Red Bulletin posted a joint interview with Alexander Siddig and DeObia Oparei, aka Doran Martell and his bodyguard, Areo Hotah, providing some insight into the pair’s dynamic this season on Game of Thrones.
Alex, you spent seven years on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which was a huge show for its time. Did you jump on board immediately when you got the offer to do GoT, another massive show?
AS: I was so happy to do this show. Let’s not beat around the bush. This is good for an actor and I love the show. I have seen Pedro (Pascal) do his thing. I have watched those scenes like 50 times. And I watched it all backwards. I watched season 4 first, season 3, season 2 and season 1. I thought it was just great. I thought the writing had real integrity. They really tried to make something happen. There were all sorts of interesting parallels with the real world. Deep Space Nine intended to do that in a very antiquated way, but it did.
DO: Was Deep Space Nine as big as this in its time?
AS: It was allegorical, but no it was nothing like as big. Star Trek is as big.
DeObia, is your character just a bodyguard or is there more to him?
AS: No, he is more. He is not just a bodyguard.
DO: He is not just a factotum. I think something that Game of Thrones does really well is the expression of power. It shows powerful people who are physically incapacitated. You have the young boy Bran (Stark) who needs Hodor. You have the unrelentless childish power of Joffrey, and then you have the prince of Dorne, who is powerful but is incapacitated and can’t walk. To balance this out you have someone like my character Areo Hotah, who is their as physical power, but I also think there is a mental, a spiritual capacity there, too. The books do it so well. George R.R. Martin talks about “Hotah really feeling the prince’s pain.“ So Hotah really has a sense of when he is in pain and when he needs to be moved or carried, or the kind and level of pain he is in. I really got a certain sense that Hotah is also empathetic to this man’s life and is also integral to his life as well. So without him, I don’t know how his power could function.
AS: I think the dynamics between our characters is a good challenge for us and it is a good challenge for the audience, too. And it is fun, because we have to make one person into two. My character is really two people. He (points at DeObia) is the masculine side of me and I am just the brain. It is an interesting combination.