These actors and actresses have proven their talents on ‘Game of Thrones,’ and their upcoming projects are just as promising.
One of my personal favorite things about Game of Thrones is the impeccable casting. Not only do all the performers fit their roles perfectly — physically and in terms of mannerisms and dialogue — but they are all incredibly talented actors. Of course, they have had six seasons to perfect their characters on GoT, but many of them are also pursuing projects outside of the HBO series, proving that they can play a diverse range of characters. Some of these performers were established actors before they landed their roles on GoT, and some of them are young actors who got their start on the hit series. I will now discuss some of the projects the ladies and gentlemen of GoT are pursuing —which includes indie films, comedies, dramas, television series, and big budget superhero movies. Without further ado:
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
Emilia Clarke portrays one of the most beloved and powerful characters on Game of Thrones, the Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen. Her biggest upcoming role is the female lead part of the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff film. Clarke will no doubt make a great action heroine opposite Alden Ehrenrich as Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. She has the acting skills and screen presence to carry a big budget blockbuster such as Star Wars. As of right now, of course, details about her character are confidential — Screen Rant reports that she is more scared of revealing Star Wars secrets than those from Game of Thrones — the only thing she has revealed thus far is that her character is “awesome,” which is not surprising since Clarke herself is completely awesome.
On a smaller-budget note, she is also set to star in the upcoming thriller Above Suspicion. Jack Huston will co-star in this adaptation of the book of the same name by New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey. This seems like a novel role for Clarke, who will play an impoverished Kentucky woman who begins an illicit affair with an FBI agent and gets him into deep trouble. It will be fascinating to see Clarke in a gritty role in an American thriller when we are used to seeing her work her magic as Westerosi royalty.
She will also appear in the eccentric indie project The Beauty Inside, an adaptation of Drake Doremus’ 2012 web series. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Fault in Our Stars, The Spectacular Now) successfully pitched the idea to Fox 2000 and Temple Hill earlier in the year. The web series tells the story of a man named Alex who wakes up in a different body every day and the complications that arise from this when he falls in love with a woman. In the web series, a different actor portrays each of Alex’s different bodies, but one female actress plays his love interest — this will likely be the case for the film as well, with Clarke in the female role. This is a challenging part, as Clarke will have to play off of multiple actors who all represent the same man. It seems like a promising and unique concept for a film, and Clarke will very likely shine in this role.
Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
For the past six seasons, Sophie Turner has played everyone’s favorite dark horse, Sansa Stark. Turner has also been dipping her toes in the Hollywood pool, portraying Jean Grey in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Last month, Vanity Fair confirmed that she will be reprising her role in 2018’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Vanity Fair notes that Fox has made a risky investment in Turner — the title is a reference to a series of comics which focus on Jean Grey breaking bad, a plot which was also explored in the least successful X-Men film, The Last Stand. However, Turner proved she had a strong handle on her character in Apocalypse, and Fox’s investment will likely pay off since Turner has an even bigger chance to shine in the next film. Dark Phoenix will premiere in November 2018.
She will also get the chance to show off her dramatic acting chops in the upcoming film Huntsville, also starring Dylan McDermott and Ray Liotta. Variety reports that the film is based on the 2014 Black List script by Anthony Ragnone about a man living in a Florida town who begins a questionable relationship with a rebellious high school student — played by Turner. This scandalous role will potentially allow Turner to show off her maturity as an actress, which she has done time and time again in Game of Thrones. She has an incredible ability to portray characters dealing with dark and difficult situations, so there is no doubt she will be able to handle this role.
Deadline reported in April that Turner has also been cast in the upcoming romantic comedy Time Freak with Asa Butterfield. Production began in April in Salt Lake City and will be directed by Andrew Bowler, whose Oscar-nominated short the film is based on. The film tells the story of Stillman, a heartbroken physics student who builds a time machine after his girlfriend breaks up with him in order to go back in time and fix all the mistakes he made in their relationship. This is perhaps the most lighthearted role Turner has had in her career and will give her a chance to prove she can act in a comedic and romantic role.
Throughout her career of portraying difficult and violent situations, Turner has spent a lot of time researching her roles and connecting with people who have been through similar experiences in real life. Turner was recently inspired to become a patron of Women for Women, an organization to provide support to women who have been through traumatic experiences during the war. She has been able to use her acting experiences to empathize deeply with other women, and Women for Women has allowed her to connect with real women who have faced incredible hardships. This is an admirable role for a young actress such as Turner to take on.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Jon Snow may know nothing, but Kit Harington certainly knows how to act. (I’m so sorry). Harington will star in Xavier Dolan’s upcoming film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which is one of the most exciting films on this list, in my opinion. This will be the French-Canadian director’s first English-language film, and will also star Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Bella Thorne, and Jacob Tremblay. Harington takes center stage as television star John F. Donovan. The film begins 10 years after his death and focuses on a young actor who opens up about the correspondence he shared with Donovan. Of course, Harington is a television star in real life, so he will be able to draw from his real-life experiences in Dolan’s film. With his stoic demeanor and rugged good looks, he will fit perfectly into Xavier Dolan’s world.
In February 2017, Deadline reported that BBC One has ordered the three-part historical drama Gunpowder, with Harington both starring and executive producing. Harington is expanding his horizons, acting in a variety of projects and trying his hand at producing under his own company, Thriker Films. Liv Tyler and Mark Gatiss will also star in the series, which will tell the story of the real Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This was an attempt by a group of English Catholics to blow up the House of Lords to kill King James I in order to restore a Catholic to the throne. The plot was foiled on November 5 when authorities at Westminster Palace found Guys Fawkes guarding the explosives — of course, Brits still celebrate Guy Fawkes night with fireworks. Harington’s series will tell the true story of how a man named Robert Catesby actually devised the plot, as he could no longer stand by and watch English Catholics be violently persecuted by Protestants. The series is sure to be filled with intrigue, espionage, and a lot of British accents.
Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)
“Gwendoline is multi-dimensional. She is like a female goddess who holds extraordinary warmth and emotion… I feel like Gwendoline just defies senses and opens your heart and makes you feel” — Jane Campion
Gwendoline Christie is easily one of the best actresses working today, with a unique and ethereal quality unlike anyone else. She has some rather varied upcoming projects on her plate, as well. Of course, she was terrifying and wonderful as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and will reprise this role in The Last Jedi this December. Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair and Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm speculated on Annie Liebovitz’s The Last Jedi photography portfolio, noting that Captain Phasma’s chrome-plated trooper suit is now firmly within Star Wars’ iconography. Christie’s portrayal is so beloved that after appearing in only one film, she is already considered iconic and important to the Star Wars universe.
The portfolio marks the first time Phasma’s face has been revealed. Hidalgo says of her character: “I think a big part of the allure of her character was wondering what might be underneath… It was only relatively recently that we wanted to commit to the idea that there was a human under there…” Christie is so adept at playing this ambiguous, potentially alien character, that it doesn’t really seem to matter where she’s from. Nevertheless, Hidalgo also revealed that a series of comic books will be released in September which tell the story of Phasma’s early history.
In March 2017, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Christie is also in negotiations to join the cast of Darkest Minds, Fox’s adaptation of Alexandra Brackne’s YA trilogy of the same name. Amandla Stenberg will be the star of the series, and the supporting cast will include Mandy Moore, as well as a host of young first-time actors. This is a post-apocalyptic film wherein a pandemic has killed most of the children and teenagers in America, and the superhuman survivors are taken from their families and placed in internment camps. Much like in Star Wars, Christie will take on the role of the villain, a bounty hunter who seeks out fugitive teens and takes sadistic pleasure in her work.
Christie’s most prestigious project is season 2 of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, which premiered at Cannes 2017 and will air this September on the Sundance Channel. Campion and Moss shared with Vanity Fair that it was incredibly exciting for their series to be invited to Cannes — more evidence that we are currently in an age of auteur-driven, prestige television. Christie’s character will team up with Moss’s Detective Robin Griffin to investigate the case of an Asian woman whose body washes up ashore at Bondi Beach inside a suitcase. Campion highlights the contrast between two of television’s most prominent female badasses — Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson on Mad Men) and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth). Campion notes that their characters are opposites, with Moss’s Griffin being cold and fierce and Christie’s character being more warm and emotional. She also points out that their height difference provides a visual representation of the contrast between them (which of course ends up being a strong friendship).
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)
Peter Dinklage is the most experienced actor on this list, appearing in tons of films, television shows, and plays since 1991. He graduated from Bennington College with a degree in drama and has been acting professionally for most of his adult life. It is obvious that acting is Dinklage’s passion, and he completely commits to every role he takes on. As a result, the dry and witty Tyrion Lannister is one of the most beloved characters on Game of Thrones.
Dinklage will star in the upcoming HBO film My Dinner With Hervé, which tells the story of actor Hervé Villechaize, who committed suicide in 1993. Dinklage has been developing this project with writer-director Sacha Gervasi for several years, and principal photography began last month. The film centers on Villechaize’s final days, and the unlikely friendship he formed with journalist Danny Tate, who will be played by Jamie Dornan. This project promises to be the kind of dark, dramatic, complex role that Dinklage is proficient at playing.
In terms of big Hollywood movies, Dinklage has been cast in Avengers: Infinity War, in a mystery role which he will reprise in 2019’s untitled Avengers film. Production for Infinity War began earlier this year and will be released in May 2018. As is always the case, details on his character have remained elusive, however, Cinema Blend reports that he was spotted with a peculiar haircut which could be a hint at which Marvel character he is portraying. There is speculation that he will be playing Pip the Troll (yikes, what a horrible name), who is a prominent character in the Infinity War arc of the Avengers comics. Dinklage has a powerful screen presence and will absolutely be a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is also speculation that his character could appear in a post-credits sequence prior to Infinity War’s release, which would also be exciting.
Of course, this is a very small list and does not encapsulate the amount of acting talent within the Game of Thrones cast. There is a good chance that any one of your Game of Thrones favorites will be appearing in a Marvel, Star Wars, YA adaptation, or prestige television drama in the upcoming year. Big studios cannot let HBO have all the talented actors to themselves, and GoT performers likely want to prove that they are capable of taking on different roles than their long-term TV ones. Even this short list shows the diverse range of projects these wonderful actors are taking on, and we should all be excited to see the work they are doing outside of Westeros.