LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Olivia Cooke attends the “Slow Horses” UK Premiere at Regent Street Cinema on March 30, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
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How House Of The Dragon Star Olivia Cooke Worked To Avoid Cersei Comparisons
“House of the Dragon” is doomed to be constantly measured up against “Game of Thrones,” and one of the most prevalent comparisons is that between Cersei Lannister and Alicent Hightower, who seem to fulfill the same “main matriarchal antagonist” role. However, Olivia Cooke, who played Alicent, tried hard to avoid these comparisons.
While both characters are primarily motivated by protecting their children, Cooke emphasized, “I think Alicent is run on anxiety and self-doubt a lot more, and I don’t think Cersei has that at all.” Cooke even paid attention to the smallest details, saying “… I limited the amount of wine that I drank in scenes because I didn’t want the comparison to be too transparent.”
Perhaps the most important distinction is that Cooke’s Alicent is not a villain. Cersei is far crueler than Alicent, and while the two may eventually carry out the same treasonous acts, Alicent finds no joy in it. As Cooke said, “You can see Alicent fraying at the seams the whole time, whereas Cersei is so strong and formidable all the way through.”