In ‘House of the Dragon,’ Paddy Considine Claims the Crown - The New York Times

In ‘House of the Dragon,’ Paddy Considine Claims the Crown - The New York Times

In ‘House of the Dragon,’ Paddy Considine Claims the Crown - The New York Times
Aug 10, 2022 3 mins, 42 secs

“I just believe him,” said Olivia Colman, a longtime admirer.

At the heart of it all is Considine, who stars as King Viserys, the ruler whose decisions and frailties set into motion much of the conflict and carnage to come.

“If you look at the body of his work and the type of movies that he does, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a big HBO franchise like this,” said Matt Smith, who stars in “House of the Dragon” as Viserys’s belligerent brother, Daemon.

An acclaimed actor, he nonetheless struggles with attacks of insecurity to the point that he considered leaving projects like “Hot Fuzz” because he felt he was flailing.

Ryan Condal, one of the “House of the Dragon” showrunners, said that Considine imbued Viserys, a relatively passive character in the script, “with a bit of Paddy’s working class background.”.

This combination has already won over the toughest “Thrones” fan of all: Martin, who said Considine’s Viserys surpasses the one in the book.

“Every once in a while, an actor or the writers will take a character in a somewhat different direction that is better,” Martin said.

“There was just conflicts in him; there was pain in him,” he said.

(Much of the science and medical community is skeptical about the affliction, but Considine and many others say the lenses changed their lives.) Generally funny and easygoing in conversation, Considine said this condition, along with a mild form of Asperger’s he was diagnosed with in his 30s, contributed to a reputation for aloofness as a young actor.

But he is used to being misunderstood — even as a boy in Winshill, Considine had a reputation that preceded him.

“I’d go downstairs and there’d be, like, a six-foot punk lying on the sofa under a blanket, with a big red mohawk,” Considine said.

An Irish alcoholic with a depressive streak, Martin Considine was known as a brawler with a quick temper, and was given to staying in bed until the afternoon, “watching ‘Raging Bull’ over and over again,” Considine said.

“I grew up with a lot of labels on me when I was a kid, just because of the reputation mainly of my father,” he said.

At 16, Considine began a drama program but “didn’t really learn that much, and I just left,” he said.

Several years later, Meadows cast Considine in “Romeo Brass,” which won both men acclaim.

Then came “Dead Man’s Shoes,” a nervy, lo-fi riff on a slasher picture that stars Considine, in a frightening but grounded performance, as an ex-soldier stalking his brother’s former tormentors.

The film is still revered in Britain — nearly everyone I talked to about Considine mentioned it — though the actor long ago tired of discussing it.

That indelible performance indirectly enabled Considine to subvert it, to change perceptions again.

“Hot Fuzz” was where Considine met Colman, a co-star, who went on to lead his first feature as a director, “Tyrannosaur.” The film, which he also wrote, tells a grueling but powerful story about a splenetic widower (Peter Mullan) who befriends a devout woman (Colman) trapped in an abusive marriage.

“In England, I think a lot of actors feel the same way about Paddy,” Smith said.

(Reviewing the Broadway production, The Times said Considine gave “a superb, anchoring performance.”) The actor now says “The Ferryman” was “a game-changer,” in terms of his comfort with his craft

Considine said he based the physically ailing Viserys partly on his mother, who went through multiple amputations resulting from diabetes before dying of a heart attack

“He turns himself inside out in his performance, and that metamorphosis is sometimes really painful to watch,” said Olivia Cooke, who stars as Alicent Hightower, a woman close to Viserys

Sapochnik said that when Considine struggles with material or anything else, “his default is anger.” Directing him involved “helping to work through that, being patient about it, sometimes saying to him, ‘Mate, calm down,’” he explained

At the same time, his co-stars, from old hands like Smith to relative newcomers like Emily Carey, who plays a younger version of Alicent, roundly praised Considine as a funny, warm and supportive colleague and collaborator

“It sounds like I’m a miserable sod, but I have a good time doing these things, as well,” Considine said

“The moments where you are fully in it, all that goes — all that awareness, all that self-observation, all that stuff, that inner critic,” Considine said

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