Eu­gene Si­mon al­ways hoped he’d be wel­comed back to Game of Thrones but when it hap­pened he had to keep it se­cret

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

Eu­gene Si­mon could eas­ily be dead and buried as spite­ful King Joffrey but he’s thank­ful he was instead cast as Lan­cel Lannister who’s a men­ace on Game Of Thrones.

Si­mon was beaten to the role of Joffrey by Jack Gleeson, who went on to be­come one of the most hated TV vil­lains of all time be­fore be­ing killed off in sea­son four.

Miss­ing out on play­ing the evil king has worked in Si­mon’s favour.

His char­ac­ter, while not ap­pear­ing in the third and fourth sea­son’s of the HBO se­ries, has given Si­mon more ex­po­sure – well be­yond ap­pear­ing in some 15 episodes.

“I ac­tu­ally au­di­tioned for Joffrey but I was re­lieved when Jack Gleeson got it be­cause he did such a good job ... I felt the stars aligned with me get­ting this role,” Si­mon told AAP from the UK.

In his two sea­sons away from Game Of Thrones, the fledg­ling ac­tor gained enor­mous ex­pe­ri­ence, ap­pear­ing in more than 150 episodes of the Nick­elodeon teen se­ries House of Anu­bis.

“It (com­ing back af­ter two years) al­lowed me to step in to my shoes of an adult ac­tor and from that sense I was ready for the role.”

His re­turn as Lan­cel was never a for­gone con­clu­sion.

He walked off set af­ter sea­son two thinking his Game

Of Thrones days were over, al­though in the back of his mind was the email au­thor Ge­orge RR Martin once sent him about his char­ac­ter.

“I got an email from Ge­orge RR Martin at the start of sea­son one say­ing that Lan­cel had this sto­ry­line which he had al­ready writ­ten in the books,” Si­mon says.

“I was there­fore, to some de­gree, hope­ful and ready for a huge change go­ing on, which be­came a re­al­ity ...”

The char­ac­ter’s re­turn meant a rad­i­cal hair­cut, which made him be­come an­other cast mem­ber forced to fib to pro­tect the show’s se­crets.

Si­mon says ly­ing is a byprod­uct of a cult show and no one kept the se­cret of Jon Snow’s re­turn bet­ter than Kit Har­ring­ton.

“This guy spent months keep­ing his mouth shut about Jon Snow and I cer­tainly had to tell a few fibs about when my hair was cut off and it looked like I had come out of re­hab for a heroin ad­dic­tion,” he says.

“You do have to keep up a lie, there’s some­thing kind of joy­ful about ly­ing ... I’m not go­ing to feel guilty about that.” Game of Thrones, Fox­tel, 11am on Mon­day

Eu­gene Si­mon as Lan­cel Lannister in Game of Thrones.

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