“Son, come here! Come on to the bosom!”: Olivia Cooke Has a Hard Time With Her House of the Dragon Role That’s Only Getting Worse in Season 2

Olivia Cooke's candid reflections on age representation in Hollywood after playing a grandmother in House of the Dragon.

olivia cooke, house of the dragon

SUMMARY

  • Olivia Cooke returned for the second season of House of the Dragon as Queen Alicent Hightower.
  • Olivia Cooke shared her discomfort about playing a grandmother at 30 in House of the Dragon.
  • Cooke critiques Hollywood's dogma that rejects the realistic portrayal of women aging on screen.
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House of the Dragon Season 2 recently premiered exclusively on HBO Max on Sunday, June 16, with Olivia Cooke returning as Queen Alicent Hightower. However, while the Game of Thrones spinoff catapulted her fame, following her appearances in Ouija, Vanity Fair, and Sound of Metal, Cooke has some complicated feelings towards her character.

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Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon | HBO
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon | HBO Max

In an interview with The Times, Olivia Cooke candidly expressed her thoughts on the portrayal of a grandmother in House of the Dragon. Sharing her reflections on playing a character who is constantly aging more and more with each season, the 30-year-old actress highlighted the industry’s reluctance to realistically depict women’s aging journeys.

Olivia Cooke’s Disdain on Her Character’s Worse Case of Aging in House of the Dragon

Following her return as Alicent Hightower in the second season of the highly acclaimed Game of Thrones spinoff, Olivia Cooke discussed her feelings about playing a character who becomes a grandmother at a relatively young age. While playing the role of a grandmother at 30 is undoubtedly difficult, Cooke also highlights how her character’s age keeps getting worse with each season.

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Speaking with The Times, Olivia Cooke candidly expressed her opinion on the portrayal of aging on screen. While she received widespread love and recognition for House of the Dragon, the actress noted the experience of playing a grandma at the age of 30, while also revealing how the second season has pushed her character into early retirement, despite having great potential.

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightowr on House of the Dragon | HBO
Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent | HBO Max

I have really complicated feelings towards it. If they can create dragons, they could have made me look younger — and then older. Or maybe they should have cast actors in their forties? It’s happened now and I’m grateful for the role, but I’ve just turned 30 and I’m playing a grandma.

While admitting to feeling weird about her role and believing that she isn’t the right choice to play a grandmother, Olivia Cooke highlighted a broader issue in Hollywood regarding age representation and gender stereotypes.

Olivia Cooke Reflects on Hollywood’s Reluctance in Showing Women’s Aging Journeys

Sharing her thoughts on playing Queen Alicent Hightower, a character who unfortunately forces Olivia Cooke to portray a grandmother at 30, the actress highlighted what she perceives as the industry’s hesitance in depicting accurate aging journeys for women. Seemingly criticizing the entertainment sector for its treatment of aging actresses, with fewer opportunities and more limited roles, Cooke cited it as a reason for her appearance as a grandmother.

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Implying that aged women are gradually forced into early retirement, leaving behind young actresses like her, who are thus bound to play older characters, Olivia Cooke criticized Hollywood’s penchant for setting unrealistic age standards. Pointing out the industry’s hesitation to show women aging authentically on screen, Cooke mentioned how awkward it was for her to play a grandmother.

House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy in House of the Dragon | HBO Max

There is a real reticence to see women age on screen. A real reticence. And it’s hysterical to play. Because Tom is a year younger and I’m, like, ‘Son, come here! Come on to the bosom! It is a strange dynamic that I’m very aware of. But I also don’t want to slag off the show — it’s just something Emma [d’Arcy] and I have talked about a lot.

Cooke mentioned the hilarious age disparity between her and her co-star Tom Glynn-Carney who plays her son Aegon II. Admitting how weird it feels to address him as her son when Glynn-Carney is only two years younger than her, the actress took a bold step at challenging Hollywood’s standards when it comes to age, gender, and beauty.

House of the Dragon is available on Max. 

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Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1706

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1600 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.