Over the years, many actors have come out of the woodwork to reveal that they auditioned for the HBO series Game of Thrones. The latest actor to mention the series is Happy Death Day star Jessica Rothe, who has admitted that she auditioned for a key role in the groundbreaking fantasy drama, and she could’ve been killed on Game of Thrones had things gone differently.
Jessica Rothe has spent much of her career hopping from genre to genre – sci-fi, romantic comedy, musical, horror, and so much more. Her career wasn’t always so fruitful as a new actor arriving in Hollywood fresh out of college, though, and one of Rothe’s first auditions was for the soon-to-be hit drama Game of Thrones. She talked with Style Caster about auditioning for the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys:
I auditioned to play Daenerys on Game of Thrones. I didn’t even get a callback. It was so green and so new. They didn’t even have me use a British accent. They didn’t give us a script. I had no idea what was going on. I was like, ‘Who’s this girl with violet eyes who talks to dragons?’ And then cut to Game of Thrones is the biggest thing on TV. I think the girl going in before me was dressed all in leather. I was in a T-shirt and jeans.
Rothe’s breakdown of her GOT audition pointed out how Dany could have been a different person. Rothe’s role as Tree Gelbman in the Happy Death Day franchise has a “cool girl” vibe that mixes wit, edginess and empathy not usually seen in horror films. Rothe’s character is quite different from the very nuanced portrayal of Dany by Emilia Clarke. She was able to mix a (sometimes) strong moral compass with a sense of ruthlessness, and her capability as an actor made Daenerys’ shift from hero to villain even more effortless.
I do believe Rothe would have been able to make that transition, but with a little more edge compared to Clarke. Regardless, fans would have gotten a very different version of Dany had Rothe been in the role.
Despite not passing the GOT audition, Rothe’s career has been one many actors would envy. Besides starring in the Happy Death Day franchise, she has appeared in an array of films, such as the comedy-drama Please Stand By, the romantic drama Forever My Girl, and this year's jukebox musical, Valley Girl. She even appeared in the Oscar-nominated musical drama La La Land as Mia’s friend Alexis.
Most recently, the actor had a recurring role on the canceled Amazon series Utopia as well as headlining the real life-inspired drama, All My Life, with Harry Shum Jr., and Rothe is set to star in the crime drama Body Brokers in 2021.
If you'd like to revisit Game of Thrones, and think about how different Dany could have been with Jessica Rothe in the part, you can stream the entire series on HBO Max right now. For more to watch in the coming weeks, check out our guide to TV's winter / spring 2021 premieres!