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House of the Dragon's Olivia Cooke explains why she pushed back on Alicent's initial characterization

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Early into the production of House of the Dragon, Alicent Hightower's Olivia Cooke was told to interpret the character as "a woman for Trump" by showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal – but she chose to play her a little differently.

Now, the actor has explained why she pushed back against that initial characterization. "I just didn't want to give them any more mental real estate than they already had," Cooke recently told Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), referencing the former US president and his family. "So I tried to find a different route into her.

I could see what they were saying with this complete indoctrination and denial of her own autonomy and rights. I just couldn't be asked to go down that road." Cooke, who is perhaps best known for her roles in Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and Bates Motel, is set to make her debut on the Game of Thrones spin-off in its upcoming sixth episode.

Until now, Alicent, a young woman who makes her own play for power by marrying the ailing King Viserys (Paddy Considine), has been portrayed by 19-year-old Emily Carey.

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