In a new interview, Izzy Meikle-Small opens up about losing the role of Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones to Sophie Turner.
TV show casting is a world of possibilities and could-have-beens, and Game of Thrones is no exception.
It is easy to look at a movie or TV show cast and feel secure in the knowledge that whatever higher power picked this particular set of actors for this particular set of roles got it absolutely right.
For better or worse, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the rest of the talented Game of Thrones cast are perfect for their roles, because they are their characters.
Anyone else playing those roles surely would not have been as good because they’d be playing someone else’s character. Right?
Except somewhere, there is a group of human beings hand-picking these actors out of dozens, maybe hundreds of possible options. And sometimes it could go either way.
In an interview with Huffington Post, 17-year-old Izzy Meikle-Small reveals just how close she came to landing the iconic role of Sansa.
“I got to the final two to play Lady Sansa Stark,” she says. But while she would ultimately lose the role to Sophie Turner, “I’m not that unhappy. Because they all show a lot of flesh, don’t they? I don’t think my parents would be happy.”
Meikle-Small is best known for her roles in Never Let Me Go and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Once we’ve seen the characters on screen, it is hard to imagine that any casting director could ever have doubted their choices. But sometimes, we are reminded just how easily a show like Game of Thrones could have been comprised by a totally different set of actors.
In the original pilot of Game of Thrones, both Daenerys and Catelyn were played by different actresses: Tamzin Merchant and Jennifer Ehle, respectively.
Would a different cast have worked so well together and garnered so much respect for their portrayals of the iconic Game of Thrones characters? Maybe. Possibly. Probably.
And yet it would all have been so different from the show we know and love – and we’d never even know it because we’d never have seen the alternative.