Game of Thrones' Eugene Simon: Lancel Is Afraid of Tyrion
Tyrion may be the smallest Lannister in stature, but he has a knack for intimidating the young men in his family.
Cousin Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) certainly quaked in his knightly boots on Sunday's Game of Thrones (9/8c, HBO). Ordered by Queen Regent Cersei to deliver a demand for Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to release a certain prisoner, Lancel found himself at a disadvantage when The Imp blackmailed him into becoming an informant based upon the fact that Lancel was having an affair with Cersei.
"Lancel walks into this room with a piece of parchment to give to Tyrion with the main intention to just get in and get out," Simon tells TVGuide.com. "I tried to make Lancel into somebody who is putting a front of kind of aggression and arrogance and pomp. But I hope you actually see that very much underneath is a boy who is just trembling with fear and trepidation because Tyrion is a force of nature when it comes to dealing with other people. And Lancel isn't. Lancel's a young man. There's a sense of fear that I had from start to finish and it only really came into light once he confronts Lancel with his crime."
Playing the cowardly yet scheming Lancel is quite a change of pace for Simon, who also plays English boarding school student Jerome Clark in Nickelodeon's House of Anubis. Besides the wildly different subject matter and audience, Simon also sports his natural sandy hair as Jerome, much darker and shorter than his Thrones hairdo.
Check out what Simon has to say about Lancel's hair, his feelings for Cersei and the upcoming epic battle:
Is that your real hair? Lancel appears to be much blonder than you.
Eugene Simon: No that is my new, wonderful wig.
How long is the process to put that on?
Simon: I'd say it's about an hour and a half putting it on. And then it's about a good 20 minutes, half an hour taking it off. I don't know if you've ever been skiing, but it's sort of like taking off a pair ski boots. It's just like, "Ahh!" once it's off. I can breathe.
What was that like the first time you saw it on and you looked and you looked in a mirror?
Simon: I thought that the wig was just fantastic this year. His wig last season didn't quite reveal the entirety of Lancel's face, which I thought was appropriate because he was always on the periphery of the story line. But this year it's much more opened up, and you see Lancel in his pomp, in his kind of new curled hair, in his shining new clothing, his very Jaime-esque clothing. It actually went in sync with how I wanted Lancel to be more revealed as opposed to introverted.
How would you describe your approach to playing Lancel?
Simon: In the first season, when I first met Lancel, he was the squire to Robert Baratheon and having been raised in a household that was known for its power, its wealth and altogether it's very elite attitude throughout the Seven Kingdoms, I did view him as a kind of loner. He's a guy who doesn't really doesn't have much of a relationship with his family. But what I liked about him, and as Season 2 will show, is that he has this ... deep-seated underlying ambition that has been inherently pumped into him simply because he is part of House Lannister. He's such a dutiful boy, and I think that sums up Lancel in a one-word kind of way, devotion to his House. But that's actually his main weakness: his intent to try to and be someone he's not, which is this powerful figure.
Do you think he feels guilty at all about serving the wine that led to King Robert's death in Season 1?
Simon: In Season 2 you won't see it, but I think that the murdering of Robert Baratheon is something that he does so much under the influence of love. His affection towards Cersei Lannister is revealed towards the end of Season 1... Lancel is fundamentally not made of much, and his guilt that he feels for having committed a crime of this magnitude will reveal itself. At the moment that's not what Lancel believes though. Lancel is devoted to trying to be a knight, to hold up this authority that he's been given but not necessarily earned, and he wants to be a figure of power. He may become a figure that we respect for what he does someday, but at the moment he doesn't have the tools available to him psychologically to actually be anything more than a boy.