Game of Thrones actor on his fatal fight ‘Beyond the Wall’

You just knew all of our Game of Thrones heroes wouldn’t survive that perilous trek “Beyond the Wall.” And when the White Walkers and wights (and zombie polar bear!) closed in, it was knot-topped red priest Thoros of Myr (played by English comedian and actor Paul Kaye) who paid the ultimate price.

“I got the news last summer sometime, I missed a couple calls from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss], and that’s the kiss of death,” Kaye tells EW.

Was he disappointed that Thoros wouldn’t make it to the final season? “Obviously,” he says, but the actor was far more relieved that his character came back into the show last season and for season 7 in the first place. In George R.R. Martin’s novels upon which GoT is based, the journey of Thoros becomes intertwined with that of another character, Lady Stoneheart, who’s not in HBO’s version.

“It looked like they weren’t following Lady Stoneheart’s storyline in the show, so I prepared myself not to re-emerge,” he says. “So it was great to get back and have this adventure. Just staying alive for six seasons is an achievement in itself on this show.”

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Thoros was mauled by an undead bear after heroically saving The Hound, then perished amid the freezing cold on a rock island surrounded by his companions. “It’s glorious, really,” Kaye says. “And I like the fact I get [cremated] with my own booze as well —there’s a message there somewhere.”

Looking back at his time on the show, Kaye (whose upcoming credits include the 2017 zombie film Anna and the Apocalypse and the 2018 film Tomorrow) says he has particularly fond memories of filming his scenes in season 3 in the Brotherhood Without Banners cave hideout. “It was a special time,” he says. “My cast number was 47 and I was 47. It was just beyond my wildest dreams.”

There’s just one thing about his storyline that bugs him. “I used to like polar bears,” he says, “but not anymore!”

Veronica’s Sexy Ex Is Coming To Riverdale

Archie and Veronica’s red-hot romance may soon be derailed by the arrival of an attractive ex. Entertainment Weekly reports that Riverdale has cast actor Graham Phillips to play Nick St. Clair, the former boyfriend of its carrot-topped protagonist’s main squeeze, for the CW hit’s second season. Your move, Betty.

Fans of The Good Wife will recognize Phillips from his previous role as Zach, the earnest, tech-savvy son of Alicia and Peter Florrick (Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth). The 24-year-old actor also played the love interest of Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland in the 2016 Netflix original movie, XOXO.

His latest role will be a far cry from his good guy roots, however, according to Riverdale executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
“Nick is an old classmate of Veronica’s (played by Camila Mendes) from New York, and despite his parent-pleasing veneer, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing: a hard-partying Lothario with dark desires and an unchecked sense of privilege,” Aguirre-Sacasa told EW. “His arrival in Riverdale will threaten Archie’s (K.J. Apa) relationship with Veronica, and may even put some of our characters at risk.”

Dun-dun-dun. As ominous as that sounds — unless you’re strongly shipping Archie and Betty (Lili Reinhart), who was last seen getting hot and heavy with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) — Nick’s visit won’t last too long. Phillips is currently on board for just two episodes when season 2 returns on October 11. How much damage could he possibly do?

Of course, this does cast more mystery on those behind-the-scenes season 2 photos which show Veronica being dolled up as a bride. Dastardly Nick couldn’t possibly be the groom in a Gossip Girl-style twist, right? Right?

Williams says it’s great time to be actor of color

NEW YORK — Jessica Williams says it’s a great time to be an actress of color, and applauds Netflix for leading the way in promoting diversity.

Williams, who cut her teeth as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” takes on her first starring role in the streaming network’s original film, “The Incredible Jessica James.”

The actress feels Netflix helped shape stories about people of color, citing original programming like “Master of None” and “Orange is the New Black” that are able to “showcase people of color in an amazing way.” While inclusion continues to improve, especially on Netflix, Williams says the struggle for racial equality is far from over.

“I think it’s a difficult time in some ways to be a person of color, and I think the same for actors of color, but I also think it’s a great a time. Because I think now … there’s so much more room, I think, for us to be seen, and there’s room for us to create our own stories,” Williams said.

Williams feels great pride that she’s part of a movement toward greater diversity on screen, calling it something that makes her heart warm and sing. She said she remains mindful of the actresses who paved the way.

“It’s like so many black actresses that came before me and my generation. They came before and they did not necessarily have this opportunity that I feel like I have now, and so I’m really grateful for that, and I really do think it’s a really great time to be an actress that is black, in a way,” she said.

But that doesn’t make shifting gears from a comedy news show to a feature film an easy choice. Williams certainly felt some trepidation with the move.

“I was really nervous because this movie does have comedy in it. It also has a lot of heart, and some sweet moments. So I was worried whether I would be able to portray that or not. But I had a lot of fun doing it, and I found out that I could,” she said.

Written and directed by Jim Strouse — who previously directed Williams in his 2015 film, “People Places Things” — the story was written with Williams in mind. Her desire was to correctly depict the “life of a modern, young black woman,” and took it a step further by also taking on the role as an executive producer.

“Just in case I had things to say creatively,” Williams said.

Strouse called Williams a comedy ninja and the right actress to portray the ever-changing nature of romantic relationships.

“I remember when a relationship goes astray or whatever, you break up, you don’t talk and in like maybe months down the road you have coffee,” he said. “Now it’s like, you ghost and maybe a couple months down the road you start liking each other’s photos again. It’s a weird time.”

He called the dynamic interesting, then with a knowing smile said, “I don’t know if it’s healthy.”

As for her previous gig, Williams has the distinction of being the youngest correspondent hired for “The Daily Show.” Now she’s hoping to join the list of the show’s alumni who have moved on to bigger and better things.

“To be mentioned among people like Samantha Bee or Hassan Minaj and Steve Carrell and Steve Colbert is insane,” she said. “It’s, it’s very surreal and I think — I packed up everything to move and be on the ‘Daily Show’ and I was nervous because I was 22. I was, umm, I had a lot of big shoes to fill working with Jon Stewart. I felt like in the beginning I had a lot to prove, and it’s really an honor to be among those people.”