How Game of Thrones's John Bradley and Kit Harington Prepared for Jon Snow's Moment of Truth

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Sunday's long-awaited season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones may not have been as action-packed as some fans were hoping for, but it did not disappoint—especially in terms of its many anticipated reunions and major plot reveals. At the top of that list of highly guarded secrets finally coming to light was Jon Snow learning his true parentage, and realizing that not only is he the true heir to the Iron Throne, but that the love of his life also happens to be a blood relation.

Though we assumed that particular bombshell would be dropped later in the season, Jon's best friend, Samwell Tarly, was given the unfortunate task of sharing this information with Jon ... and delivered it not long after being informed by Daenerys Targaryen that she had killed both his father and brother for refusing to bend the knee.

Sam has certainly stepped up his game since his earliest days on Game of Thrones; we've seen him rescue Gilly and her son, stand up to his hard-nosed father, become a Maester, expand his knowledge of the history of Westeros, and even kill some White Walkers. Still, having to tell Jon Snow the truth about his parentage—and what Daenerys is capable of—was no easy task for Sam, or for John Bradley (the actor who portrays him).

In an interview with Variety, Bradley shared how he and Kit Harington rehearsed their lines over and over again to get the scene just right, and that he had to split it into two parts in his mind. The first part of the scene would be the sweet reunion between friends and Sam telling Jon that his father and brother were killed by Daenerys. “He just understandably needs to get that off his chest,” Bradley said. The second part was the ultimate revelation that the actor referred to as “the most important piece of information in the entire show.”

“From a performance point of view it was very delicate, because I know I had to get all of the emotions into the first half of the scene, and in the second half abandon them,” Bradley said. “Sam has to calm himself down and explain the situation to Jon very calmly and in terms which are easy to understand. He knows Jon is going to be angry, he knows any blasphemy against the sainted figure of Ned Stark is going to rile Jon up. Sam needs to be as calm as possible to throw a cold blanket on that, to make Jon listen to what he has got to say.”

The scene was obviously an intense one, but Bradley promised that the final season will have some moments of levity, too.

“It’s an ending that we’re really satisfied with,” the 30-year-old actor said. “We’re not afraid to talk about it, we’re not dreading people seeing it or how they’re going to react. Quite a few shows have been great and then missed on the finale, and that’s tarnished people’s relationship with the show, but we’re not going to do that. Ever since I first read that last page of script, the last page of season 8, episode 6, I have been desperate for people to see it. I’m gonna feel that way the second before it starts in five weeks' time. It’s gonna give the fans and the show itself the ending they deserve.”

[h/t Variety]

Matt LeBlanc Says "Weird Things" Happened at the Peak of Friends's Popularity

Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images
Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images

Even though it went off the air in 2004, Friends continues find new generations of fans—so much so that there's even an unscripted reunion special in the works. With all the love surrounding the show, one can only imagine that the actors who played the six main characters have experienced the effects of its popularity—both good and bad.

As reported by Digital Spy, Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani, spoke during a pre-recorded interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show about "weird things" that happened while he was filming Friends. When pressed to give an example, LeBlanc recalled a time he saw his house, along with the homes of the five other cast members, on the news—while he was home.

"I remember one time, it was during the week, I had been flipping channels and watching the news and for some reason, they had a split-screen on the TV, six quadrants," he told Clarkson. "Each was a live shot of each one of our houses, like a helicopter shot. I was watching it and there was no information or news, it was just showing [our] houses."

Even though the actor found the situation bizarre, there was a very practical silver lining. “I remember looking closely at my house and thinking, 'F**k I need a new roof.' So the helicopter flies away and I get the ladder and I go up there,” LeBlanc added.

[h/t Digital Spy]

7 Timeless Facts About Paul Rudd

Rich Fury, Getty Images
Rich Fury, Getty Images

Younger fans may know Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, one of the newest members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the actor has been a Hollywood mainstay for half his life.

Rudd's breakout role came in 1995’s Clueless, where he played Josh, Alicia Silverstone's charming love interest in Amy Heckerling's beloved spin on Jane Austen's Emma. In the 2000s, Rudd became better known for his comedic work when he starred in movies like Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Anchorman (2004), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), and I Love You, Man (2009).

It wasn’t until 2015 that Rudd stepped into the ever-growing world of superhero movies when he was cast as Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, and became part of the MCU.

Rudd has proven he can take on any part, serious or goofy. More amazingly, he never seems to age. But in honor of (what is allegedly) his 51st birthday on April 6, here are some things you might not have known about the star.

1. Paul Rudd is technically Paul Rudnitzky.

Though Paul Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey, both of his parents hail from London—his father was from Edgware and his mother from Surbiton. Both of his parents were descendants of Jewish immigrants who moved to England from from Russia and Poland. Rudd’s last name was actually Rudnitzky, but it was changed by his grandfather.

2. Paul Rudd's parents are second cousins.

In a 2017 episode of Finding Your Roots, Rudd learned that his parents were actually second cousins. Rudd responded to the discovery in typical comedic fashion: "Which explains why I have six nipples." He also wondered what that meant for his own family. "Does this make my son also my uncle?," he asked.

3. Paul Rudd loved comic books as a kid.

While Rudd did read Marvel Comics as a kid, he preferred Archie Comics and other funny stories. His English cousins would send him British comics, too, like Beano and Dandy, which he loved.

4. Paul Rudd wanted to play Christian in Clueless. And Murray.

Clueless would have been a completely different movie if Rudd had been cast as the suave Christian instead of the cute older step-brother-turned-love-interest Josh. But before he was cast as Cher’s beau, he initially wanted the role of the “ringa ding kid” Christian.

"I thought Justin Walker’s character, Christian, was a really good part," Rudd told Entertainment Weekly in 2012. "It was a cool idea, something I’d never seen in a movie before—the cool gay kid. And then I asked to read for Donald Faison's part, because I thought he was kind of a funny hip-hop wannabe. I didn’t realize that the character was African-American.”

5. Paul Rudd idolizes Paul Newman.

In a 2008 interview for Role Models, which he both co-wrote and starred in, Rudd was asked about his real-life role model. He answered Paul Newman, saying he admired the legendary actor because he gave a lot to the world before leaving it.

6. Before Paul Rudd was Ant-Man, he wanted to be Adam Ant.

In a 2011 interview with Grantland, Rudd talked about his teenage obsession with '80s English rocker Adam Ant. "Puberty hit me like a Mack truck, and my hair went from straight to curly overnight," Rudd explained. "But it was an easier pill to swallow because Adam Ant had curly hair. I used to ask my mom to try and shave my head on the sides to give me a receding hairline because Adam Ant had one. I didn’t know what a receding hairline was. I just thought he looked cool. She said, 'Absolutely not,' but I was used to that."

Ant wasn't the only musician Rudd tried to emulate. "[My mom] also shot me down when I asked if I could bleach just the top of my head like Howard Jones. Any other kid would’ve been like, 'F*** you, mom! I’m bleaching my hair.' I was too nice," he said.

7. Romeo + Juliet wasn’t Paul Rudd's first go as a Shakespearean actor.

Yet another one of Rudd's iconic '90s roles was in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, but it was far from the actor's first brush with Shakespeare. Rudd spent three years studying Jacobean theater in Oxford, England, and starred in a production of Twelfth Night. He was described by his director, Sir Nicholas Hytner, as having “emotional and intellectual volatility.” Hytner’s praise was a big deal, considering he was the director of London's National Theatre from 2003 until 2015.

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