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ESQUIRE – Michiel Huisman (it’s pronounced Mich-ee-el Haus-mon) is a busy man. His trip to London to meet Esquire is very much a flying visit, a quick stop-off between Spain, where he’s been filming season six of Game of Thrones, and Bucharest, where he’s shooting Harley and the Davidsons, a big-budget mini-series about the founding of the iconic US motorcycle firm. “Apparently, parts of 21st century Bucharest resemble Milwaukee in 1903,” he deadpans.
The 34-year-old actor originally hails from Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam, but for the last seven years has been based in New Orleans, with his wife and daughter. Not that they see much of the place. “We’re never there,” Huisman says. Instead, he is generally on location, and delighted to be so. “It still, after all those years, feels like I’m getting away with not working,” he says, “because I’m doing what I really like.”
Huisman fell in love with New Orleans while working on Treme, the post-Katrina HBO drama from the creators of The Wire. That show gave Huisman his first break in America; after Treme came recurring roles in dramas Nashville and Orphan Black, before Huisman joined the epic fantasy world of Game of Thrones. It’s Huisman’s Thrones-work that Esquire readers will likely be most familiar with; he plays the swashbuckling Daario Naharis — übermensch, lover of the Khaleesi, principled sellsword (“and the sword I use is called an arakh, by the way”) and Game of Thrones’ primary male object of desire. Naharis is handsome, charismatic and cool and Huisman in person is pretty much the same. Which might make him sound unbearable but Huisman’s work-ethic can’t be faulted; he’s been a performer since childhood and enjoyed a successful career in the Netherlands as an actor and musician before making the leap Stateside.
Upon moving to America, Huisman worked diligently with an accent coach, replacing his natural Dutch cadences with a smoother international American twang, to broaden his appeal. “Treme allowed me to use whatever natural accent I had,” he says, “but I took the time outside of working on the show to really try and get rid of that.” Now, when not working on Game of Thrones, Huisman takes on as many other projects as he can (as well as the upcoming Harley and the Davidsons, recent film projects have included WWI love story Mountains and Stones and romantic thriller 2:22). He has also fine-tuned his horse riding, again in his spare time and of his own volition. “It was super-fun and I’m very pleased to say that whenever you see me on a horse [in Thrones] that it’s me. No face replacement, no stunt double.”
Despite a packed schedule, Huisman shows no signs of fatigue, or of slowing down: “I still feel like I need to do everything. Maybe that’s because I’m always looking forward. It’s like, ‘That was a year ago, that doesn’t count.'”
Games of Thrones season six is on Sky Atlantic from 25 April
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Multicoloured bird print silk shirt, £675; grey wide-leg cotton trousers, £355; grey suede espadrilles, £385, all by Dolce & Gabbana
Okay – I used Google to translate this from Dutch to English so its not completely accurate but my Dutch friend said its close.
Michiel Huisman – as he himself occasionally suddenly realized – ‘just really to succeed “because in America. In the new ELLE (from today in the shop!) You can read an interview with the Game of Thrones -acteur who shines alongside Blake Lively in June in the movieThe Age of Adaline . But because we had so much to ask Michael, we already start here at ELLE.nl.
By Iris Vandemoortele
You’re starting June 18 in The Age of Adaline with Blake Lively. What kind of movie is it?
“It’s a very beautiful romantic drama. It has a kind of magic, and it looks beautiful. It is also very fashionable or so. Blake looks incredibly beautiful, as you would expect from her. She plays a woman born at the beginning of the twentieth century and in a bizarre manner at any given time is not older than 29. So we see her in all these different periods, in the twenties, thirties, so and the clothing styles and the way it was filmed, are wonderful. “
Another opponent is Harrison Ford [he plays opposite Harrison Ford]. What was it like working with him?
“Harrison Ford plays my father. The moment he came on the set, it was just very exciting. Then you think: how will it be? What will he think of me? I noticed immediately that he has an incredible passion for acting. I thought: if I over thirty years still with so much passion in a set can be, that would be really cool. I can imagine it. I’m sure now. And if you with nice, talented people can keep working – why stop?
Wow! Great photoshoot for Michiel! Of course, I’ve loved Marc De Groot’s photos of Michiel in the past so of course I’m thrilled there will be more. Will post the scans and more photos when I get them! And will see if I can get the articles translated!
I’m so glad he’s on Instagram now but I’d love to see him get on Twitter as well!