Olivia Cooke couldn’t bear to even pretend to be a Trump supporter.
The “House of the Dragon” actress, who took over the role of Alicent Hightower from Emily Carey due to a time jump in the series, revealed that fellow showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal advised her to take inspiration from the disgraced former president. The series’ creators told Cooke to see the character Queen Alicent as a “woman for Trump.”
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“I just didn’t want to give them more mental real estate than they already had,” Cooke told Entertainment Weekly of the call back to the Trump family. “So I tried to find another way to her, but I could see what they were saying with this complete indoctrination and denial of her own autonomy and rights. I just couldn’t be asked to go down that road.”
Cooke noted that Alicent has become “bittered and twisted over time” because of her prescribed gender role.
“Alicent was bred entirely to breed, and to breed powerful men. That’s her only function in this life,” Cooke said. “She can tell herself that she’s going to wave, nurture and persuade in a very feminine, feminine way, but it’s all fucking bullshit. Unless you fight the men, you will never be listened to. It is learning to live within this straitjacket of oppression. How do I move inch by inch every day to loosen the ties?”
She added that Alicent “has to walk on this tightrope her whole life,” and that Cooke found a “humanitarian hook” for the character.
“You see her struggling with her femininity and the power she has to play that is completely separate from her husband or her father or even her children. And also just moralistic where she stands if she doesn’t listen to her father anymore,” Cooke said. “I think what we’re seeing in her evolution is this complete existential crisis.”
The ‘Thoroughbred’ actress continued: ‘She does damn despicable things. But then you have to remember that she is trying to protect her son. She tries to uphold the patriarchy. She tries to uphold the legitimacy of the crown. All these things she feels are so much bigger than she is. I think that’s why if she can’t control that, she’s going to see faith more as some sort of tangible element of control, because she doesn’t have any in her life at all.”
Cooke concluded, “She’s got all those men around her who just want a piece of her, or use her in a specific way, but nobody really has her interest. It’s just a very lonely existence.”
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