Game of Thrones’ Gemma Whelan admits “to become a main character is great”
Gemma Whelan’s Games of Thrones character Yara Greyjoy will become central to the season seven storyline, and she has confessed it is “a real honour” to carry such a storyline.
The character’s presence has increased over the last instalment, and at the end of season six GoT fans saw Yara with her brother Theon (Alfie Allen) as they joined forces with Daenerys. Whelan admitted: “I don’t mind playing a little part in a big series, but to become a main character is great.”
The actress continued: “When the casting breakdown was given out, before I even auditioned, it said I have a much greater role in later seasons. Of course, you never believe what you read, and things change, but everything I was told would happen has happened.”
The star also recalled an unusual first day on set, after she was forced to ditch her vegetarianism in the name of acting. “I’m a vegetarian,” she said. “My brother Theon kills two boys and comes back thinking he’s a hero. In the script it says my character is eating meat. I thought I’d just tell them on the day that I don’t eat meat and we could bring in a meat substitute. I didn’t know the calibre of the show at the time and the set guy made a whole vat of chicken, so I ate chicken all day. I just told myself I was going method! The protein hit was quite something.”
However, the early and less-glamourous stages of filming got Whelan to where she is now and we cannot wait to see more from her character in season seven.
She concluded: “To even be thought capable to be holding such a storyline was a real honour.”
Game of Thrones season 7 returns in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 17 July.