‘House of the Dragon’ Star Olivia Cooke Is Totally Fine if You Don’t Like Alicent: ‘That’s the Beauty of What We Do’ (Video)

“UnWrapped” Podcast: “Some woman came up to me and was like… ‘your character is such a C-word…’ I guess there’s some sort of impact” Cooke says

Haters gonna hate, and Olivia Cooke is just fine with that. In fact, according to the “House of the Dragon” actress, that’s part of the fun of her job.

“I don’t want to play characters that have to be liked universally,” Cooke said on a recent episode of WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” Podcast. “That’s sort of like the beauty of what we do.” 

In the “Game of Thrones” prequel series, Cooke plays the adult version Alicent Hightower, the wife of King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and stepmother of Princess/former BFF Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy, Milly Alcock). Cooke has earned a devoted fanbase for the character, but recognizes Alicent’s cunning demeanor and somewhat questionable decisions may also earn some critiques, and “that’s so fine.”

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“I am fully aware that Alicent is a bit like Marmite,” she said.

Even with those devoted fans who love Alicent though, Cooke admits she still tries to stay off social media to avoid getting “sucked in.” But some situations are unavoidable…

According to the actress, she was out at a pub just a few months ago with castmates, celebrating the birthday of Fabien Frankel, who stars as Ser Criston Cole in the HBO series, when “some woman came up to me and was like… ‘your character is such a C-word.’” 

When incidents like this happen, the actress tries to interpret it as a compliment. “You’re making people feel and I guess there’s some sort of impact that the story and the arc is pushing through…

Her trick is to “decompartmentalize” herself and her character. “I’m learning to have a bit more of a rhino skin, so I don’t really take it personally,” said Cooke. “I know, [Alicent’s] not the heroine. I went into that knowing that she’s a very flawed person, and she’s full of all these just different complexities.”

During this episode, Cooke also…

  • Reveals her go-to hangover cure after a night out with castmates: “milk thistle”
  • Chats about ~that~ foot scene between Alicent Hightower and Larys Strong: “I was number one on wiki feet for a while”
  • Says fame is “weird” and tries to stay off social media and apps to protect her mental health
  • Shares her drink(s) of choice this summer… besides a negroni sbagliato with prosecco

About “UnWrapped”

“UnWrapped” is a podcast produced by WrapWomen, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women in media and entertainment. Each episode “unwraps” topics from entertainment news and industry trends to career advice, Hollywood headlines and more. 

Special guests include industry leaders, actors, producers and studio execs. The aim of the series is to connect those looking for knowledge and access to those with the knowledge and access, providing the WrapWomen community tools to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

New episodes of “UnWrapped” drop the last Friday of every month. You can listen on TheWrap.comWrapWomen.comSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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