Nathalie Emmanuel, who played Missandei on the hit TV series Game of Thrones, is still standing strong in her support of the series finale — in spite of negative fan reactions.
“My feelings were that it was amazing,” Emmanuel told InStyle at the BAFTA Los Angeles + BBC America TV Tea Party, which took place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Saturday. “I was so proud of it, and all of the hard work that everybody had put in. I was blown away by everyone's performances, the production, the battles. It was all just so incredible.”
Those feelings never wavered, even after a lot of GOT fans bashed the show’s ending on social media. “Everyone's allowed to not like something,” she continued. “If that's their opinion, that’s fine. But I was slightly bent out of shape when people were like, signing petitions. I didn't really enjoy that, ‘cause I think art is to be interpreted and liked and disliked and critiqued and that's fine. You don't have to love it.”
“I found that kind of difficult because I think that the writers on this show are exceptional. I think everybody on it is exceptional and they set a standard that everyone is still trying to meet. And I am so proud to have been a part of it.”
Following the show’s May 19th finale, HBO confirmed that a prequel was in the works, announcing that it would take place “thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones,” and would chronicle “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.” Naomi Watts is set to star in the show, which will include more actors of color than in the original series. When They See Us star Marquis Rodriguez, Lady Macbeth’s Naomi Ackie, and Harlots’ Sheila Atim have been cast, for example.
At BAFTA’s annual pre-Emmys star-studded fete, Emmanuel, who went on to star in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, wore a structured Temperley London dress and her natural curls. Emmanuel’s costar John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), as well as Ava DuVernay, Rachel Brosnahan, Sandra Oh, and many more stars attended.
For the Emmys, though, Emmanuel is going for a more dramatic look. “Last year I wore a train and it was really annoying because everyone kept standing on it. I was like, ‘I'm never wearing a train again.’”
“And somehow I have a bigger train, so that's that,” she added with a laugh. The actress said she planned to have a low key morning ahead of the show, and would simply be enjoying breakfast with a friend before her glam session began at 11:30 a.m.
It’s a big night for Game of Thrones, which earned a record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations, including nods for Best Drama Series, as well as three for supporting actor in a drama series (Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage) and four for supporting actress in a drama series (Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams). Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington also scored their first nominations as lead actress/actor in a drama series respectively, and Carice van Houten landed a nod for guest actress.
Don’t miss the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards when it airs tonight on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.