Nathalie Emmanuel talks about working with the late Paul Walker on Furious 7, why Game of Thronesfeels like home, and what we'll learn about her GoT character this season.
Nathalie Emmanuel is on the brink of major stardom. She’s currently starring in the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, Furious Seven, she’s got a third season as Game of Thrones' Missandei under her belt, and she most recently wrapped Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. We chatted with this British native about her experience working on Furious Seven, GoT, and much more.
Let’s talk about Furious Seven. What was it like working on this film with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker? NATHALIE EMMANUEL: Working on this film with Vin and Paul was a wonderful experience. I was very blessed to have Vin championing me from the very beginning. His support really helped build my confidence in joining such an established cast and franchise, which can be pretty intimidating. He gave me advice when I needed it and really looked out for me. I learned a lot from him. Working with Paul was such a joy. We had a few days on set where it was just the two of us, when we were filming the rescue sequence and Paul breaks me out of the bus. He was always really down to earth and was always smiling. Losing Paul, despite only working with him for a few months, was devastating. Every day I think of how grateful and blessed I am to have been able to work with someone like him.
Nathalie Emmanuel (RIGHT) with Game of Thrones castmates Hannah Murray and Jacob Anderson.
You play Missandei, Daenerys’ right hand woman, on Game of Thrones. Were you intimidated to jump on board for a massively popular show? NE: I was very intimidated purely because I was such a huge fan of the show. I knew how much the fans loved the show because I was one of them and in my head I was thinking that I just had to do a good job! Fortunately, the show is so well written and they make time for rehearsals so you feel really prepared when you walk on to the set. â€¨
You’re in your third season of GoT now. What do you love about working on the show? NE: The cast and crew are like a big family. They are such a fantastic group to work with—we have a lot of fun. Since joining the show I’ve had some incredible opportunities that have allowed me to travel all over the place. But returning to Game of Thrones every summer always feels like going home. I love those guys!
Your character Missandei seems completely loyal to Daenerys, but are we about to see another side to her in this upcoming season? NE: With each season we see more and more of who Missandei is beyond her job as translator and adviser. The events of this season allow us to see [her] more emotional side. We also see her expressing opinions and feelings, which her life as an enslaved person would never have allowed her to do.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE (GOT CAST); MARY CLAVERING/YOUNG HOLLYWOOD/GETTY IMAGES (EMMANUEL)