In a new interview in Men’s Health, Steve Toussaint is addressing critics who have commented about his casting in the new House of the Dragon series.
Toussaint plays Lord Corlys Velaryon, the head of House Velaryon and the richest man in Westeros.
To the magazine, he shut down critics who have suggested his casting doesn’t match what is portrayed in author George R. R. Martin‘s Fire & Blood novel, from which House of the Dragon is adapted.
“So many people are basing their idea of the history of this country [England] on a few films and stuff that were made in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, which don’t bear any resemblance to the truth,” Toussaint said.
“Historically, people of my hue and your hue, we didn’t just turn up here in the ’70s or the ’60s…”
“There are street names that tell you there were people who looked like us in this country even then, but for some reason, it seems to be very hard for people to swallow,” Toussaint added.
“They are happy with a dragon flying. They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.”
House of the Dragon debuted over the weekend and marked the largest series premiere in HBO history, with nearly 10 million viewers.
Despite the casting criticism that Toussaint faced, he said it’s been “great” to know that there are people excited about the show.
“What has been wonderful is for every toxic person that has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others who have been so supportive and been like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wait, this is going to be great!"” he said.
“Even when we were doing certain scenes, there would be supporting artists who would come up and go, ‘It’s great to have this representation."”
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