Belfast Telegraph

Nathalie Emmanuel speaks out on diversity in Game Of Thrones

The actress said she was grateful for her role.

Nathalie Emmanuel attending the Luminous fundraising gala as part of the BFI London Film Festival (Ian West/PA)
Nathalie Emmanuel attending the Luminous fundraising gala as part of the BFI London Film Festival (Ian West/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Game Of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel believes the show “could have done better” in picking a diverse cast.

The actress, who played ill-fated former slave Missandei, said the hit series was justly criticised over a lack of representation.

Emmanuel is hopeful that the criticism directed at the show over diversity will lead to better, broader casting in the next global hit show.

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Nathalie Emmanuel and Jacob Anderson (Liam McBurney/PA)

She is thankful for her expanded role in the series, and felt supported on set, but thinks Game Of Thrones could have been more diverse.

She spoke at the British Film Institute (BFI) Luminous event in London, and commented on the criticism of the HBO series: “I think it was fair.”

She added: “It’s something that they could have done better on.”

Emmanuel’s role expanded throughout the show, progressing from a slave girl to the trusted counsellor of Emilia Clarke’s character, Daenerys Targaryen.

Her eventual prominence triggered a major and catastrophic plot point in the final series.

Emmanuel said: “They really gave the characters of colour they did have some great stories and scenes to play.

“In the books, my character isn’t really prominent.

“They really gave me some beautiful things to do and portray with my amazing friend and colleague Jacob (Jacob Anderson, who played Grey Worm).

“I felt really supported and looked after in that respect.

“But I think it’s important to note that they could have done better there.

“Hopefully that criticism will be heeded for future shows of that magnitude.

“That’s only a positive thing, so I’m excited to see what those conversations have started.”

Emmanuel said the end of the show has been bittersweet, and she will miss the project and the friends she made while working on the series.

The star believes that her new acting opportunities are owed to the power of Game Of Thrones.

She said: “It will always be bittersweet because we had such an amazing time and amazing experience with one another. We bonded for life.

“But I’m excited. I feel really happy to see what other opportunities are out there. Game Of Thrones changed my life, I was working in retail when I got that job.

“It’s always going to be sad not going to work with my friends.”

PA

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