Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower) made House of the Dragon cast laugh during takes


During a series of BBC Radio interviews, House of the Dragons cast members recounted many occasions where Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower) would ruin takes by making people laugh with his playful on-set antics. The guy who plays Otto Hightower may not be the person you’d think would be the cast cut-up, but you never know what happens when the cameras turn off.

When asked to give an example of Ifans making them laugh, Milly Alcock and Emily Carrey, who played the younger versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower respectively, said that Ifans simply made them laugh with his body language.

“He didn’t need to [say anything],” Alcock said. “Rhys Ifans has a certain twinkle under his eye.”

“It’s just a look he gives you,” Carrey interjected. “Or he nudges, he loves doing that in scenes. If something goes slightly wrong he’ll just start nudging.” Alcock and Carey also recalled Ifans skulking around the craft services table in a manner reminiscent of the Grinch.

Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower) is the funniest guy on the House of the Dragon set

Fabien Frankel, who plays Criston Cole, also found himself laughing at Ifans’ antics. “He would like scream obscenities on your close ups, so that you would like uncontrollably laugh during your takes,” Frankel remembered. “So much so that at times they would have to be like, ‘Rhys we need you to kind of leave so we can get [the take].’”

It’s fun to hear these stories, especially because it sounds like Ifans’ real-life behavior is the polar opposite of his on-screen persona. Otto infamously forces his daughter Alicent to get close to king Viserys and marry him, purely to gain more power for their family. His shrewd and cold nature recalls Tywin Lannister. Both men were willing to sacrifice the happiness of their children for the sake of the family name.

We will undoubtedly hear more about Ifans’ antics as Otto will continue to be a main character in future seasons of House of the Dragon. Season 2 is already in production and will likely release some time in 2024.

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