Nathalie Emmanuel Talks Female-Centric Horror ‘The Invitation’, ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel, and More on ‘Acting Up’

The actress is embarking on a horror thriller for the first time with her new film, which is in theaters now.

In the latest episode of “Acting Up,” Cortney Wills de Grio sat down with Nathalie Emmanuel to break down her new movie, “The Invitation,” “House of the Dragon,” which is HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel series and its experience. as a black actress in the fantasy genre.

Fans may have first met Emmanuel as Missandei on HBO’s hugely popular fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” but she’s been busy since the series ended in 2019. From her appearances in From action-adventure films such as the “Fast & Furious” franchise to leading Hulu’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral” romantic comedy series, she continued to stretch her muscles as an actress. Now, with “The Invitation”, Emmanuel plunges into a new genre: horror.

“I did a bit of sci-fi, a bit of comedy and fantasy and more dramatic roles, you know? And the thriller, the horror stuff that I didn’t really do,” she said. “I was really excited to see this story because it was such an interesting way to tell a story that’s been told many, many times in many, many ways, and to place this very old vampire mythology and landscape, and then to merge it with this very modern context and very modern world and woman.

Nathalie Emmanuel plays the role of Evie in “The Invitation”, a retelling of the classic “Dracula”. The film was released in theaters on Friday. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

“The Invitation” tells the classic gothic horror story “Dracula,” and Emmanuel stars as Evie. After taking a DNA test, she reconnects with her long-lost family and attends her new cousin’s wedding.

“She is initially seduced by the sexy aristocratic host but is soon plunged into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family’s history and the disturbing intentions behind their guilty generosity,” the description reads. movie official.

Genres like horror or fantasy allow actors of color, like Emmanuel, to exist in the given circumstances and take up space regardless of their race. “In general, women and people of color are very underrepresented in this gender,” she said. “And we have a writer, a director… so many women heading departments. It’s a very female-centric thriller and horror piece, which is just, you know, in itself, just by existing on its own, it’s like groundbreaking in a way as far as I’m concerned .

Her inclusion in “Game of Thrones” was equally groundbreaking, as she was the only black woman on the show. “This job has really changed my life,” she said. “And then it wasn’t until I realized, I mean, I’ve been going through white spaces all my life and I guess maybe I wasn’t fully aware of the size of a such impact… I did not expect it.”

If not for Black Twitter, which shut down for “Game of Thrones” and Missandei in particular, she might not have been able to embrace the impact of her character the way she has now.

Twitter “has been a big part of my viewing experience,” she said. “I used to literally watch the show and sit there like scrolling and clicking on these hashtags and scrolling to see how the community was liking and feeling. It has been fully integrated into my viewing experience. Imagine “Game of Thrones” without black fans? Sorry!”

With “House of the Dragon”, however, there are noticeably more black actors, whose presence has already drawn negative reactions from some ignorant fans. More representation, however, is always a good thing, insisted Emmanuel.

The fan reaction to Missandei’s death in “Thrones” season eight was a clear example of the larger issue of lack of representation. “It opened up this conversation about shows like this, these big shows, these big financially backed shows, and the value of inclusion and like why we need more of it,” she explained. “As the problem was, Missandei was the only woman of color. As if she was the only one who had a regular and lasting role throughout the series.

The full episode with Nathalie Emmanuel on “Acting Up” is available to stream now.

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Nathalie Emmanuel’s post about the female-centric horror flick ‘The Invitation’, the ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel and more about ‘Acting Up’ appeared first on TheGrio.