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Emily Carey Explains Her Unusually Long Audition Process For House Of The Dragon

Things have heated up quickly on "House of the Dragon." Already we've seen new rivalries emerge, old ones fester and return, uncomfortably icky intimate scenes, and at least one terrifying villain — in the form of the Crabfeeder — torn entirely apart. 

Then there's that awkward marriage between King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Lady Alicent (Emily Carey). Not only is he several decades her senior, she's also the former best friend of Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), and it didn't take long for all of this to start adding to the strain and strife at King's Landing. Like the teenaged Rhaenyra, Lady (now Queen) Alicent is currently played by a younger actor, with their older versions expected to be played by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively, later in the season. 

This isn't to say that the younger actors are entirely green, though. In fact, nineteen-year-old Emily Carey already has a decade of experience under her belt, having debuted on stage at the age of 9 in "Shrek: The Musical." Since then, she's acted in a string of films and television shows, including as the younger versions of main characters in "Tomb Raider" and "Wonder Woman" (via IMDb). That, however, didn't mean that they were necessarily a shoo-in for the young Alicent. In fact, as it turned out, her audition process was quite drawn out.

It took months and several callbacks for Emily Carey to be cast

In a press junket for "House of the Dragon" covered by Stream Wars, both Emily Carey and Milly Alcock shared their audition experiences. "Mine was excruciatingly long ... I did a tape, and then, the tape was really strange." Whereas most audition tapes have an actor slate simply saying their name, Carey was asked to have the camera zoom in close on her eyes, her nose, and her profile. Most likely this was because casting directors were trying to ensure that the actor playing the younger Alicent would "match" Olivia Cooke as closely as possible, or at least look like she could one day grow up to look like the older Queen.

"It was very strange," continued Carey. "I was like 'they're looking for something really specific, I won't hear anything back.' And then it was two months before I got my recall." 

Carey was then called back yet again to meet more of the cast and crew, and booked the part that very day. She was then, according to Carey, thrown into the thick of things quite quickly. Milly Alcock, meanwhile, just had to send in a couple of tapes before being cast as the young Rhaenyra, though that could be down to the fact that she was living in Australia at the time. Needless to say, coming back for in-person callback after in-person callback becomes... well, quite impossible, when there's a  22-hour flight involved.