Michiel Huisman

Michiel Huisman

Photography: Corbis

From Game of Thrones to Wild, Huisman discusses his rise to prominence.

After prominent roles on TV’s Treme, Nashville and Orphan Black, Michiel Huisman signed on as a regular in the megahit series Game of Thrones.

This month he’s romancing Reese Witherspoon in Wild, based on writer Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her 1,100-mile hike of self-discovery. 

THE RED BULLETIN: You have some very intimate moments with Reese in Wild. How did you approach that?

MICHIEL HUISMAN:
You have to jump in and see how it goes. [Sex] was an important element of Jonathan, my character in the story. [Cheryl] is on a trail and she meets a lot of people, but at the point she meets [Jonathan], something is slowly starting to shift. Before when she was with a guy, it had this self-destructive element to it. And here it felt like the start of more of a positive experience, having fun with a guy. She literally walks into my life and walks out the next day.

Did you meet Cheryl and talk about her experiences? 

I had dinner with Cheryl, her husband and [Wild director] Jean-Marc Vallée. We were able to ask her questions about Jonathan. A lot we already knew from the book, but whatever we didn’t know we got from Cheryl whenever her husband went to the bathroom. We’d ask, “How was it really?” And then every time her husband came back, it was like, “You’re talking about Jonathan again?” But he was cool. We were all joking. 

Wild sex scenes with Witherspoon? “You have to jump in and see how it goes.”

Can you imagine yourself doing something like Cheryl’s epic hike?

Yes, but I was thinking slackpacking—it would be four days with my wife. We could have our backpacks sent to the next hotel. [Laughs.] But I would also like to try it a little more seriously. Watching the movie, you think, “I want to go for a long walk!”

Do you get recognized from Game of Thrones?

Last year it was funny to be on three different shows. People would come up to me and I’d assess them and think, “OK, they watch Game of Thrones,” and they’d say, “I love you on Nashville!” But now that I’ve fully joined Game of Thrones, I won’t be doing any other TV.

So no more Orphan Black?

Well, we’re working with the producers to see if it’s possible to create a better exit. It’s safe to say you may see Cal again.

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