Milly Alcock Was Working as a Dishwasher Before Starring in "House of the Dragon"
Newcomer Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in HBO's highly anticipated "Game of Thrones" prequel, "House of the Dragon." The actor made her big debut during the show's world premiere on Aug. 21, and she's already made quite the impression as the new heir to Viserys I's throne — but she has big shoes to fill as a core part of the show's story.
Alcock, who hails from Australia, has been acting since she was a teen, landing roles on shows like "High Life," "Pine Gap," and "The Gloaming." Despite coming from a "sporty family," the actor says she still managed to find her creative passion. "I think I got my interest in acting because everybody was uninterested in acting," she told Vogue Australia of her family in 2020. "I grew up in a predominantly rugby union household; it doesn't make any sense."
When Alcock auditioned for "House of the Dragon," she had no clue she was trying out for a part on one of HBO's biggest series to date. In fact, she told the Evening Standard that the names in her script for the unknown HBO project, at the time, had been scratched out by the network, though her friend eventually figured it out. "He said, 'This is a 'Game of Thrones' scene. This is the scene with Arya Stark," Alcock recalled.
Without any prior knowledge of "Game of Thrones," Alcock still snagged a TV role some stars can only dream of. From her humble beginnings to channeling Rhaenyra, read ahead for everything we know about the actor's life and career.
She Wasn't Always a "Game of Thrones" Fan
"Game of Thrones" may have had millions of fans captivated during its eight-season run, but Alcock wasn't originally a part of the fantasy craze. "I was completely oblivious," she told Vulture of being unfamiliar with the show before "House of the Dragon." "I was about 10 when it came out, and it wasn't really age-appropriate, you know what I mean? Fantasy isn't my go-to genre. But I watched it over pre-production and fell in love with it, and understood why it had the amount of success that it did. It's very good!"
She Washed Dishes in a Restaurant and Lived in Her Mom's Attic Before Her "House of the Dragon" Role
Alcock's "House of the Dragon" role came as a huge surprise to her as she told Stellar, per Daily Mail, that she "never thought this would happen to me." Before her high-profile acting gig, Alcock's job was working in a restaurant as a dishwasher. "I was washing dishes in a restaurant, living in my mum's attic," she said in her interview. "This doesn't happen to people like me, so it was incredibly quick."
She Dropped Out of High School to Pursue Acting
Alcock has had Hollywood dreams since she was a teenager, and because of them, she decided to drop out of high school to pursue a professional career. "It wasn't my place. I never did well," she previously told The Binge Guide, per Gold Coast Bulletin. ". . . It just wasn't for me. It wasn't my place. I didn't really have any great teachers who saw me until I found acting was where I felt safe. So, yeah, it was the right decision."
"House of the Dragon" Isn't Her Breakout Role
Alcock doesn't have many acting credits under her belt, but the HBO series isn't her first introduction to the small screen. Before "House of the Dragon," an Australian drama titled "Upright" declared her a breakout sensation, which earned her the rising star award from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in 2018.
Cate Blanchett and Audrey Hepburn Inspired Her Portrayal of Rhaenyra
Although Alcock's Princess Rhaenyra is Daenerys Targaryen's ancestor, the actor didn't borrow inspiration from the famous character for her portrayal in "House of the Dragon." Instead, she looked toward two seasoned vets. "Cate Blanchett in 'The Golden Age,' and Audrey Hepburn in 'Roman Holiday.' If you could combine those two women together, I think that is Rhaenyra," Alcock told the New York Post. "She's witty, and cheeky, but she has to perform constantly, and live up to that regal role. But, you can see under the surface, she's quite uncomfortable in her skin."