Collider: Emma D’Arcy Discusses Matt Smith’s “Extraordinary Aura” & Learning From Him

“I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve learned how to play in what can be an intense environment.”

It’s all happening in Westeros at the moment, scheming, family feuds, epic throne room scenes, and fighting for what one loves. At the epicenter of all this drama emanating from HBO’s House of the Dragon are two of the series’ most beloved characters, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). The pair of characters have shared a special connection since the beginning of the show when Rhaenyra was played by Milly Alcock. That chemistry has seamlessly transitioned with the introduction of D’Arcy to the role. In a clip, the actor has spoken about the ease with which they have been able to work with Smith and just how easy he makes it.

Rhaenyra and Daemon are married on the show, their union is a formidable one and it would seem that the strength of the working relationship had been built behind the scenes. “God, I’m so grateful to Matt,” D’Arcy says. “I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve learned how to play in what can be an intense environment.” Their words ring true as can be seen with the way Smith’s Daemon coasts through high-intensity moments on the show without offering more than a smirk half the time.

D’Arcy goes on to express just how Smith has been able to ease the actor’s time in front of the camera. “He has taught me how to ignore the various pressures, the time pressures, all the things that come with shooting on this scale, and tap back into those first principles.” D’Arcy goes on to explain how they felt about having to work on a project of this size while also being extremely modest about their abilities. “I was really scared coming to this whole process,” D’Arcy said. “Because no one knows who the hell I am. I don’t even know who the hell I am. I don’t even know why I am here. Like…” they said with laughter. D’Arcy goes on to speak about the presence Smith brings to the series, “And then suddenly, working with Matt Smith, who has an extraordinary aura, I love working with him.”

The chemistry and bond shared by Rhaenyra and Daemon is, however, about to be sorely tested. Her father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) has passed, his final words have been misunderstood by his wife, Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and war is certainly coming to Westeros. Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne is about to be severely contested, and it will mark the beginning of the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of Dragons. However, given his reputation for being calm under pressure what’s to fear in a little civil war when you have Matt Smith at your side? Not to mention Caraxes.

Written by Makuochi Echebiri
Published October 15, 2022