When producers cast Michiel Huisman to replace actor Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis for the fourth season of Game of Thrones, it’s unlikely they knew they were getting Hollywood’s "It" Lothario. In addition to Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, the Dutch actor’s shooting schedule last year alone called for him to romance such leading women as Connie Britton in Nashville, Tatiana Maslany in an upcoming Orphan Black arc, and Reese Witherspoon in Jean-Marc Vallee’s Dallas Buyers Club follow-up Wild. And even though Huisman has shorter hair and is less tan than the previous actor to play the Tyroshi sellsword, Daenerys seems to like new Daario just fine. Vulture caught up with the very busy Huisman while he was on a break from shooting the romantic drama Age of Adaline, in which he’s playing — what else? — the paramour of Blake Lively, and talked with him about peeing as romantic gesture and being everyone’s boyfriend.
Do you think Daenerys was impressed when Daario peed?
[Laughs.] Um. No. I mean, I don’t know. Daario never asked her. To me, it’s one of the things that make Daario such a fun character to play.
Well, he’s not only an amazing fighter, right, and takes down the champion in a brilliant way, he’s also a show-off. He pushes things. If one of the other guys had been her champion, they would have shown more respect, obviously. But this is Daario. That’s why he’s fun.
He’s a show-off, but I’m also trying to make him very grounded. He takes that guy [the first to pee] down in a brutal, easy way, but the way I tried to play it is that Daario didn’t have a plan until the very last second. He was confident, he knew the other guy was going down, but how? I don’t think he knew. Pissing is part of showing his manliness. It gives him a little edge. He goes a little too far sometimes.
I haven’t read the books, so I wasn’t sure if Dany was into it. She’s eaten a horse heart, so I thought, Maybe!
Right. Then again, she carries a big responsibility, and she’s about to address all these people, so if it were her choice, she probably wouldn’t have preferred that, uh, victory dance.
Now that we’ve thoroughly broken down the peeing, and decided Dany maybe sort of didn’t like it, do you feel bad for poor, poor Ser Jorah? Talk about no contest.
A little bit. Just a little. I never had time to read the books between getting cast and working on the show, but I do know what’s coming up this season for the love triangle. It’s hard to respond to what you just said without giving anything away.
You guys shoot in Croatia, which is where the King’s Landing scenes are also shot. Did you get to see Jack Gleeson off after Joffrey died?
No. It’s very sad. Because we all shoot so far away from each other, we don’t even cross paths in the makeup trailer. I can only hope Daario sticks around long enough that the world of Dany and Westeros meet.
Tell me about Age of Adaline.
It’s about a woman, played by Blake Lively, who, because of some bizarre accident, stops aging. She has to live a life on the run because she’s afraid if people find out she’s not getting older she’ll turn into some medical experiment. So she moves every couple years, successfully, until she, um, meets me.
Of course. You are everyone’s boyfriend.
Uh, I don’t know. I understand where you’re coming from. It’s something that the roles I’ve been working on for the past year have in common. They’re all opposite great leading actresses. Yeah, it’s cool. [Laughs.] I don’t know what to say! I’ve been a lucky, lucky guy to work with these crazy talented women.
Harrison Ford is in Adaline as well.
We’re shooting a scene in my family’s house right now, and Harrison's playing my dad. We’ve been working for two weeks now. He has one gear and that’s, like, forward. He really pushes everyone to get the best possible performance, and keeps me on my toes in a great way.
What do you guys talk about?
Oh, you know, during down time, we just talk about things, life, the work.
You haven’t brought up Star Wars yet.
Did you get to watch Tatiana Maslany turn from one clone into another on Orphan Black? She told me the transformation requires dancing.
Well, because my character only meets Sarah — actually, that’s not true. Later in the season, I meet a couple more. But mostly I’m with Sarah, so I didn’t see her make the change a lot. But I get a sense for what she’s doing, and the way she does it seems so effortless and it’s mind-blowing to witness it. Sometimes it’s a little dance. She uses music a lot. To play different characters on a TV show where you’re working every day, playing multiple characters every day, it’s so ridiculously intense. She’s really the reason I was very eager to do the show. My character’s cool, but I just wanted to work with Tat.
I have to ask, because I’m still watching — will you be back on Nashville?
No. I’m afraid I’m too busy.