“I would have absolutely ripped off”: Olivia Cooke’s One Inglorious Move Helped Her Nail Cersei Lannister’s Lines During Her House of the Dragon Audition

Olivia Cooke shed light on her strategic move that secured her role in the hit series House of the Dragon.

Olivia Cooke in House of the Dragon


  • Olivia Cooke mesmerized audiences with her portrayal of Alicent Hightower in HBO's House of the Dragon.
  • But Cooke's journey to landing the role of Alicent Hightower was as intriguing as her character herself.
  • Cooke's audition required her to deliver lines originally spoken by Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey in Game of Thrones.
  • Surprisingly, Cooke admitted to never having watched Game of Thrones prior to her audition, a move that ultimately worked in her favor.
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Olivia Cooke gained a whole new legion of fans when she stepped into the role of Alicent Hightower in HBO’s hit series House of the Dragon. The talented English actress effortlessly embraced the world of Westeros, mesmerizing audiences with her portrayal of the powerful Hightower matriarch. While fans eagerly await her return to this global smash series, many may not know how she acquired this role and what she did to secure it.

Alicent House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower

Following the show’s immediate success, Cooke took the opportunity to reflect on her audition process. During an interview, she revealed a clever trick that had enabled her to flawlessly deliver Cersei Lannister’s lines during the screening.

Olivia Cooke spilled beans on reading Cersei Lannister’s Lines During the House of the Dragon audition

During the premiere of House of the Dragon, Olivia Cooke took a moment to discuss her role in the show with Variety. The interviewer asked about her audition experience where she was tasked with delivering Cersei Lannister’s lines and how that resonated with her character, Alicent Hightower.

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Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower holding the Catspaw Dagger

In her response, the Bates Motel star stated that she hadn’t watched Game of Thrones before auditioning for the spinoff, which contributed to her delivering a skillful performance.

“I’m so relieved that I never watched Games of Thrones before I auditioned because I would have absolutely ripped off and bastardized Lena Headey’s performance.”

According to her, if she had already watched the show, she would never have been chosen for the role. She also emphasized that the regal demeanor of the character played a crucial role in shaping her multifaceted performance. Cooke’s approach to the audition provides valuable insight into her commitment to creating genuine and captivating performances.

The Vanity Fair actress falsely claimed to be a Game of Thrones fan

In September 2022, Olivia Cooke stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live after her newly found fame with House of the Dragon. During the conversation, the host asked the actress if she was a Game of Thrones fan before being cast in its prequel. In her response, she admitted that she had not watched the show and had lied to creators to get the job.

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

“You have to be a massive fan and I lied of course I couldn’t ride a horse. I watched it after I got the job, I didn’t wanna get too invested and I loved it.”

She understood the importance of being a big fan to get into the show, so she pretended that she had already watched it and luckily became a part of the dragon world. The actress did watch it after signing on to the hit series and instantly became a fan. As of now, Cooke is gearing up to return for another amazing season, set to premiere on June 16 on HBO Max.

House of the Dragon Season 1 is available for streaming on HBO Max.

Shikha Arya

Written by Shikha Arya

Articles Published: 16

Shikha Arya is a skilled content writer and entertainment journalist armed with a Master's degree in English Literature. With over two years of experience, she specializes in thought-provoking pieces about pop culture icons, particularly drawn to cult classics such as "Stranger Things" and period dramas like "Downtown Abbey." Ever abreast of industry trends, Shikha's writing captures the pulse of what's hot in entertainment. When not crafting compelling narratives, she finds solace in the tranquility of books and streaming shows, using these outlets to unwind after a day of creativity.