Emma D'Arcy is an excellent example of how fast things can change in Hollywood. One day, they're a relative unknown in the industry, and the other, they're a bonafide star and nominee for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.
The non-binary actor's breakthrough came after starring as Rhaenyra in the Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon. But, as much as Emma D'Arcy made the character work to their advantage, getting cast was hardly a walk in the park.
Recently, the 30-year-old was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actress Roundtable with fellow actresses Jennifer Coolidge, Jennifer Garner, Claire Danes, Dominique Fishback, and Melanie Lynskey – all of which had a great year in their careers and revealed their journey to starring in their bets shows.
During the discussion, D'Arcy revealed they went through a grueling process to secure their role on the show. Given the high bar the show's predecessor, Games of Thrones, set, and by which every project in that universe will be judged, it would certainly be a problem if the casting process was shoddy.
A role in House of the Dragon meant many things, and D'Arcy revealed they considered the pros and cons while they were in the middle of auditioning.
In their words, "I wrote a pros and cons list during the auditions process. The big one on the cons list was loss of anonymity, but probably that was a way of writing self-hate or something."
Their audition took place during the pandemic and they were at it for three months. Because of lockdown conditions, they auditioned via self-tape.
They stated, "I auditioned for three months during the pandemic after losing a year of work, so in some ways, I think my hands were tied. Halfway through the process, the then-showrunner, Miguel Sapochnik, called to ask me if I owned a wig. A proper person would've asked someone who does hair for advice."
D'Arcy cuts their hair, but their character, if you watch House of the Dragon, has long silver hair. But, luckily, they had a workaround, saying that they had a "bag of hair in [silver] from another job" and they just literally "stuck" the make-shift wig to their head every time they self-taped.
You would think that after all of that, they would get an email or a call that they had gotten the role. But that wasn't the case. They had to participate in a physical audition that took four hours. Worse, they didn't hear back from the studio for a long time.
Eventually, though, the call came. More importantly, D'Arcy took the opportunity and ran with it. And now, they have made imprinted their name in television history.
D'Arcy will next star in House of the Dragon Season 2, which began filming in April and was not impacted by the ongoing writers' strike. There have also been reports there will be a Season 3 and Season 4 of the show, although we have not received any official confirmation for those.