Spoilers ahead for the season-six finale of Game of Thrones.
VULTURE – Daario Naharis has been at Daenerys’s side — and bedside — for several seasons now. But if Dany wants to be the queen of the Seven Kingdoms, she can’t take her lover as a plus-one. At least that’s the advice Tyrion gave her, causing her to break up with her favorite sellsword before she set sail for Westeros. Michiel Huisman, who plays Daario, chatted with Vulture about his character’s heartbreak and bringing out Dany’s ruthless side.
I am so sorry that Dany left Daario behind in Meereen. Are you heartbroken?
Yeah. [Laughs] Well, you know, Daario and I both knew this day would come at some point. Nobody has ever stolen his heart the way she has, and I absolutely knew she was going to break it, but you knew it was going to be worth the ride anyway.
Yeah, but he had hoped he would be by her side when she conquered Westeros. And maybe he even wanted to ride a dragon with her someday.
Of course he did. There were moments where he thought, “Oh, she’s going to marry Hizdahr,” back in season five, and he worried he was going to be pushed out of the way. Or when Jorah exerted himself more, and it seemed Daario would be pushed out. I don’t think he sees it coming at this point. He’s really excited about Dany finally being ready to take her people, her army, across the Narrow Sea, and he thought he would be part of that. And a leader in that, actually.
ESQUIRE – He talks about researching cults, perfecting his American accent, and, yes, Jon Snow’s fate.
To gaze upon Michiel Huisman’s IMDB page is to feel a deep shame for all the moments you waste during your brief time on this earth.
In the past five years alone, the Netherlands-born actor has romanced Khaleesi on Game of Thrones, Rayna Jaymes on Nashville, and Cheryl Strayed in the film adaptation of Wild. (OK, that last one may stretch the definition of romance a tad, but the point still stands.) He’s also hung out with the clones on Orphan Black, helped Brad Pitt fight zombies in World War Z and struggled with addiction and jazz on his breakthrough role in Treme.
When Esquire called him on location in Bucharest, he was hard at work on a new miniseries. But he nonetheless took some time to talk about The Invitation, the twisty and tense psychological thriller from Girlfight director Karyn Kusama, in which a small California dinner party slowly reveals itself to be something a bit more sinister. Huisman has plays his fair share of charming rogues before, but as David he gets to be both unnervingly polite and—spoiler alert—a touch evil. Esquire talked with him about cults, grief, and mastering an American accent—and he was also gracious enough to answer a Game of Thrones question. (There are some light spoilers for The Invitation in this interview, but anyone who has ever seen a film could figure out that the something crazy has to happen at the dinner party—otherwise no one would bother showing up on set.)
What attracted you to this project?
Well, a couple of things. We shot this movie right after I had done The Age of Adaline, which is this very romantic movie that came out last year. I was really up for doing the opposite: something dark and with an ensemble cast. I also liked the idea of Karyn Kusama returning to more of an independent movie like the one she started out with, Girlfight, which was really strong. That, and a couple of things about the story: the understandable philosophy of letting go of your grief, but then taking that way too far, which actually is kind of dangerous.
The movie presents a dichotomy in which your character purges guilt and regret and it makes him murderous, while the protagonist can’t let go at all and he can’t move forward in life.
Yeah, exactly. So what is the answer to the healthy state of mind? It’s probably somewhere in the middle, yeah?
You’ve been working a great deal in the last several years, in lots of different roles. Is this your first time playing…if not the villain, then the antagonist?
Yeah, actually. I think so. I’ve played bad boys on multiple occasions, but never the one that goes this far—without spoiling anything, of course. But that was also interesting about the project and the character for me.
Was that something you were attracted to, to be not morally ambiguous but…
Yeah, to a certain extent I was. But I think what attracted me to David’s evilness was the fact that he doesn’t really show that. He tries to be the opposite. He tries to be very understandable and very gentle to the other people, so he’s not the baddie, and it’s not necessarily like we see it coming. I thought it was going to be fun and a challenge to portray that, and go against what you expect from the bad guy in the movie.
POPSUGAR – Time moves so slowly when you’re waiting for a new season of Game of Thrones, doesn’t it? While details on season six have been trickling in since last year, it’s only recently that the cast has been talking about what to expect. I recently got to chat with Michiel Huisman about his new thriller, The Invitation, and couldn’t help but squeeze in a couple questions about where his character, Daario, will be on the next season. Here’s what he said!
POPSUGAR: What can you tell us, if anything, about where Daario begins on the new season of Game of Thrones?
Michiel Huisman: This is a very exciting time. Daario, in the beginning of this new season, is on the hunt together with Jorah to try to find and track down [Daenerys], and it’s funny because it can easily be a bumpy road between Jorah and Daario, and now we’re on the road for God knows how long. It’s going to be interesting.
PS: Are there any scenes in particular that you’re really excited for the audience to see?
Michiel Huisman: Yes, there’s always — Game of Thrones is such a huge cast — but somehow the writers manage for every character to have one or two of those moments a season. I definitely have a couple of those. I can’t wait for you guys to see them.
But like, can we expect more shirtless Daario? I suppose only time will tell.
Italian to English translation done by Google so I apologize for the mistakes. Some of the translation makes no sense so if anyone can send me a good translation, I’ll be so grateful to post it(with credit of course).
L’Uomo Vogue – After the success in the hit series Game of Thrones new commitments are waiting for him on the big screen
For fans of the cult series Game of Thrones is the legendary mercenary warrior Daario Naharis, known for brutality and dexterity with the sword as well as a lover of beautiful Daenerys Targaryen – aka Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons. For all, Michiel Huisman is one of the new emerging actors from the anime scene, and international film, earned a reputation thanks to the talent and dedication, also demonstrated by the appreciation of his costars , as Brad Pitt ( World War Z ) Reese Witherspoon ( “Wild” ), Harrison Ford and Blake Lively (Age of Adaline) Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere (in the TV series Nashville ). After a successful career in the Netherlands, with the cult movie Phileine zegt sorry and Black book by Paul Verhoeven, he decides to groped their luck in the United States. “We moved here five years ago. In Holland I worked a lot but I was afraid that I would end up always interpret the same roles. I wanted to grow as an actor, I pray that presented challenges in films. I knew that if I had not left it would have been difficult to change their lives. I mentioned it to my wife Tara (Dutch actress, ed), and we decided to risk it. We were given two years time. New York initially it seemed like the obvious choice, but when we were ready to move I was offered a part in “Treme”, “HBO television series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer – writers and ingenious producers of dozens of shows including” Homicide – Life on the street ” and the wire – set in New Orleans post-Katrina. “I auditioned, and when HBO decided to enter the series in the schedule offered me a role. Although he has never had a great success with the public, it is a very popular series and appreciated by those who are “behind the scenes.” For me it was a fundamental experience, has helped me to build my image right into the television. ”
So much so that by return has arrived, again from HBO, the call for “the” role it Game of Thrones , whose sixth season is expected worldwide in April. “I can guarantee that this year there will be surprises incredible,” says Michiel, while not revealing anything about the fate of Jon Snow (fans know well what I’m talking about …). “Daario is a character physically challenging to interpret, is very strong, athletic, smart, and wear it with dignity despite their leather armor passes still a long time naked with Khaleesi. Only for those scenes I had to work extra: 5 days a week in the gym, two hours a day. And then follow a diet and forget for a while ‘the delights of Louisiana: no little’ boy, the classic sandwich Creole with meat or fried fish, no jambalaya (a kind of paella, ed), no cream puffs with cream. Only healthy food, salads, meat, fish and white quinoa. New Orleans is home for me, wonderful place to listen to music and live a normal life, away from the spotlight.
This is an old interview from before I opened this page but I thought you guys might enjoy it!
April 3, 2014 8:09 AM PDT
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…
June 08, 2015
By Katie M. Lucas/HBO
The actor behind Daario Naharis breaks down the ambush at Daznak, his character’s relationship with Dany, and why she should heed his advice.
HBO: Daario gives Dany lots of advice this season. What empowers him to speak so frankly?
Michiel Huisman: I think he really cares for her and he wants what’s best for her. I’m not necessarily saying that he would be the best possible advisor, but he speaks honestly. He sees there are not a lot of people around her at the moment capable of telling her the truth, so he figures that she needs it.
HBO: Why suggest that she burn all the masters?
Michiel Huisman: Being the warrior that he is, he has this fatalistic sensibility. He’s also trying to bring a sense of reality. Daario sees Daenerys as very talented ruler, but she’s up in her penthouse; Daario’s trying to tell her what’s happening on the street. The only language the people of Meereen speak is that of a strong message from a strong hand. It’s a horrible suggestion, but my god, if only she’d done what he suggested, [“The Dance of Dragons”] would have been such a different episode.
HBO: This season, we learned Daario was an experienced pit fighter. Is that how you pictured his backstory?
Michiel Huisman: I had had conversations about it with [series creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] in early stages. So it was not much of a surprise, but I was really happy to share it with the audience. That background informs a lot about who my character is. Every time you get the opportunity to refer to it, that makes the audience understand Daario a little better.
HBO: Daario proposed to Dany. Did he think there was any chance she’d say yes?
Michiel Huisman: No. He knows she’ll never say yes. I think he’s not showing all his cards. He’s playing to see how she responds, and the way she responds is to be expected. I think it shows how smart he is, really, when he says, “If you’re not free to marry me, you’re the only person in this whole city who’s not free.” I love that about him. I love that I get to poke at Dany like that.
HBO: When the ambush takes place at the Great Pit, did Daario ever foresee a rebellion of this size?
Michiel Huisman: I can’t imagine that it crossed Daario’s mind that so many people in the ring and in the stadium could be at risk. He figured the threat would be nothing he wouldn’t be able to handle with a few of his guys.
HBO: Amidst the chaos, does he have a moment to process Hizdahr’s death?
Michiel Huisman: Yes. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but I hope that registers. Daario thinks that Hizdahr’s going to do something to Dany and then he gets stabbed in the back like, 20 times. I hope that moment reads where I’m thinking, “OK… I guess I was wrong about this dude.”
HBO: What was it like shooting the scenes at the Great Pit?
Michiel Huisman: It took two weeks to shoot that sequence of everything falling apart in the ring and Dany leaving on the back of the dragon. The logistics were insane. At some point there was a whole tent of crew that I’d never seen before – they were just the visual effects guys coming over for the dragon. It was an amazing experience to walk on a set like that, in the south of Spain. The scope was unlike anything else.
HBO: Did you perform your own stunts?
Michiel Huisman: Yep. That’s me. I trained for a few days on the choreography. I loved it.
HBO: What’s running through Daario’s head when Dany flies away on Drogon?
Michiel Huisman: He’s flabbergasted. Blown away. It’s almost divine to see her fly away on the dragon. It couldn’t have been better… I’ve been telling her to use those dragons! Finally, she’s listening.