Emily Carey Says She Was Initially “Scared” of Doing ‘House of the Dragon’ Sex Scenes at Age 18

·3 min read
Photo credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
Photo credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Emily Carey, who plays a young Alicent Hightower in HBO’s mega-hit series House of the Dragon, recently opened up to Newsweek about being “scared” of doing sex scenes in the Game of Thrones prequel due to the preceding show’s “violence upon women,” which is very fair!

In episode 4 of House of the Dragon, her character Alicent appeared in two intimate scenes: one in which she helped bathe King Viserys and another in which she had sex with him (in the latter scene, however, it’s crystal clear the sex was not enjoyable for Alicent).

Emily was just 17 years old when she read the show’s scripts and 18 when she and the cast began filming, she told Newsweek. The actor expanded on their feelings at the time and admitted she felt “scared” because “at that point I still hadn’t met Paddy [Considine], I didn’t know how much of a joy he was and how easy he was going to make [shooting the scene], and all I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me. I was a bit concerned.” I mean, the math is mathing here!

Emily said it was ultimately thanks to an “amazing” intimacy coordinator on set that she truly felt reassured and at ease. “Again, still being 17, the first scene that I read from the show was my sex scene and my intimacy scenes, that includes the scene where I'm bathing the king—anything that felt intimate was considered an intimacy scene, which I thought was great.”

The actor also expanded on how watching Game of Thrones before starting production on House of the Dragon affected her psyche prior to shooting her scenes: “Of course the first season, even just the first episode of Thrones, there’s a lot of violence upon women. There’s a lot of violent sex, and it made me nervous. I was like, ‘Oh, god, what am I gonna have to do in this show?’” Emily ultimately lauded the series’ women directors and writers— namely Clare Kilner and Sara Hess—plus, its showrunners, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, for having an “open conversation” and making the cast “feel incredibly secure and safe.”

“When we got to the rehearsal room, regardless of who was in which scenes, there was an open dialogue about, ‘Look, this is how we’re approaching the show. This is how it’s going to be different from the original. This is what we want to talk about. This is what we want to put out. This is how we want the viewers to view the women in our show,’” the actor added.

Photo credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
Photo credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

“It was an amazing thing, and it was empowering being on that set as a young girl and being treated the same as all of these very established men. It was great, I think they approached this in the best way they could have done,” they concluded.

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