Charles Dance has said that he believes that the BBC would’ve “axed” Game of Thrones if it had been broadcast on the Corporation.
Dance gained renewed prominence for his portrayal of Tywin Lannister on the hit HBO show between 2011 and 2015. The George R.R. Martin-adapted story airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK.
As reported by The Guardian, Dance made the remarks while speaking to the Shakespeare Theatre Company after picking up the honour of the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre at an awards gala in Washington D.C. last month.
Asked about whether he ever believed that Game of Thrones would become the cultural phenomenon that it now is, Dance admitted that not many people were sure about how successful in would be in the long term.
“The pilot they made was not that successful but HBO kind of nurtured it, thought there was mileage in this, and embarked on the first series,” Dance said. “If that had been the BBC, they’d have pulled the plug on it immediately and I was told that there was a time when the BBC were going to be part of the co-production and thank God they weren’t, because HBO knows how to spend money, and it was HBO and Sky Atlantic.”
Dance was further critical of the BBC’s cost-saving method of television production. “They think they can get a hundred dollars’ worth for spending 10. It’s crazy. I know a lot of crew people and indeed actors whose enthusiasm for a project is dampened when they know it’s going to be made by the BBC because they know they’re going to be penny pinching.”
The actor also revealed that he hadn’t read any of the Game of Thrones books before he signed up to be a part of the television adaptation.
“I didn’t know what it was about and I hadn’t read and I haven’t since read any of George RR Martin’s books,” Dance said. “Do you happen to know what the RR stands for? Neither do I. Nobody can seem to tell me.” (It stands for Raymond Richard).
In other GoT-related news, actress Faye Marsay recently revealed that she has quit social media after receiving waves of abuse following her portrayal of the Waif.