I was also glad getting Lancel. He has huge transformation that I feel I’m very much up to the test portraying on camera. I always enjoy reading a lot of Lancel. He is one of my favorite characters and would be even had I not been even involved in the project and just read the books. I’m always excited by what he’s doing because in the books we never see Lancel in kind of the full light. He’s always the pawn. He is always the pawn. And later in the books he becomes the vengeful kind of pious human kind of character who wants to take revenge for all the bad doings that have been done to him. I love that. It’s that translation that I want to stand up to the challenge of.
The similarities between me and Lancel? I’ve spoken of us being young and in love and then having that love kind of unrequited. But we all have moments in our lives when we develop kind of what we believe to be serious crushes. I share that in common with him on some level.
But the reason that I really sympathize with Lancel is because all he wants is to be taken seriously. And it’s his youth, it’s his lack of dominance that just renders him incapable of being able to do so. And I think very often people in the real world, we all want to be taken seriously. We all want to try and aspire to be, on some level, a kind of alpha male. I’ve tried to at some point in my life, whether it’s at school or in real life. And it’s that inability to actually be able to do so, he’s not capable of it. He doesn't have it in him to start with, and I sympathize with that. I sympathize hugely with that, as I think most people would who have ambition but maybe don't have kind of the guts to follow it up.
How is working with Peter and Lena? Those are two big scene partners you’ve had.
For starters, just to say kind of they’re both just so wonderful. I met both of them having walked in to do one of my first scenes with each one. I didn't have any scenes, I believe, with Peter in the first series. So I was always aware of him being my cousin, and I was always aware Charles Dance and I was always aware of Nikolaj [Coster-Waldau].
Lena was the first person who I met, and actually the first time I believe that I met her was to do my nude scene with her. [Laughs.]
And so it was very kind of, "Hi, I'm Eugene. I can see you're wearing the same dressing gown I am." [Laughs.] They’re just wonderful people. I feel very kind of honored because they're wonderful actors.
And Peter, who I now consider to be a good friend of mine after working with more closely this season, he’s a fantastic actor. Definitely he’s very easy to work with. He’s got this great energy that I hope is something you’ll later see. My scenes with him are incredibly—well, they were frightening, at least to me given what exactly is going on between Lancel and Tyrion. So it was fantastic. It was an honor, really. It really was.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from either season that you want to share?
I think most people are anticipating, when I had to do my five-day night shoot for the siege of King’s Landing, Lancel will be intrinsically involved in that. And I just remember that behind the scenes whilst we’re doing it, you know, it was pouring rain. We had 200 extras surrounding this castle and that scene is just going to blow you out of the water when you see it. It really is. Being behind the scenes and watching all these people rushing toward the walls holding these weapons, I can tell you it is going to be something that's going to absolutely blow you away. You’re not going to want to miss it.
Do you miss having King Robert around?
I do. I miss having Mark [Addy]. I do miss Mark. I saw him recently at the screening of the first two episodes. But being his squire, being Robert Baratheon’s squire, even though we might have had a troublesome relationship, yeah, it’s a shame that we ended things the way we did. I would have liked for us to at least share a cup of wine before I put something in his cup of wine, you know what I mean? [Laughs.]
And, unfortunately, we didn't. Unfortunately, that was my first scene and there was not enough wine to go around because he's quite the alcoholic. [Note from Curt: I think he means King Robert.] But I do miss him. Mark Addy, again, one of these actors who I had a brief few scenes with but just the nicest guy on the planet. You don't find people who are just such kind human beings and have such an ability to put on such a performance as Mark did playing Robert Baratheon. He’ll be missed.
Do you feel that you’ve learned things just from being around these people?
To put it the answer’s simply: yes. What I notice about all of them, which is something that I think every actor wants to have, is their control. Even though the scenes there are a lot of ways that you can adapt them and a lot of ways that you can choose to perform them, they are decisive. They're decisive and they’re in control. And they rationalize how it is they want to do the scenes, but they don't do it in a way that kind of tread on anyone’s toes.
So it’s that kind of thoughtful control that I’ve picked up from all of them. From Lena, from Peter, from Jack, who is around my age. You know, just fantastic actors, so that's something that I would want to apply.
I understand you’ve been acting since you were eight.