‘Scary but fun’: Eve Best on living up to ‘House of the Dragon’ fans’ expectations | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Scary but fun’: Eve Best on living up to ‘House of the Dragon’ fans’ expectations

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:25 AM October 26, 2022
Best as Princess Rhaenys PHOTOS COURTESY OF HBO GO

Best as Princess Rhaenys—PHOTO COURTESY OF HBO GO

With the shocking and heartbreaking events that transpired in the last episode of the pilot season of HBO Go’s “House of the Dragon” (HOTD) last Monday, the stakes have certainly gotten higher—and more personal—for Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Daemon (Matt Smith).

Needless to say, we eagerly await HOTD’s Season 2 to see how Rhaenyra intends to avenge her “latest loss” (no spoilers) in the season finale as the Dance of the Dragons gets underway.


But the beleaguered Targaryen heiress has made one crucial ally she’s very lucky to have grudgingly won over to her side: Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best), the rightful Queen Who Never Was, passed over for the crown because of her gender.

Making Rhaenys even harder to ignore is the formidable actress tasked to bring the character to life: Eve Best, the 51-year-old Helen Mirren-channeling, Olivier-winning British actress (“The King’s Speech,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hedda Gabler”) who imbues her portrayal with as much grace as steely confidence and fortitude.


Eve’s potent, palpable presence “fills” every scene she’s in—even when she doesn’t have a lot of lines to deliver. As Episode 9 demonstrates, she cuts such an imposing figure on top of Meleys aka the Red Queen, her fire-breathing she-dragon.

Given that Rhaenys was supposed to rule the seven kingdoms of Westeros instead of Viserys, Eve was asked in a recent roundtable interview what her take was on losing the Iron Throne to a man.

“Well, it’s annoying (laughs),” she quipped. “But at the same time, it’s not a surprise. If there was something I could have done differently, what I would do is educate all the women and get rid of the perception that only men can inherit the crown, so that women can be given a shot at this very cool job. So, I want that sort of education for everybody in Westeros.”

Physically demanding

With HOTD getting so big, and each of its episodes met with huge anticipation, how different has the actress’ experience been doing the series compared to the other projects before it?

Eve replied, “I would say it’s on a much bigger scale than any other work that I’ve done before, especially in terms of the number of people involved and the number of sets and special effects it has, as well as the vast amount of money spent to fully realize this world.

“But then again, it has also essentially been like any other job as an actor. We’ll go in, learn the words, and try to work out what’s going on with our characters. We interact with each other and try to get through it physically as well.



“This role has been so physically and incredibly demanding that there’s not very much space or time to worry about anything else other than, ‘When am I going to eat?’ or ‘Am I going to get enough hours of sleep before it all starts again?’ (laughs)—and so on. “I found it really tough at the time. It’s only now that we’re doing these [interviews] that my lens are starting to have a broader perspective on the wider implications of the series and my awareness of people’s expectations, passion, possessiveness, protectiveness of the original (‘Game of Thrones’) and the viewers’ love for this series.


“And so, given that responsibility, it’s interesting and scary but also fun. But these are things we can’t control. It’s out of our hands now. We just have to point north and do our job. Whatever will be, will be.”

During the interview, Steve Toussaint, who plays Eve’s Black husband and Lord of Driftmark Corlys Velaryon, disclosed that he was initially bashed by some fans who weren’t too happy about the change of his character’s race (“It was so blatant that it came as a bit of a shock … because no one has ever called me the N word to my face in a very, very, very long time”). Jumping to Steve’s defense, Eve pointed out, “The rest of us have a responsibility not to give oxygen to the negative voices. Very often, they are the ones who shout the loudest and have the most to say. And I feel like it’s our job not to give them the space, platform or airtime [to spew all that negativity].

‘Game of Thrones’ virgin

“It’s up to us to move the conversation forward and work fast. We haven’t got time to waste anymore. So, to those of us who are on the same page, we need to get together as one and let them just drop off by the wayside.”

Asked if she was familiar with “Game of Thrones” (GoT) before she got her role in HOTD, Eve admitted she wasn’t really aware of what a big deal it was because she “didn’t own a TV.”

“This is so sweet, but my stock and property value with my teenage nephews and grandchildren went way sky-high when I got the role (laughs),” Eve shared. “I was a ‘Game of Thrones’ virgin and didn’t really know the series at all because I haven’t owned a TV for years. I live in Italy and work on a farm, where I make my own olive oil. I mean, I knew of it as a concept, but I was not really involved in that world.

“Then, when I got the part I initially didn’t want to watch it because it might be too much information and I might get distracted by wanting to compare that onscreen life with what we were trying to create.

“But then, when we started rehearsing HOTD, and Steve was watching GoT’s boxed set, he would come in every day and go, ‘Oh, my God. This happened, then that happened … you’ll never believe what they did last night!’

“I was intrigued and was so jealous of his enthusiasm, so I borrowed his boxed set, watched one or two episodes every night, and then I was totally hooked. I became absolutely obsessed with it—it became weird and way too immersive for me (laughs)!” INQ


‘House of the Dragon’ premiere draws nearly 10 million viewers

What to Expect from ‘House of the Dragon Season 2’

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Eve Best, House of the Dragon
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.