Actor Ron Donachie: “Game Of Thrones Was An Unusually Pleasant Experience”

Scottish actor Ron Donachie has built an impressive career that has spanned over two decades and included roles in Titanic, Game of Thrones and Irvine Welsh’s film adaptation of the novel Filth, to name but a few.

Ron Donachie, left, with Michelle Fairley

Ron Donachie (left) as Ser Rodrik with Michelle Fairley

Playing the part of Ser Rodrik Cassel in seasons one and two of Game of Thrones may have resulted in a rather botched beheading, but Ron told #ThroneWatch that the whole experience on the show was “unusually pleasant”.

Speaking exclusively to BAM at Titancon 2016 recently, Ron explained what it was like to guest star in one of world’s most popular television shows and why Pod (yes, Pod!) should have a shot at the Iron Throne.

“It was very happy company on set.” Ron said, “Especially the first couple of years. Before a story like this splits into so many story lines, people are much more likely to spend time in each others company. In the first two years, you get to see a lot more of your chums.

“I’d known Michelle (Fairley, who played Catelyn Stark) beforehand, Sean (Bean, who played Ned Stark) and Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon) as well. I became good pals with the people who played the Stark children and also Alfie Allen. It’s fantastic to see them grow up and they’re great to work with.”

Over the last six seasons we have watched the Stark children, namely Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophile Turner), become key players in some of Game of Thrones’ leading story lines.

Ron (right) with ThroneWatch columnist Abby Williams

Ron (right) with ThroneWatch columnist Abby Williams

Ron said: “It was a relief that they were as good as they were. Because if they’d been duff it would have been very hard for everybody!”

Ser Rodrik will be remembered for his loyalty to House Stark, but even more so for his messy death at the hands of Theon Greyjoy.

“I mean, it was a mess of a death.” Ron said. “Because of the betrayal in the first place and then the fact that Theon couldn’t even manage to cut my head off properly. It was pretty ugly.

“I do missing playing (Ser Rodrik) in a way, unusually. Generally speaking, when actors finish a job we just move on to the next one, but this was an unusually pleasant experience. It was a great time.”

Working alongside a huge pool of acting talent, Ron struggled to pinpoint his favourite scene.

He said: “It’s difficult to say. There’s a scene we shot in Little Finger’s brothel, which was fun. It has nothing to do with it being in a brothel! Catelyn and I were showing them that we had the dagger made from Valyrian steel, so we knew that (the Lannisters had tried to kill Bran).

Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel in Game of Thrones

Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel in Game of Thrones

“That was a really good scene to play. Aidan (Gillen, who plays Petyr ‘Little Finger’ Baelish) is a very good actor to work with and so is Michelle, so it was great fun.”

Ron’s role in the hit HBO show was certainly not his first brush with fame. He has starred in the TV series Doctor Who, The Jungle Book (1994), a host of theatre productions and played The Master At Arms in 1997’s blockbuster “Titanic”, directed by James Cameron. So, is he still in touch with Leonardo DiCaprio?

“We’re big buddies yeah. We play golf every Friday.” he laughed. “It’s funny, people used to say at the time ‘Do you and Leo have a lot in common?’, and I would go ‘Hmm…nope!’ Leo was about 20 then. He was fantastic to work with, a great bloke, and hard working.”

Post-Thrones Ron has been active on stage, recently starring in The Crucible and an adaptation of The Iliad. But who does he want to see sitting on the Iron Throne?

“Everyone loves Tyrion. I think he would be a great bet for it. But, I still think there’s a chance for Pod…You just never know.” he said.

There could certainly be worse people ruling the Seven Kingdoms.

#SerRodrik #TeamPod #thronewatch

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About the Author

Abby Williams
Belfast based author/writer specialising in entertainment, mental health and human interest.