While Game of Thrones has propelled Emilia Clarke into the A-list with her role as Daenerys Targaryen, it’s widely known that she wasn’t the first choice to play the Mad Queen, with Tamzin Merchant (Pride and Prejudice, The Tudors) actually portraying the character in the 2009 pilot.
Merchant was ultimately dropped from the show once it was picked up by HBO, with the pilot undergoing major once Clarke was brought on board as her replacement. They weren’t of course the only actresses to audition for the part though, and during an interview with Vulture, Marvel star Elizabeth Olsen has revealed that she also read for the role – although it seems it did not go well at all.
“When I first started working, I just auditioned for everything, because I like auditioning,” states Olsen. “And I auditioned for Khaleesi. I forgot that. It was the most awkward audition I’d ever had. [It was a monologue from] after she just burned [in season one]. And she’s making this speech to thousands of people about how she’s their queen. They didn’t know if they wanted a British accent or not. So, you did it in both. It was terrible. Anytime someone says, ‘Bad audition story.’ That’s one I remember.”
Despite the bad audition, things have certainly worked out well for Olsen, who has gone on to appear in a number of critically acclaimed films, not to mention her MCU role as Scarlet Witch, which has seen her appear in the mega-blockbusters Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.