing in the world. But we’re trying to make this as realistic as possible, so it would be weird to have scenes where I am covering up. The environment is so brutal and fierce and naked and raw, it just wouldn’t feel right. I always feel stupid when I watch a film like that. If I have sex with someone then I don’t leave my bra on! Sorry, that’s just the hypocrisy we have at the moment. You can show machine guns and people getting killed, but show a nipple and the world goes crazy.
I am not saying we should see more nudity on TV, but I just think it’s part of life. The most important thing for me though is that it has to add to the narrative. I will only do it if makes sense to the art we’re trying to create, not if they are just trying to show off my tits and arse.
Have there been moments when you thought that this was all too much?
There have been quite a few. Giving birth to a shadow monster was challenging. People were blowing tubes with prosthetics into my belly while I lay there, half naked while people painted my nipples. I had to wear this duvet with mud around it and keep my legs wide open while pretending that there was this big monster coming out me. That’s what I call a challenge.
How do you want your character to die?
Spectacularly. Beheaded by a dragon or something. Like in Jurassic Park.