Ser Criston Cole actor Fabien Frankel remembers his first day on set, being so nervous that, when it came time to film his first scene, he froze.
Actor Fabien Frankel recalls his first jittery day on the set of House of the Dragon. Frankel portrays Ser Criston Cole, a Dornish swordsman hand-picked by Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen to be a member of the Kingsguard. Cole is portrayed as a loyal servant to Rhaenyra, the pair soon becoming close friends. This is despite an imbalance of power between the two because of Rhaenyra’s role as a Targaryen Princess and Cole’s background as a common-born man.
Recently, Cole has grown even closer to Rhaenyra, with the pair sleeping together in House of the Dragon‘s fourth episode. This event was influenced by Rhaenyra’s uncle Daemon, who took her into King’s Landing to explore its seedy underbelly. Daemon’s insistence that Rhaenyra can take what she wants because of her position of power leads to her seducing a nervous Cole. Because of their affair, Cole has become an even more central character in House of the Dragon‘s plot, as his loyalty to Rhaenyra is sure to be important to her as the series continues.
While Cole as a character was nervous in Episode 4, the actor who portrays him was nervous from day one. On The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon, Frankel opens up about how anxious he felt on the first day of filming. He became so fearful as his first time on camera approached that, when it came time to film his first scene, he completely froze up:
The camera finally got around to me and I swear to God I literally forgot how to act. I couldn’t do it! I didn’t know what to do. I remember going, ‘This is it, I’ve totally f—-d it.’
Frankel went on to recall how, wading through hundreds of background artists, former showrunner Miguel Sapochnik approached him to make sure he was okay. Soon enough, Frankel was able to get over his nerves and deliver a great performance as Criston Cole, overcoming any negative thoughts that may have plagued him. Even so, he admits that he’s still not over the memory of his first time on set. “It was just the worst f—–g experience of my life,” he continued.
Regardless of his first-time jitters during filming, Frankel has gone on to deliver a memorable performance as Ser Cole. Cole’s loyalty to Rhaenyra, coupled with their newly-anointed affair, indicates an interesting story between the pair is starting to build. While fans of House of the Dragon‘s source material Fire & Blood may know how Cole’s story develops, it should still prove interesting to see how his relationship to House Targaryen is translated onscreen. Fabien Frankel is sure to deliver more memorable moments as Ser Cole, especially as House of the Dragon approaches a major time jump later this season.
Source: The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon