Have you watched Game of Thrones this season and thought, “I wish Daario Naharis was my champion”? Did you then flipped over to Nashville and found yourself cursing music producer Liam for getting Scarlett addicted to uppers? And have you been attracted to them both? Yup, that’s the power of chameleon-like Michiel Huisman, who has brought his dark horse appeal to Westeros, the pop-country music circuit, and now, TV’s most beloved cult favorite, Orphan Black. For the uninitiated, the BBC America sci-fi thriller, which airs Saturdays at 9 pm EST, stars Tatiana Maslany as a collection of clones. In season 2 of the cult favorite, Huisman plays the beleaguered love interest to one of them: rebellious single mom, Sarah. We caught up with Huisman to discuss his roles on Orphan Black and Game of Thrones, as well as his upcoming film The Age of Adaline, which co-stars Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. And for the record he’s just as charming on the phone as he is clad in armor reigning victorious for the Mother of Dragons.
You really are all over TV right now.
Yeah, it’s a little weird almost. I just did a photo shoot for a magazine with a bunch of supporting actors and they’d ask me, “So what show are you on?” and I was almost embarrassed to say, “Well, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, and Nashville.” They’re like, “How’s that possible?” And I don’t know. Somehow it was possible to be guests on all those shows in the last year. It’s been fun. One of the fun things as an actor is to really spread your wings as wide as possible and do a variety of roles. I’ve been really lucky in that sense I think.
Are these shows ones you were a fan of before?
There’s so many great TV shows out there right so there’s no way I can see all of them. So Orphan Black, when I was asked to do an audition for it, I’d never seen it. So I started watching it and I loved it right away. I was completely blown away by Tatiana’s performance in it and that I’m looking at scenes with two characters that are played by one actress and I’m believing it. After watching the show I was even more eager to be part of it. The same goes for Game of Thrones. I’d seen a lot but after auditioning I watched everything. It’s weird to say I’m a fan of shows I’m working on myself, but I think I am.
Will you be in any scenes on Orphan Black that involve more than one clone?
Not really. There’s one scene towards the end where I get to see a couple more but not really. My storyline involves Sarah.
Speaking of Sarah, how crazy is it that your character Cal turns out to be the father of her child?
It’s unreal. It’s a complete shock to Cal. But I think he’s a very good guy with a good heart. I think he was very much attracted to Sarah when they met like eight years earlier. He wants to get the opportunity to get to know his daughter. And at the same time, even though she really messed him up by leaving him, he likes Sarah. It’s like an abusive relationship and he can’t walk away from it. He likes her. He wants to keep her close in some way.
Is Cal concerned that maybe Kira isn’t actually his daughter or has he accepted the news at face value?
Funny that you mention that. I think he takes it for granted really quickly. To him, the period makes sense because he knows that could have easily happened when he was with Sarah. And he really connects to Kira and on a very subtle level they share an awareness. He’s pretty convinced that this story his true and she’s his daughter. But it’s Orphan Black so you never know.
Will Cal be in the rest of this season?
Yeah, I think I’m in five episodes spread out over the season.
Was it strange to replace another actor for the role of Daario on Game of Thrones?
That was the first time I ever did that so it was a little strange. How do you do that with respect to the previous actor and to the audience, especially on a show like Game of Thrones, that is so invested? I don’t really know. The only thing I know is that I got a lot of freedom from the producers to give the character my own portrayal. I had to keep in mind story-wise what my character had gone through before I took over the role, but I was able to reinvent it in a lot of ways. I didn’t have to mirror what anyone else had done before me.
Daario is a very confident man, as we saw when he acted as Daenerys’ champion a few weeks ago.
Yes. That was so much fun. It was so fun. It’s like a boy’s dream. I like to play as many different roles as I possibly can, but playing a badass mercenary and taking a champion down like that…it’s like a little boy playing with swords. I can’t believe that’s what I do for a living, you know? It’s such a good situation and I’m enjoying it to the fullest.
Do you think Daenerys was impressed by him?
I think so. I think he thinks she was a little bit impressed! I tried to make a show out of it so I hope so.
What’s The Age of Adaline, your new movie with Blake Lively, been like to work on?
It’s been amazing. And it’s bittersweet to end it. It’s a really great script and an amazing cast. You never know, but I have a very good feeling about it. I really enjoyed it.
Harrison Ford plays your dad in it, right?
Yes. That was so awesome. I couldn’t believe it.
Did you ever think, “Oh my God, Han Solo is my dad?”
When I found out I was going to be in the movie and he was going to be my dad, yeah. For a second I thought that, of course. And because everybody said that to me: “Han Solo is going to be your dad!” But once we started working it was great and all about this story.