Rose Leslie On Game Of Thrones Season 5

Everyone's favourite wilding on Joffrey, Jon Snow and who will take the Iron Throne. Naturally, spoilers follow

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Scottish actress Rose Leslie played everyone's favourite wildling Ygritte in Game Of Thrones for four seasons, before dying in the arms of her lover Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington, her rumoured offscreen boyfriend).

To mark the release of her latest movie Honeymoon on DVD, we talk with the 27-year-old about her hopes for the Iron Throne in season 5, her favourite memories from Westeros, and what the future holds now Ygritte is gone.

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What was it like when you found out Ygritte was going to be killed?
You know what, I remember receiving the call from my agent all those years ago telling me that I had managed to get the part, so geek that I am, I delved straight into the books. So I knew Ygritte’s fate all along.

What most stands out most to you about filming that final scene?
The mud! It had been a very rainy day and I remember having to lie down on the ground and just squelching around feeling cold and wet. I was rather vulnerable that night too, I was feeling a bit raw and emotional.

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What’s it like being one of the killed off characters? Do you all have a club or something?
We should shouldn’t we! I think there are more of us dead than alive now.

What would you most like to see happen in season 5?
I would like to see Jon Snow come into his own. I would like to see him stand up, take the baton and lead by example.

Who was your favourite character in the show, apart from Ygritte?
It was never myself! No, my favourite character of all time has to be Joffrey played by Jack Gleeson.

Yes, yes, don’t you think he’s amazing though? I think everyone comes away loving to hate him, and I just adored every single scene that he was in because he was just so compelling.

Normally when one of the big characters goes, everyone’s sad for a week. But with him…
…There was jubilation across the United Kingdom, yeah. Even my parents were like ‘we’re so happy he got his comeuppance’. And that’s an absolute accolade for Jack, because he is able to stir up these feelings. He’s fantastic.

How do fans treat you?
So far I have never come across anyone who is like ‘Oh God, you’re in that shit TV show’ or anything like that. It has only ever been positive remarks. ‘Oh my Gosh I love the show, it’s a fabulous escapism for me, me and my friends get together to watch it’ – that sort of thing. It makes me very proud to have been part of something that is so loved.

What are your favourite scenes, both to be involved in and more generally?
My favourite memory from any job – and I think it’s going to be very hard to surpass – was being in Iceland where we filmed for 7 months. Every scene was beautiful; oh my God it’s just breathtaking, whether we were on a frozen lake or up in the mountains or just surrounded by this extraordinary landscape. I felt like I was on the moon sometimes. It was bizarre.

Apart from that, I love the first episode in season four (I think) when Arya and the Hound are in the little tavern, and they get into a fight and she uses her needle. You can see she’s changed from this young woman into this ruthless killer, and I thought Maisie Williams performed it beautifully.

Good choice. Who do you think will end up on the Iron Throne when the show finally ends?
Oh gosh, who do you think?

I think Jon’s got a pretty good claim hasn’t he?
I think he has too. I also feel very loyal towards the character, so I think I’m going to have to go for Jon Snow. But my God there are so many contenders. That’s the beauty of it – nobody is safe. We could easily be wrong.

Was it getting into a new role for Honeymoon after playing Ygritte for so long?
Actually, I worked on Honeymoon in between season 2 and season 3, so Ygritte wasn’t so embedded in my psyche yet. But I loved doing the film. The thing that really appealed to me was the fact that it genre-hopped. When I first read the script I was mistaken into thinking it was a rom-com, and then things take a turn for the worst and we are suddenly in a horror! It’s not something that I’ve ever tried to tackle before.

So what is next for you?
Well I have been in Pennsylvania for the last 5 months working on a movie called The Last Witch Hunter, which is directed by Breck Eisner. I’ve had a fantastic time on that. And then I have an independent film coming out this year I believe called Sticky Notes, and in that I play someone with a very dysfunctional relationship with her father played by Ray Liotta.

One last question… What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve had in life?
The importance of perseverance. Perseverance and patience. That advice came from my dad. Not that I’ve ever taken it, of course!

Honeymoon comes to DVD & Blu-ray Monday 26 January


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