After Game of Thrones’ seventh season was plagued by a massive hack and the leaking of scripts and episodes, HBO is apparently at Charlie Day–Pepe Silvia levels of paranoia. On Thursday, in an interview with a Scandinavian talk show, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) said that to avoid final-season leaks, Thrones actors won’t get their scripts ahead of time. Instead, they’ll be fed their dialogue through earpieces, line by line. Let’s go to Jessica Chastain for her opinion on the matter:
This tactic doesn’t seem conducive to, you know, acting. And it’s not like we’re talking about an introspective, small-scale drama; the last season of Thrones had multiple dragon battles, an Olympian-level, javelin-throwing ice zombie king, a pitch that involved tossing a chained wight out of a box, and an undead ice dragon destroying a millennia-old ice wall. Forcing actors to react to these things on the fly—or to spit out dialogue about Jon Snow’s convoluted family tree without practice—seems ridiculous. Shoot as many drones out of the sky as you can—that’s pretty effective stuff. But this could lead to some very stilted acting.
There’s also the possibility, however, that this is all smoke (babies) and mirrors. The Thrones cast has been vague and misleading in interviews before, and they’re reportedly filming multiple fake endings to the show this year to throw off the Thrones spoiler-industrial complex. Hopefully Coster-Waldau is just exaggerating, because while the “no scripts” thing works for Curb Your Enthusiasm, something tells me Peter Dinklage would be better off knowing his lines beforehand.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.