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