Olivia Cooke on pushing boundaries and her growing confidence
‘In my head, I’m thinking — God, if I dye my hair in different colors, or have different disguises, then maybe I’ll manage to avoid it. It’s hard to quantify it because I’ve never experienced that, and I don’t know what public attention will be like, because I’ve managed to avoid it for so long. For like a decade. I’m under this false sense of security that it’s just not going to happen, which is maybe really naïve,’ smiles Olivia Cooke when we virtually meet on a scorching August afternoon.
While I look like a melting marshmallow in 34+ degrees Celsius, politely cursing humanity and global warming, my interviewee giggles that she’s feeling like death’s door as our cover story chitter-chatter is scheduled the very next day after the London premiere of one of the most anticipated television projects this year — HBO’s House of the Dragon. There Olivia will be portraying one of the multilayered and complex female leads — lady of the court and political mastermind Alicent Hightower. The fantasy series, which is the Game of Thrones prequel, dubbed just as visceral and dark as a Shakespearean tragedy, follows the House Targaryen and the events leading to its war of succession. The indulging recipe of great writing, clever casting and beautifully executed performances (dragons included) seem to have tickled the palettes of viewers across the world, becoming the biggest HBO premiere in its history in the United States, and one of the biggest drama launches in Olivia’s homeland — United Kingdom.
There’s a welcoming warmth surrounding our cover star, followed by an inexplicable feeling that your paths have crossed many times, with no weird pauses accompanying the conversation. Olivia’s extremely inquisitive, with her bright eyes lighting up every single time when asked not only about the life-changing role we’re here to dish about but also the beloved craft that she’s been honing for years. Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Olivia started acting when she was only eight. She gradually built an impressive and diverse acting portfolio on both sides of the pond, including drama thriller series Bates Motel, period drama Vanity Fair, thriller Thoroughbreds, sci-fi action film Ready Player One, and drama Sound of Metal, to name a few. With an acting range that would be every director’s dream, please rise to greet the new acting royalty — Olivia Cooke.
Read the full interview, only on The Laterals Magazine Issue 07.