Joe Naufahu Looks to next Role after Thrones Stint
We all know that Game of Thrones keeps its secrets even from its own cast members, but when it came to episode 4’s fiery finale involving New Zealander Joe Naufahu, 38, there were some secrets that just couldn’t be kept – and that’s more because of the complexities of the Dothraki language than anything.
“I had to start learning my Dothraki right away, so we got those straight away,” says Naufahu of the scene that ended the episode, with Daenerys torching a group of Dothraki leaders and emerging unscathed. “We didn’t know how it was going to end, [but] you get the scene and it’s like there’s no way he’s going to survive saying this to Khaleesi.”
His instincts were spot on. Naufahu played Khal Moro, the Dothraki leader who taunts Daenerys with a wide variety of threats (including what Naufahu charmingly calls “the c-bomb”) before she tips over a series of torches and burns him and his cronies in a Carrie-style inferno. Though he had plenty of time to perfect his Dothraki monologue, he and his co-stars didn’t know about the blaze until they arrived on the Vaes Dothrak set in southern Spain. Once filming began though, “It was full on.”
With his memorable stint on Game of Thrones over, Naufahu is getting a visa and planning to stay in Los Angeles to seek out more roles. He knew that a Dothraki was likely “the only role I could play” on Game of Thrones, but sees a lot of potential beyond Khal Moro. “It’s something that’s becoming more and more popular is the use of minorities in stronger roles, which is great for people like myself, who kind of have an ambiguous look and can work on accents and come from lots of different places.”
Naufahu is a former Glasgow Warriors player.
Original article by Katey Rich, Vanity Fair, May 16, 2016.