'Game Of Thrones' Q&A: Michiel Huisman On Daario
Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis -- HBO
There's a handsome new man in Daenerys Targaryen's life in "Game of Thrones" Season 4, but he's someone she's already met.
"Nashville's" Michiel Huisman has stepped into the role of mercenary Daario Naharis (who was played in Season 3 by Ed Skrein) for the show's fourth season, and as Emilia Clarke told Access Hollywood , her new co-star is, "a lot of hunk."
This is primetime cable, so fans shouldn't expect any soap opera style "and the role of Daario will now be played by..." voice-overs (and there's been no official word on why the show made the change), but Executive Producer David Benioff promised Michiel will make a big impression.
"Michiel Huisman is phenomenal and I think that there will be that momentary confusion for the audience, but once that they see a scene or two with him, he's going to become someone they know very quickly," David told Access. "And he's just a wonderful, amazing actor and a man of many talents."
Michiel will be across the dial this television year - he's been in recent episodes of ABC's "Nashville" (as Liam, a producer/love interest for the show's women), and he's heading to BBC America's "Orphan Black" Season 2. But, ahead of Sunday's "Game of Thrones" premiere, Access asked the Dutch actor about all things Daario.
AccessHollywood.com: Is it a relief you did not have to dye your hair blue? (Note: In George R.R. Martin's books, Daario enjoys the colorful hair hue.)
Michiel Huisman: (Laughs) Yeah, although I've never dyed my hair blue and it would be fun to do it at some point, but yeah, no, it was never...
Access: An option?
Michiel: No. The producers, they follow the books closely, but also are not afraid to divert a little bit and when it comes to something like the blue hair that Daario has in the books, it's probably hard to play this tough mercenary, walking around with a blue beard.
Access: We saw that picture of you on Instagram training before you had been cast. How much work went into training for this, because you do really have a different body type in this vs. in 'Nashville' where you're skinny producer guy?
Michiel: Yeah, well, a lot -- a lot of work to be honest. Also, because, first of all, I thought that Daario has this very athletic body, the body of like a well-trained fighter, but second of all, I always really liked to kind of get closer to my character by -- if at all required -- by learning something or doing something new and this is something I'd never done before. It gave me a way to kind of start prepping the character, like two and a half months in advance. I would work out a lot and kind of feel my body change a bit and get closer to Daario. Sometimes, it's about learning a certain skill or a certain dialect or whatever. In this case, I loved taking on the physical aspect as a way of getting close the character.
Access : How much weight is that costume 'cause it sure looks like it's heavy!
Michiel: Oh yeah... it's about five layers of leather (laughs). ... That's all part of the fun of working on a show that's so big and such an epic show as 'Game of Thrones.' It starts with putting on the costume, which I really need one or two people to help me [with], and then you walk on set and it's this amazing hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea or something like that. It's kind of like half your work is already done there. That's what it feels like a little bit.