Game of Thrones season has commenced now that we’re days away from the seventh installment’s premiere (July 16). To get loyal viewers ready, a few gems have made a home on the Internet, thanks to a profile on casting director Nina Gold in Vanity Fair.
Within the feature, Gold dishes on behind-the-scenes moments of selecting the actors that played an integral role in the HBO series’ success. However, Gold wished that she had given award-winning actor Mahershala Ali the chance to join the Seven Kingdoms.
“Wow, how could I have ever turned down Mahershala Ali?” Gold admitted. At the top of 2017, Ali revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he auditioned for the role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, but said that his moment fell flat.
“I think my audition guaranteed that I wasn’t almost on Game of Thrones. That was one of the worst auditions of my life…I’d gone in for this casting director before and I felt like I had like two other wonky auditions with her, but I was really prepared this time around. Totally off book, had all of my lines memorized, had this whole thing worked out with this chair. I was doing all of these power moves and stances and what not, had my stuff all worked out and then I go in for the audition and I walk in there, to the HBO offices, and there are these two stools that are this high in the air with no back behind them. So I’m sitting there with feet halfway off the ground, a little bit stiff during the audition. Then she goes, ‘Wow, you have to loosen that up, that was really stiff, that was a problem.'”
Nonetheless, Ali is probably at home polishing his Oscar trophy. Game of Thrones premieres Sunday (July 16) at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.