real talk

The Game of Thrones Coffee Cup Breaks Her Silence

Overnight Game of Thrones star Coffee M. Cup. Photo-Illustration: Photo: HBO

For eight seasons on the internet we’ve switched on HBO (or HBOGO, or your pirate stream of choice) to talk about Cersei, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and the Starks. We’ve been with these people and their foibles for years: There are years of theories, lore, mysteries, and mistakes. (Is there a world on television so thoughtlessly, but fully, built out?) But on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, the unthinkable happened: For the first time in several seasons, the entrance of one new character dominated all of the show’s discussion. That character was Coffee M. Cup, a working actress who managed to sneak her way into a key Thrones scene.

Her appearance caused such Westerosi hullabaloo that HBO issued an official statement on her presence: “In response to inquiries from those who saw a craft services coffee cup in Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, HBO states, ‘The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.’” But is that really the whole story? Vulture got on the phone with the cup in question late Thursday night to hear her side of things — and for the record, Ms. Cup says that the suggestion that she would be an herbal tea is borderline slanderous. (She is seeking legal representation.)

So, what have the last few days of your life been like? You’ve become quite the “It” girl.
I know, it’s like so wild to me. I never expected any of this to happen. It’s crazy! I’ve been getting so many calls; it’s all so much to keep up with.

Were you a Thrones fan from the start?
Oh, God no. My friends and I actually called it Dragon Tales. My son read the books and watches the series religiously, but my son also thought American Hustle was a good movie. I only started watching because it was, like, the only thing my ex-husband talked about a couple years ago, like around the Red Wedding I think. I ended up dumping the husband and keeping the show. In retrospect, I’m not sure that I — actually, you know what, let’s not even go there.

What did you like about the show, just as a viewer?
It was just so dramatic. At first it was dramatic and really impressive, and then it was just dramatic and really messy. But obviously as a working actor I’m gonna put myself on tape for whatever I can, go out for whatever I can. This was totally random, though. One of my side hustles is selling Rodan + Fields on Instagram, and another one of my side hustles is just doing general craft services work. This Game of Thrones thing was the latter, but if anyone on the show or on the crew needs the lash boost hookup, I’m happy to help them find the product they need.

So you were doing craft services, and then what happened?
Well, these are pretty massive productions, especially with it being the final season and all. I’m gonna be real with you: The work has been pretty dry for a while, acting-wise. I’ve tried to put together my own shorts, you know, anything to get my work out there. But listen, I’m a working mom! So when I’m on the set of Game of Thrones I’m gonna shoot my fucking shot!

How did that work exactly? Were you working with Emilia, in that scene?
So I don’t really work on the Winterfell stuff that often, and especially this season they’re super-chaotic sets. Which is good and bad, you know, because I can share a cig with Sophie Turner. She vapes, actually, but still.

So I was actually, in that scene, working with Isaac [Hempstead Wright]. He’s such a cute kid, I really love him. A phenomenal actor. Could you keep up that weird shit for all these seasons now? We were just hanging out, and they kept shifting our marks. He went to go do whatever, you know, and they were shooting Emilia’s coverage, and I just decided to stay and see what happens. I didn’t even realize they were shooting, honestly. It’s like the worst acting of my entire life. How ironic is that?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve read about yourself?
I’ve seen a lot of people ask, “Whose cup was it? Was it Starbucks? Was the cup paid for by Netflix?” I’d like to clarify that I was not paid by Netflix, but if Netflix would like to pay me, ideally as a series regular, I would take that meeting.

What did you think of Sunday’s episode, outside of your scene?
As a woman of color myself, I was really torn up about Missandei. Not her death — this is Game of Thrones, not whatever’s on Starz — but the way they did not style her curls. Cersei kidnapped that girl without one of her products! Those 4b curls needed at least a little Kinky Curly.

Her brows were looking right, though!
That’s true. That’s true!

What did you think when HBO took you out?
Listen, I’m from Florida. There is no such thing as bad publicity. I got a Raya account out of my scene. I’ve been meeting with agents!

Let’s say HBO asked you to return for one of the spinoffs. Would you consider it?
I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about that, actually. But I’ll just say that we are in the post-Plepler era.

What does that mean? Can you clarify?
I mean, the budget is no.

One last question: Who do you think should be on the Iron Throne?
Who should be on the Iron Throne? To be clear, I have no idea. I didn’t read those scripts. I’m gonna be real, I’d like to live in a world where Jon dies absolutely as soon as possible. But probably Cersei will stay on the throne. Ha!

The Game of Thrones Coffee Cup Breaks Her Silence