Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell in HBO's Game of Thrones

A couple of days ago there was a rumor on Winter is Coming that Finn Jones has been cast as Loras Tyrell aka The Knight of Flowers (pictured right).

Today, George RR Martin confirmed the casting. Here is what he had to say on the decision to go with Jones.
Jones is a talented young British actor whose previous credits include the long-running British soap opera HOLLYOAKS and a cop show called THE BILL. I haven't seen either of those myself, but I have seen Finn's audition for Ser Loras (the scene where Loras confront Jaime and Brienne at the gates of the Red Keep), which was terrific.
Most of you are probably asking yourselves: Who the fuck is Finn Jones? And indeed that's a very good question to ask. The new Loras Tyrell is a 22 year old British actor, who is best known for his role in the popular British soap opera, "Hollyoaks". He originally appeared in the spinoff of "Hollyoaks" known as "Hollyoaks Later". Apparently, the guy was a good enough actor that they decided to promote him to the original soap, which is a good indication that Benioff, Weiss, and Gold (executive producers and casting director) have got themselves a good actor for Loras. Look wise, he seems to match Loras pretty well. His age shouldn't be a point of concern, since it's not a big deal, in Hollywood, to see an older actor playing a younger role just look at Brandon T Jackson (26) played a 16 year old in Percy Jackson. Jones looks young enough (pictured below) for Loras, which is a good thing considering youth is a big part of Loras' character.

Also, here is some of his work from "Hollyoaks"

Update - First clip got pulled by the user on Youtube's behest. Here are some clips of his work from "Hollyoaks Later"

Finn Jones is the first one to be officially signed, and Martin sheds a bit of light on the casting process.
I should mention, by the way, that the earlier report of Finn Jones' casting was somewhat premature. At the time the news leaked out, via tweet, Jones had been cast and had been approved by HBO, but the deal had not yet closed. In fact, it was not until this morning that HBO officially informed me that the deal was set. Which is why nothing has been said until now. You have to understand the way the process works, folks. Many audition, they are winnowed down to a few finalists, a choice is finally made after much internal discussion and weighing of alternatives, the choice is submitted to HBO for approval, approval is given (or sometimes, rarely, not -- in which case it is back to square one)... and then negotiations begin with the actor's agents.

But not every deal closes. Sometimes you can't get together on the money. Sometimes there is a problem with the dates and shooting schedule. Sometimes, in between the audition and the callback and the final offer, the actor gets another job... a movie or another TV show (you and I may think it mad, but truth is, most actors would prefer, say, a lead in another production to a supporting part in ours)... and elects to take that instead. Lots of things can happen.
Though Martin tells us to take the rumors with a grain of salt, I should mention that so far the casting rumors have been very accurate. Mo Ryan and Winter is Coming reported the castings of Sean Bean and Lena Headey far before sites like Hollywood Reporter. In fact, there hav e been rumblings that HBO was so unhappy with the leaks that they have been extra cautious with this particular project. Up until now it seemed to work, but Jones kinda ruined it by tweeting about it. Also it's interesting to see that the tweet seems to have disappeared right after he accidentally leaked the news. Martin and HBO can try as hard as possible to dissuade rumors, but the A Song of Ice an Fire fan base will sniff out any significant news that pertains to Game of Thrones.

And as Martin continues, it looks like won't to wait much longer for more casting news.
There should be more casting news soon, by the way. Another five or six parts have been cast and approved... but the negotiations are still ongoing with the actors in question and their representatives, so I will say no more. You'll have to wait. (But David and Dan and Nina have found some great people, so the wait will be well worth it).
Look, I'm excited about Jones' casting, but it mostly has to do with the fact that we finally get another bit of casting news. However, I anticipate the casting announcement for characters like, Littlefinger (one of my favorites), Bronn, Pycelle, and Tywin, far more fervently. And it looks like we might be closer to getting them.

Can't wait to see more of Winter come to HBO!

Update # 2- Jones reacts on his twitter page on getting cast as the Loras Tyrell
Thanks for the supportive tweets! I’m a HUGE fan of the books, it’s such a privilege to be able to bring one of GRRMs characters to life, especially The Knight of Flowers, BRING IT ON!

Another fan of the books gets cast. if you are a fan of the books, and act as a profession, you might as well go out and try... So far Daenerys and Loras (both actors were fans of the books) have gotten roles.
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Credit to the excellent blog Winter is Coming and the Chicago Tribune's Mo Ryan's Blog
for a lot of the info on here. Also the artwork belongs to Amoka, who did a wonderful job doing portraits for many of the A Song of Ice and Fire characters.

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