Rebel Moon’s Ed Skrein on Co-Starring With His Game of Thrones Replacement

Fans of Game of Thrones will remember that a key character, hunky sellsword Daario Naharis, looked rather different in season four after debuting in season three—and now the two actors who played him, Ed Skrein and Michiel Huisman, are sharing the screen in Zack Snyder’s new Netflix film Rebel Moon.

Actors replacing other actors in established roles isn’t unheard-of in Hollywood; aside from maybe the most famous example (Bewitched, obviously), Prime Video’s Wheel of Time just did it, swapping in a new actor to play Mat Cauthon in season two. But it is somewhat unusual that two stars who played the same character—in this case, both of whom saw their profiles rise exponentially after Game of Thrones; Skrein played the villain in Deadpool and Huisman was in The Haunting of Hill House—would appear together in another, later project.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Skrein (whose sudden departure from Game of Thrones was never officially explained) said there was zero tension between them when they met on-set. “We got on really well from the beginning, actually. It was really nice,” Skrein said. “Michiel is a good dude. He’s a really good dude, and I loved spending time with him on set. I also loved training with him in the gym and going on this press tour with him, so it’s been really nice. If I think of him as any character, it’s Gunnar from Rebel Moon.”

As it happens, Skrein is no stranger to being linked with roles that are re-cast; in 2017, he left Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot after his casting as a character who was of Japanese descent in the comics was met with criticism. Then, as THR points out, his role in Rebel Moon was originally slated to be played by Rupert Friend, who had to bow out due to pandemic-related schedule conflicts. As the actor sees it, that’s all just part of the biz.

“I feel a kind of camaraderie and kinship with other actors, regardless of what roles they’ve taken or not taken,” Skrein told the trade. “We understand the dynamics of our job and therefore can relate. And especially if we’re in the same cast, then it should be everyone’s preoccupation to just keep everything as positive and nice as possible. So that’s the way it goes. People will replace me in the future and I will replace other people in the future, and I’ll be a gentleman about it at all times. And I think Michiel will be, too.”

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is now streaming on Netflix.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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