Spoiling “Game of Thrones” is a major no-no, and actress Gemma Whelan learned the hard way that even letting slip the name of a character can get you into trouble.
Whelan, who plays Yara Greyjoy on the show, says she was almost fired for putting the character on her resume before she started filming.
“No one told me to keep quiet about it,” Whelan said in an interview with The Times of London. “I just thought it was normal to pop it on my Spotlight entry, so I wrote on my CV, ‘This summer Gemma will be playing Yara Greyjoy in ‘Game of Thrones’.'”
That turned out to be a mistake. While Spotlight is a service designed for casting directors, “Game of Thrones” fans were on there looking for clues. Soon enough they had found her CV.
“The internet went nuts,” Whelan said. “One of the lovely, lovely producers on ‘Thrones’ called me into his office and said, ‘This is very serious. We almost can’t employ you because of this.'”
Thankfully, the producers let the transgression slide, and Whelan has been playing Yara on the show since season 2. And unlike a lot of other characters on “Game of Thrones”, Yara is still around and will return in the show’s seventh season, which premieres July 16.
Whelan has learned her lesson, though, and remains absolutely tight-lipped about what’s in store for Yara in the upcoming season.
“When we left off season 6, it was clear that Daenerys [Emilia Clarke] and Yara were off on a mission,” Whelan said “And we left me on a boat—so it would follow that you would find me on a boat. But I’m not ruling out being on land. How about that? Let’s not rule out any land!”
While she may not be able to talk about what happens to her on the show, Whelan did share the difficulty of taking on the warrior role. Certain people on the internet criticized her looks, saying that “I was too fat, not sexy enough, not the cartoon-character sort of Lara Croft version of Yara people have imagined, you know?”
Though that experience was hurtful, especially as Whelan says she suffered from anorexia in her youth, most fans have completely embraced her as Yara. “Now lots of people come to me and say I am exactly what they imagined,” she said. “So, it crosses the board.”