‘Things like this don’t happen to people like me’

It seems unimaginable, but Milly Alcock had never seen Game of Thrones when she was cast as one of the stars of her new spin-off House of the Dragon – which made her even more impressive when she walked into the set.

“I was just like, ‘Damn,'” she says. “I didn’t know you could make a TV like this. And I think this whole experience opened up a world I didn’t know existed.”

The Australian actress plays the younger version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in her new HBO/Sky show starting next week – Emma D’Arcy from Wanderlust plays the old version. She features opposite former acting actors like Paddy Considine, Eve Best, and Matt Smith, and her face has been hanging on promotional posters around the world for months.

It’s kind of a journey for someone who did the dishes for a living just a few years ago. But when we meet in a huge hotel room in central London, with journalists and Sky staff buzzing around, Alcock seems to be doing everything at his own pace. In the middle, the entire player sits completely calm, perhaps a little above everything else.

“I have my own tape for an unknown HBO project and I went to shoot it with a friend,” the 22-year-old tells me. HBO had no idea what it was for, as he had removed the names from the script, but luckily his friend figured it out. “’This is a Game of Thrones scene,’ he said. This is the scene with Arya Stark.’”

Two weeks later, Alcock was chosen as one of the stars of the show. He entertains me with stories about filming; riding the dragon – “The first 10 minutes are fun and then when you stay there for three hours, you say, ‘My ass hurts’” – and you learn how to express it in Valyrian, the fictional language of the Targaryens.

Growing up in Sydney, Alcock credits the early-school production of Little Red Rocking Hood (a thrilling adaptation of the original fairy tale) as inspiration for driving him into acting.

“I remember being on stage,” he says, waving his hands for emphasis. “I had this euphoric feeling. And I said, ‘I want it, whatever it is. Yes, that’s how I want to feel for the rest of my life.’”

Surreal: Alcock at the London premiere of House of the Dragon (Dave Benett)

Surreal: Alcock at the London premiere of House of the Dragon (Dave Benett)

She continued acting with determined dedication, attending cinema classes with just “one more girl” when she was younger, and trying to start her career multiple times while growing up.

“From a very, very young age I’ve always been a little too independent,” he says, “when he was four years old, he sat my mother down next to him… and told him it was time to go for me.” Big school.”

Undeterred by this inevitable disappointment, she did the same when it finally came time to apply to the acting high school she attended. “I enrolled myself in high school and told my mom when the audition was. When I was 13, I called my manager, ‘Hello, can I audition?’ I called the agency because I learned at a very young age that no one would do that for me.”

The tactic worked. Before taking on the role of troubled teenage Meg opposite Tim Minchin on Aussie Road, Alcock admits it was mostly about police procedural, as it’s “the only job you can do” in Australia because it’s “the only job you can do” in Australia. -trip comedy series Upright.

This was the role he dropped out of high school to play. “I love Meg. That’s why I’m here for Meg,” she says, adding that she has recently finished filming for the second season.

Despite her love for the show, she is equally adamant that she must leave her native country to become an actress.

“There is no budget,” he says. “The government doesn’t really fund art. Art is not valued at all. People don’t really go to the theatre; they cannot afford.

“The only ones who go to the theater are the old, the rich, and the white. So all the plays they play are meant to entertain this audience. Art, especially in Australia, isn’t made for a young audience… it totally rejects them; it’s really frustrating.”

As a result, he says many young actors are choosing to leave – indeed, Alcock’s face lights up when I mention his friend and fellow Australian actress Markella Kavenagh, who will be starring in the upcoming Lord of the Rings spin-off The Rings of Power next month. .

Is any UK different in approach to the arts? He grumbled. “Just because it was advertised; the fact that people are talking about it? You wouldn’t do this at home.

Emotional in Valyrian: Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen (Alamy Stock Photo)

Emotional in Valyrian: Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen (Alamy Stock Photo)

It’s hard not to shake the feeling that she’s a little dazed when she suddenly realizes what this attention means to her. “It feels like two different jobs,” he says. “Because you go to work, you do the work. And in the end, that’s what really makes me happy. I can walk away and be like, ‘I’m proud today. I stopped worrying and had fun and started exploring.’

“Then you come here and there are people waiting in front of your hotel with documents to be signed… it feels like a different version of me. And then you have to open it up. So, I just lived my life as myself and people care now. I couldn’t say I did other great things.”

However, she dodges questions about anxiety by tying her to moving abroad alone for the first time. “My family can’t come,” he says of the London premiere, which took place the night we met. “And I just really, really wish my mom was here because that may never happen again. So it’s kind of bittersweet… things like this don’t happen to people like me.”

House of the Dragon is over for now, what’s next? While she is often chosen to play “outspoken, strong, independent” young women, she is adamant that she actively seeks different roles.

“I want to play a boxer,” he says casually, and then adds: “Or I want to play a Valley Girl.” He shrugs when I ask why. “I want to learn skills through this job. I mean, I’d rather get a great script than a skill, but why not get both?”

Moments later, he adds another role to his roster: Amy Taylor, lead singer of Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers. “You have to look at them,” he adds as the interview ends and his team descends.

Considering the way Alcock ate the screen in House of the Dragon, a punk rock star should be child’s play.

House of the Dragon is NOW available exclusively on Sky Atlantic and streaming service from August 22

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