From Paul Rudd Basic Instinct-ing Michael Douglas on the set of Ant Man to George Clooney and Brad Pitt's ongoing ping pong of pranks, celebrities punking the living crap out of each other is something we never tire of hearing. Though, you'd think that with all the pillage and plunder the Game of Thrones crew have to deal with on the daily, you'd think they would be a little nicer to each other off screen, right?
Dishing the dirt to Entertainment Weekly, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss tell all about the backstage pranks pulled between cast members and — I gotta say — it makes us love them even more.
1. Bloomin' Eck, Gill-eh
Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Hannah Murray (Gilly) & the costume department vs. John Bradley (Samwell Tarly).
Weiss sets the scene:
“Hannah has long had the sh–tiest costumes on 'Game of Thrones'; she’s been in a burlap sack for five years. She was so happy that she finally gets into a real piece of clothing this year. So Kit and Hannah thought it would be funny to play a joke on John and let him think he’s going to get a new costume too.”
If you're not up to date, check out a non burlap sack'd Gilly below:
“We thought it would be great to make the costume ludicrous, but just believable enough to not know it was a gag — so he’d think he would be wearing this on screen. [It] was all rental stuff, very Henry the VIII, with Tudor bloomers and a massive codpiece that wasn’t even the same color as the rest of the costume.”
As you can see from the picture above, the poor guy is less than impressed but, being the good sport he clearly is, went along with the whole fitting regardless. Now, with a little distance behind him and those god-awful bloomers, Bradley laughs:
“I looked so bad and ridiculous, it was unbelievable. There was a huge vulgar codpiece — though flattering, to be sure. The reason I bought it is because we’d never seen Sam at home before, and [his parents think] he’s an idiot. [Maybe] Sam dressed like an idiot before he came to Castle Black.
You always think you’re not going to fall for those [pranks]. You always think, ‘I’ll see through that,’ and I cannot believe I didn’t see through it! … I don’t think piracy is hurting the show too much — they’ve still got a bit of budget to set aside and make me look like Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.”
I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is a look we need to see Samwell rocking in at least one episode.
2. The Boy Who Lived
The showrunners vs. Kit Harington's (Jon Snow) hair.
Seeing as Kit Harington's hair has sparked and influenced many a debate, I suppose we should be grateful that this was only ever just a prank played on poor Jon Snow.
Remember when Jon Snow set a wight alight at Castle Black in Season 1, Episode 8, while defending Lord Commander Mormont? Well, the original version of the script he received had a wildly different ending.
“on plunges his hand into the fire, seizes the burning drapes, and FLINGS them at the dead man, engulfing them both in flames,” reads the script. And then after the action concludes: ”… When the fire is finally out, we see by torchlight that all of Jon’s hair has burnt down to the scalp. The skin on the top half of his face has been melted in the extreme heat, blistered and pustulant. Despite what must be the extreme agony of permanent disfigurement, Jon stands stoically by his master’s side.” Mormont then says to Jon: “Gods, boy. I was wrong about you. You’re a ranger, through and through!” And the scene’s script description concludes with this: “Jon smiles, his teeth shining brightly in his destroyed face. Mormont, sickened, has to look away.”
Regardless of the hair-raising sacrifice this would mean he'd have to make, Harington turned up to work regardless, when a change of script was explained to him:
“HBO was worried the Jon Snow storyline was too Harry Potter, and they wanted to do something to make it darker. They thought he was such a strong actor that he could handle it. We kept this up until we started laughing. He was a remarkably good sport about the whole thing.”
Good job, too. Imagine how cold he'd be with a baldy head atop that wall!
3. Jaime LADister
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) vs. the showrunners
Flipping the table (as any true Lannister would), Coster-Waldu played the showrunners at their own game another hair-themed prank. Weiss recalled:
“Nikolaj wrote this Angry Actor Email about how he was very upset that we were changing his hairstyle. He said he felt the need to own his hair because his hair was part of his character, and he was going to take it upon himself to get his own haircut that he felt best reflected Jaime Lannister as he saw him. He said he hoped we’d understand and he’d send us a picture shortly.”
With that, he kept them hanging for days! Until, some time later, he sent a photograph of his new 'do:
“Finally, 70 hours later he sent us a picture of him with this military buzzcut. He shaved all his hair off!” The producers were alarmed, especially since Coster-Waldau had some reshoots scheduled and now the footage wouldn’t match. “We thought we’ll have to get a Jaimie Lannister wig at last minute at tremendous expense. HBO’s lawyers were calling his lawyers…”
Read more about the Game of Thrones pranks here.
How much would you love to be best friends with the Game of Thrones gang?