Every star has at least one "bad audition story" and Elizabeth Olsen's is for Game of Thrones. It's been about a decade since she would've auditioned for Daenerys Targaryen, the role now played by Emilia Clarke. So enough time has passed -- and Olsen's career is strong enough with her role as Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- that the Avengers star can speak freely on the embarrassing experience.
Game of Thrones is ending its final season tomorrow night on HBO, with Dany's storyline in particular getting a lot of pushback from fans, among other criticisms. Can you picture Elizabeth Olsen in the role instead of Emilia Clarke? Just give her a wig and ... maybe. But apparently when Olsen auditioned it was early enough that the showrunners didn't know what they wanted, and she was left flailing.
Here's Elizabeth Olsen's story to Vulture:
When I first started working, I just auditioned for everything, because I like auditioning. And I auditioned for Khaleesi. I forgot that. It was the most awkward audition I’d ever had. [From] after she just burned. And she’s making this speech to thousands of people about how she’s their queen. They didn’t know if they wanted a British accent or not. So, you did it in both. It was terrible. Anytime someone says, ‘Bad audition story.’ That’s one I remember.
Was that a scene from the Game of Thrones Season 1 finale that they gave her to use for auditions, or some adaptation of what they eventually went with?
Whatever the case, Elizabeth Olsen is not alone in the sinking Dany boat. The Game of Thrones pilot actually had The Tudors star Tamzin Merchant in the role of Daenerys Targaryen, but several pilot roles were recast once that first episode came in and HBO was not pleased. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have admitted the pilot wasn't great in general, and the recast role for Dany went to Emilia Clarke.
Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in March 2010, and Elizabeth Olsen, now 30, wouldn't have to wait long for her own big break with Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011. The younger sister of famous Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley started on the indie front before landing the role of Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She returned as Scarlet Witch for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and the currently slaying Avengers: Endgame.
So, theoretically, Elizabeth Olsen could've been dominating pop culture right now either way -- on Game of Thrones for the final season or in Avengers: Endgame for potentially the biggest movie of all time.
Game of Thrones Season 8 finishes its run Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. on HBO. Don't forget that Elizabeth Olsen does have a TV show in the works with WandaVision, her MCU spinoff with Paul Bettany, which is coming to Disney+.