Art Parkinson, from Moville in Donegal, has taken on the role of Rickon Stark in the new medieval fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” which is based on best-selling author George RR Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series of novels.
Art will join the young actors already shooting on location in Northern Ireland, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, and Maisie Williams as Arya with Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (their father) being played by Hollywood star Sean Bean.
Art’s casting in the role ended the producers’ mammoth search right across England, Ireland and Scotland for the perfect boy for the part.
He has already filmed a number of scenes on set in Belfast and speaking to the Inish Times, Art, who attends his mother Movania’s speech and drama school, said he was “really, really excited” when he was told he was the new Rickon Stark. “I couldn’t believe it; I was just like ‘wow?’,” he said. “Working on it is really good and really fun. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done before and it’s just amazing.”
Art has previously appeared in a number of commercials and played the role of Kenneth in “Red Mist,” a film by Paddy Breathnach, so he’s “really used to doing acting” and added he’s found a great pal in Alfie Allen, who is “really, really cool.”
He also paid tribute to his mother, Movania- who has appeared in a number of films and productions, for helping him. “She’s great,” he said.
She in turn, said the whole family was “so proud” of Art and explained to the Inish Times how they heard about the part.
“I’m an actress so I’d know a lot of people and friend of mine told me about how the team behind ‘Game of Thrones’ were looking for a Rickon Stark and couldn’t find him. She said she was surprised we hadn’t put Art up for audition so we did. He did a screen test on the Friday, met with the producers on the Monday. He met with Brendan Gunn, the voice coach who is also a native Irish man and he was asked to do the same reading as he had previously done. The next thing we knew they said ‘Congratulations, you’ve got the part.’
“He’s just loving it. On the first day everyone was there to meet him and made him feel so welcome.
“He’s got his own little trailer and gets to hang out with Alfie Allen so he’s having a great time. He’s always acted ever since he was very young but this is just massive. It hasn’t fazed him though, he just wants to go out and do his football and meet his friends. We’re very proud of him.”
The announcement of Art’s casting was met with huge enthusiasm by fans eagerly-awaiting the series, who have deemed it “inspired.”
Game of Thrones, is one of Screenterrier's Faces to Watch, and star of Nanny McPhee 2, 15 year old Eros Vlahos. Eros will also shortly been seen in Nickelodeon's new teen comedy drama series Summer in Transylvania due on our screens this autumn.
The expected premiere date for the Game of Thrones series on HBO is next Spring.